Came across this thread actually looking at info into the current market for NAS building. Obviously the WD Red drives have become a "hot topic" which sort of lead me to clicking on this thread. The beginning of this thread was pretty funny to me (not sure why, just was). I didn't bother reading to much further however. I just wanted to add my .02.
There are two debates in this thread.
One was the thread starters "comparison" which I feel was completely pointless. Comparing current generation 5,400rpm to outdated 7,200rpm drives with non-optimal platter design seems rather pointless, unless the goal is to show how current generation 5,400rpm drives have grown to match SOME 7,200rpm drives from the past. The 7,200rpm drives being compared to were 1st generation designs made to quickly and cheaply get higher capacity drives to market. Now, those designs have improved. If we are trying to provide consumers with current data to best select a drive to meet their requirements, then it should be obvious how this initial data would be misleading (be honest, how many general consumers would actually check what model 7,200rpm drive was tested).
The second debate is then comparing a current generation 7,200rpm drive to a current generation 5,400rpm drive. This comparison isn't deceptive or anything, but in all honesty it is one of those "no *ish" comparisons. Is anyone ACTUALLY surprised by the results? It is nice to get empirical data to better quantify the difference, but the result ends up being the same. A current generation 7,200rpm drive is an order of magnitude better performance then a 5,400rpm drive".
What you are left with is the same question that has been prevalent since day #1 for building storage arrays. Do I sacrifice performance for better energy efficiency/heat or vice verse. However, if your bottleneck is someplace else, then it really doesn't matter and you'd take the energy efficiency. That determination is a case by case decision.
Now, the "perceived issue" with WD Green drives is pretty simple. TLER is not present on Green drives, and until these Red drives were released the only way to get TLER was buying a Enterprise class HDD. The NASware allows you to tweak this. From what I know consumer drives (like the Green) didn't allow this setting to be changed. There was (might still be) a way to do it with a WD command line tool, but this wasn't suppose to be possible because WD wanted you to purchase enterprise disks for such a feature. However, this "issue" was only really a problem for people using a hardware RAID. Software RAID that have become so prevalent won't drop a disk. Things like ReadyNas, Synology, QNap, and even FreeNAS/ZFS simply don't care about TLER. HERE
is a short article summing it up pretty well, and if you look on storagereview there was a long conversation about it, as well as other places if you look. So TLER being a feature on the Red is a nice added bonus but realistically of little relevance to the home or SMB market. The Red do have some advantage over the Green in other ways though. Like the attempts at helping alleviate vibration. I don't think it is as advanced as their enterprise drives, but still nice they are offering something. I believe you will get less head parking with the Red which is a plus.
I'd take the Red over the Green (minus any serious bugs). I'd probably take a Hitachi or Seagate over either though (I've had bad luck with WD). If 5,400rpm drives weren't enough I'd look at consumer 7,200rpm drives or enterprise drives.
PS: Mfusick, I see you're all over the different forums. lol