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WD Red 2-4-6TB drives could be SMR


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Well, now that we've established that mixing PMR/CMR with SMR drives isn't a good idea for RAID environments, but how about doing it, knowingly or otherwise, on software-based drive-pooling like DrivePool and Drive Bender? These drive-pooling technologies use some sort of drive balancing as part of its maintenance chores.

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I would think this would have less of an impact on drive pool technology, than it does on RAID. 

At the end of the day, the industry knows WD Red are recommended for RAID. SMR is not a good technology for RAID. They change the recipe for Red's and did not tell anyone.

That would be false advertising. 

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I was going to buy a spare drive, just in case I have a failure in my raid array -   


I currently have 4 3TB Red drives  with this model number




Amazon still has these specific model numbers -  


A bit confused from OJ88's/Schoondoggy  response earlier


Is the thought that I purchase another WD30EFRX drive,    I wont have the assurance that it is a CMR rather than a SMR drive ?


If they substitute drive technology and dont change the model number -  then they have a serious deceptive practices issue

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looks like I dodged a bullet last black friday when I got a couple reds. I predict a class action lawsuit!

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Red NAS Drives  SMR versus CMR


I've investigated this a bit further and came up with the following conclusions.  Western Digital is not transparent with any of this information -   so this is based just on what I found

1.  The  WDx0EFRX drives appear to be the older model -  I purchased WD Reds in 2013 and they match the 2013 datasheet.  Ditto for some 3TB Reds I bought in 2016.     As recently as the 2018 datasheet,  WD  listed WD40EFRX drives in their NAS datasheet.  However, this was the first appearance of the WDx0EFAX drives in 10 and 12 gig sizes

2. Their latest datasheet,  published in December 2019,  lists both  WDx0EFRX and WDxEFAX models for Reds.  Interesting differences in Cache and speed listed between the two without explanation.

3. Amazon and others still have  WDx0EFRX and WDx0EFAX drives listed separately,  I purchased a "spare" WD Red over the weekend -  it arrived today and is a WDe0EFRX model.

4.  Qnap  has a hardware compatibility list -    My NAS, QNAP TS451, does not list WDx0EFAX as a compatible drive.  It does have WDx0ERX spelled out.  

5.  On the Synology compatiblity list -   the WD60EFAX and the WD20EFAX  are listed as SMR Drives

The following is not verfied - but was mentioned in the QNAP and Synology Forums. The WDx0EFAX drives may have been modified thru cache to give SMR drives better compatiblity with RAID. 


here is a link to the datasheets I've found



Edited by Al_Borges
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so the smr drives' performance issues seem to be hidden behind the phrase 'up to' instead of the previous 'sustained' spec. sleazy!

Edited by nrf
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really really interesting! typical 'save a penny' behavior with horrible consequences to the uninformed.

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