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WD Red 5TB NAS (WD50EFRX) HDD Review

  1. Introduction and Specification
  2. Closer Look
  3. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  4. AS SSD Benchmark
  5. ATTO Benchmark
  6. AIDA64 Benchmark
  7. Anvil Benchmark
  8. Boot Load Test
  9. Transfer Tests
  10. CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark
  11. HDTune Pro Benchmark
  12. Futuremark HDD Benchmarks
  13. Conclusion
  14. Online Purchase Links
  15. View All

NAS drive solution from WD and Seagate have been around for a while, and recently introduced two storage capacity variants- WD50EFRX 5TB and WD60EFRX 6TB. We’re going to take a look at the 5TB Red Variant.

To keep with the storage demands with the SOHO environment- including the never ending media collection that people grow from time-to-time, the newer variants are made for 1-to-8 bay NAS unit solutions. With a 5TB, you get a total of up to 40TB and with 6TB you get up to 48TB.

For now, we will be testing it as a single drive in our test bench. But the WD EX2 two-bay NAS review will include performance benchmark in different setups.

WD_RED_NASWARE_1These NAS HDD drives use ‘NASware 3.0’ features, and WD promotes these drives with enhanced reliability and lower operating temperatures. A 3 Years warranty may be unsettling for some people, but the higher RPM/probably more expensive variant ‘WD Red Pro’ are with a 5-year warranty. These drives also come with ‘premium support’ with 24/7 support line, most likely for countries like the United States. There are many countries listed, but I really feel that India should have a dedicated support line for WD Red and Red Pro.


WD really wants to push this drive so that many types of users would get these for specific purposes. But to be fair, it does help people (even power users of their respective tech field)to understand the benefit they would get from this.


Specifications 5 TB
Model number WD50EFRX
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
Formatted capacity 5 TB
Form factor 3.5-inch
Advanced Format (AF) Yes
Native command queuing Yes
RoHS compliant Yes


Data transfer rate (max)

Interface speed 6 Gb/s
Internal transfer rate 170 MB/s
Cache (MB) 64
Rotational speed (RPM) IntelliPower

Reliability/Data Integrity

Load/unload cycles 600,000
Non-recoverable read errors per bits read <1 in 10 ^14
MTBF (hours) 1,000,000
Limited warranty (years) 3

Power Management

12VDC ±10% (A, peak) 1.75
5VDC ±10% (A, peak)

Average power requirements (W):

Read/Write 5.3
Idle 3.4
 Standby/Sleep 0.4

Environmental Specifications

Temperature (°C):

Operating 0 to 65
Non-operating -40 to 70

Shock (Gs):

Operating (2 ms, read/write) 30
Operating (2 ms, read) 65
Non-operating (2 ms) 250

Acoustics (dBA):

Idle 25
Seek (average) 28

Physical Dimensions

Height (in./mm) 1.028/26.1
Length (in./mm) 5.787/147
Width (in./mm, ± .01 in.) 4/101.6
Weight (lb./kg, ± 10%) 1.65/0.75

Like many HDDs, WD has a thin foam between the drive and the PCB. There’s a thermal adhesive tape covering the Marvell 88i1047-NDB2 controller and Samsung K4T5116300-8CE7 memory.

It gives me great pleasure every time I put up a review. It’s always good to appreciate the support that the manufacturers give from time-to-time to review their own products and others on behalf of the readers. Thanks to companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, Kingston, WD 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 5TB WD50EFRX NAS Drive
MB+ CPU Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE
Memory Kingston HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII
Primary OS drive WD 3000HLFS Velociraptor 300GB/ WD Blue AAJS 320GB
Power Supply Corsair TX750
Chassis NA

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

Anvil Benchmark- Compressible and Incompressible run each with 4, 16 and 32MB File Size

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 Mark 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

PCMark 8- HDD Test

as ssd

For a 5TB drive, it looks promising. The read access time is also lower compared to most of the lower capacity drives.


For some odd reason, the sequential write speed starts to fall post-256MB File Size.

But in comparison with other HDDs tested in the past, the drive does well from 32MB File Size.

For a mechanical drive, WD Red WD50EFRX’s access speeds for both read and write is very stable.

0% Fill Test

100% Fill Test

Boot Load

Though its unlikely a drive like WD Red WD50EFRX will be used as a primary drive, it takes almost a minutes even in multiple passes.


This is where both WD50EFRX and Seagate Desktop 4TB ST4000DM000 HDD excels. The transfer time taken with these drives are incredibly lower, especially with a very large (uncompressed with different movie file types and sizes within the folder) 98.39GB transfers.



I really wish 10Gb/s Ethernet was a norm. With the requirement for networked (especially wired LAN) storage requirement is slowly growing in many households with multiple systems and wireless devices, 1Gb/s Ethernet port just doesn’t cut it. Its long overdue, even longer than the transition from USB 2.0 to 3.0 (and now 3.1). What’s holding the ethernet controllers behind? The only time you’ll see 10Gb/s ethernet ports are on workstation motherboards. Though I am very impressed with transfer speed with the WD50EFRX, I can’t help but sulk knowing that most of this would be stifled via wired Ethernet access.

Access speed is also another important. Maybe the RPM rate is slow? Which would probably show interest in WD Red Pro. But I am not sure how good these drives are compared to 7,200 RPM based WD Red Pro counterparts.

Coming back to the drive, the transfer rate via SATA III standard is great. WD Red series provides a good-enough compromise between standard consumer drives and enterprise drive for home and/or office NAS and DAS. As one would assume, these are good choices for a secondary drive and for dedicated units like NAS.


Though these are made for SOHO up to 8-bay NAS, a lot of people with single or two-bay NAS (pre-built or DIY) would love to have this, provided the respective NAS makers provide official support. The 5TB variant is quick, and the data transfer speed is as low as the Seagate Desktop 4TB HDD.

  • Excellent Transfer Speed
  • 5TB Storage Space
  • Access Speed
India U.S. U.K. France
Rs. 16,299/-  $226.99 £177.35 EUR 242.39

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