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WD 2TB Boxshot

WD Red 2TB ( WD20EFRX ) NAS HDD Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Specifications and Closer Look
  3. Test Bench and Methodology
  4. AS SSD Benchmark
  5. ATTO Benchmark
  6. AIDA64 Sequential Access Time
  7. Boot Load and DATA Transfer Test
  8. CrystalDiskMark Benchmark
  9. HD Tune Pro Benchmark
  10. PCMark Vantage x64 HDD Benchmark
  11. PC Mark 7 Secondary Storage Benchmark
  12. Conclusion
  13. View All

This is the –1TB Platter version of the WD30EFRX that is reviewed earlier. To re-quote my 30EFRX Red drive’s review:

WD has this error recovery feature that’s usually present in enterprise storage optimized for 24/7 operation (along with multiple features in Enterprise Storage that has no use for end users unless you’re doing a lot of hot-swapping while under operation) called TLER- Time Limited Error Recovery (other brands uses a different terminology). TLER corrects the corrupted data while still in RAID mode.One point to keep in mind is that, depending on the NAS drive that you use if TLER is unable to repair very complex errors within few seconds to the RAID system where the NAS controllers take care of it (I think pretty much all personal NAS use software level RAID to keep the cost low, maybe some SOHO use Hardware level RAID). If the RAID system is unable to correct it, you get an error message in your NAS OS. When you press Retry, the Hard drive’s TLER gives it a first drive and if cannot work out, the controller on the NAS kicks in. In any case, WD’s TLER runs in Software Level RAID and Hardware Level RAID.

As WD pointed out, Hard drives with TLER tries to correct complex error on its own since it assumes that there is a redundant storage array running in the background. Difference between does some level of error correction in the background of the drive and TLER is that TLER is more optimized for RAID. There’s also a chance that RAID systems with NON-TLER drives interprets an error when HDD is not able to hand over the error correction to the RAID controller. In this scenario and in this day of age, its not very practical to mix and match hard drives with non TLER support with NAS, NAS controllers with Rev versions varying from time to time. With this, you save the headache of doing that- or that’s how it should be for NAS optimized drives.

Another feature to note is the ATA streaming command that optimizes video streaming performance- for example if there’s a bad block and you’re streaming video from the NAS storage with these drives, it continues to stream the video to you rather than spending time to correct the bad block.




Just as the WD 3TB counterpart, the WD20EFRX a foam to decrease vibration between the drive and the PCB & a thermal pad in the middle to help the controller in heat dissipation.


Same controllers and same Cache: Micron 88I9346-TFJ2 Controller and Hynix DDR2 64MB Cache. The only difference? 1 platter short.

I would like to see if this would improve the Large file transfers and Access times.


The drive stays pretty cool in closed test system considering that current ambience here is about 29-31 +/- depending on the time during the day and even lower during the night. This is very important to look when it comes to NAS, especially with personal NAS box where you get to connect 2 drives stacked on top of each other.

During a 30 minute Anvil endurance testing, the maximum temperature that I was able to touch on my system is 32 degrees, that 3-4 degrees lower than WD30EFRX drive.


If you’re comparing the paper specification:

It gives me great pleasure and a relief to mention this every time I put up a review. In a country where you get minimum hardware support from the manufacturers to review their own products and others on behalf of the readers, its some companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, Kingston, Western Digital and Coolermaster who give me hardware support by updating my test rig no strings attached. Thumbs up to these guys!

I would like to thank

  • Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte 890GPA UD3H Rev 1.0 motherboard
  • Asus India for providing Asus 990FX Sabertooth motherboard
  • Kingston Taiwan for providing hardware support with memory kits and SSD drive.
  • WD India for providing WD 300GB HLFS Velociraptor Hard Drive.
  • Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply


Test Setup for: WD Red 3.0TB SATA III Drive (WD30EFRZX)
Motherboard+ Processor Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE
Memory Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K28G HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII
Primary OS drive WD 3000HLFS Velociraptor 300GB/WD 320GB BLUE 320AAJS
Power Supply Corsair TX750
Chassis Corsair C-70

The Benchmarks that I am using are as follows:

AS SSD– Read and Write (Pass 3)

ATTO Test File Size= 0.5 to 8MB- Read and Write Pass 3

Aida64 Write and Read Access time File Size 64KB Pass 3

Boot Load Test (Windows 7 SP1 clean installation with AMD 12.6 drivers+ AHCI drivers pre-installed with Utorrent, Avira Security Suite, Asus Xonar DX+ Drivers, Netgear WG111 Wireless Lan USB drive software as start-up items) Pass 1-5 (Pass 1= System start from Power Off)

Transfer Tests: 1.34GB Assorted Photos transfer Test, 11.34 ISO File Transfer Test, 1.27GB Compressed Data File Transfer Test and 98.39 Assorted Movies Folder Transfer Test with TeraCopy

CrystalDisk Benchmark with Pass 3, each with 5 re-runs 1000MB File Size

HDtune Pro Write and Read Pass 3

PCMark 7 HDD test

PCMark Vantage HDD Test

Anvil Benchmark: 4/16/32GB File Size in both 0% and 100% Fill test

Although this drive is used for AS SSDs, the tests in these give a good idea of Sequential, 4K Aligned, 4K Aligned with 64Bit thread test and the Access time of the hard drive. It uses incompressible data.




2TB Red’s Access time stands tall with 3TB Red, Barracuda XT 3TB, Caviar Green 3TB and Seagate Green 2TB drive. Sequential- atleast judging by this synthetic test- has an advantage.




From Smaller to larger file, 2EFRX Red has taken the lead even against Barracuda XT.

I had concerns over the Access Speed over such drives and I did say in the previous that the only advantage they seemed is that they are NAS optimized and much Cooler compared to Green counterparts.





Looking at its average, Access time is still not as quick as I would have liked to see.

Boot Load Time

20EFRX has a weird Boot up speed from start till Desktop irrespective of the number of times I do the test. When its low, its low- but when its high, its higher than WD30EFRX. Well- maybe I had the wrong expectations of seeing such drives to have some beneficial for NON-NAS users, but transfer tests is something that those with NAS and NON-NAS needs will want to see!



WD Red 2EFRX takes a lot more time to transfer Uncompressed, ISO and Zipped file, but when it comes to Large uncompressed Data files, it manages to shave off between 2-3 minutes.

CrystalDiskMark is set to random (incompressible data) and tests Sequential, 512K, 4KB without and WITH Queue Depth of 64MB/Sec.




WD20EFRX works well with Sequential tests, but it takes a hit with Random data with (expected from any mechanical drive) or without 4K alignment.



Average read has a very minor advantage over Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB AND it shares WD30EFRX similar Access time and burst rate.



…whereas in Write, WD20EFRX is a little bit ahead of WD30EFRX when it comes to average Write speed and Burst rate.

Vantage is one of the ways that gives you a good idea on how the storage drives perform in a specific scenario: Windows Defender, Gaming, Importing pictures to windows photo gallery, Application loading and few more tests to come.


The drive is much quicker in specific test scenarios such as importing pictures, video editing and Windows media players. Others- except gaming seems to be taking minor advantage as well. Now that 1TB platter lesser drive is giving you this boost, I would really to see how 1TB drive now performs.


Then again, performance isn’t close to decent enough to be using this as a Primary drive, but makes more sense to use this if you want to stream via NAS. I am more inclined to test this drive with RAID on a NAS more than 3TB.



PC Mark 7 however has little or no difference at all.

Fact! when you buy a NAS that takes care of RAID, you will be tempted to use it. Cost comes into play. Lets say you spend Rs. 12,000/- (I am not very up-to-date with NAS box availability and price in India, mind you) on a low cost NAS box which lets you install 2x 3.5″ drives inside. You’re going to spend a little less than that on a 2TB drive. Advantages- again- much better sequential runs and runs cooler for a 2TB drive- not just any drive, but a drive that is made for NAS drive and considering that the only choice you’re going to get with similar (and more that you will not even need).

But just to remind you, although it does have 2X SATA ports and maybe 4x USB 2.0, the low cost NAS will cost you good money and as far as I know, they’re limited to SATA II bandwidth. It is cheaper and more feasible than enterprise storage, but again, if you have the specific needs to use this in NAS provided it can use that bandwidth, the TLEC and ATA streaming will be of more use. Its a big investment- and it costs as good as buying a mid end gaming.

I know I have the wrong idea of hoping this drive to be a boot drive. Its not made and its about time I give that notion as well. The good part is that this is a good product. The part I have to emphasize is- based on your needs and budget. The drive comes with 3 years warranty, but a little voice inside me wishes that it came with 5 years warranty like the black drives. Couple of NAS optimized feature+ NASware firmware with a drive cooler than Greens and warranty of the black series. Again- I wish..

I also wish that 1TB SSD is a norm at the time of writing for a reasonable price but again- here we are. If that happened, NAS systems will be completely different. Even with 4x 2.5″, NAS box made for it will be as small as a couple of 3.5″ drives stacked together. But alas, P/E cycles and limited lifespan of flash NAND begins to be a pain and I don’t think SLCs will be feasible in the very near future.

The tests are done here, the choice is yours. Now I would like to see if the benchmarks are much better in 1TB Red drives.

India (MRP) U.S. U.K.
Rs. 8,500+ Taxes $ 152.12 £ 99.00

One comment

  1. typical of WD, they dont make good products easily available in d market.

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