• Daniyar Kylyzhov

Western Digital is underestimating the speed of rotation of hard drives Red NAS

Reditters from DataHoarder again caught the Western Digital of misinforming users. If the previous time it concerned the use of Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology in NAS drives, now it is about the rotation speed of WD Red NAS hard drives. The manufacturer classifies drives with a spindle speed of 7200 per minute (RPM) as "class 5400 RPM". The proprietary drive firmware provides 5400 RPM through the SMART interface.



The assumption of underestimation disk rotation speed expressed the participants of the German-language forum hardwareluxx.de more than a year ago. A Reddit contributor ran an experiment in which he put several models of discs in an empty cardboard box with a Blue Yeti microphone and then turned them on. Spectral analysis of audio using Adobe Audition yielded a base frequency of 120 Hz for two WD 8TB 5400 RPM models.

Photo: arstechnica.com


If you multiply 120 cycles per second by 60 seconds, you get 7200 rpm. That is, 5400 RPM class disks actually rotate at 7200 RPM. The disadvantage of a drive with a higher spindle speed is that the noise level and power consumption increase dramatically.


Users began to pay attention to Western Digital drives precisely because of the noise. Comparing the data of the Seagate Barracuda 5400 RPM and Western Digital Red "class 5400 RPM", then the 8 TB Red consumes 8.8 W, while the Barracuda this figure is 5.3 W in the active state. In standby mode, this is 800 mW and 250 mW, respectively.



Moreover, Western Digital agreed with the conclusions of the remitters. According to a company spokesman, "5400 RPM class" does not mean 5400 RPM drive speed. Western Digital explained that for some products it has long been publishing rotational speeds within the "performance class" or "performance class" without specifying specific spindle speeds. “Our information, including power, acoustics, and performance (data rate), is tested against specifications in product specifications and marketing materials,” the company said.

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