WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: The best NAS Drives compared

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf The best NAS Drives compared

Which is the better hard drive for your NAS?

WD Red or Seagate IronWolf? Both drives have their pros and cons, but which one is the best for you? Let’s take a look.

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: Storage capacity

WD Red and Seagate IronWolf are both designed for use in network attached storage (NAS) devices.

They are similar in many ways, but there are also some important differences to consider. One of the most important factors to consider is storage capacity. WD Red drives are available in capacities up to 10 TB, while Seagate IronWolf drives top out at 8 TB.

This means that WD Red drives can store up to 40% more data than Seagate IronWolf drives. If you need maximum storage capacity in your NAS, then WD Red is the clear choice.

This is a significant difference, and it’s one that will definitely be a factor when deciding which storage device to buy. It’s worth noting that WD Red does have an enterprise-grade version that offers up to 12TB of storage, but this is more expensive and not typically available to consumers.

Ultimately, the decision of which storage device to buy comes down to personal preference and needs.

Those who need a lot of storage space will definitely want to go with the Seagate IronWolf, while those who don’t need as much may be perfectly fine with the WD Red.

However, Seagate IronWolf drives are still a good option if you don’t need quite as much storage space.

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: Max. number of bays

Western Digital’s WD Red and Seagate’s IronWolf are both purpose-built for NAS (network-attached storage).




They’re comparable in terms of features, but there’s one key difference: the maximum number of bays supported. WD Red is limited to 8 bays, while IronWolf can scale up to 16 bays. This makes IronWolf a better choice for larger NAS systems.

However, it’s important to note that both drives are designed for use in multi-bay NAS enclosures; they are not meant to be used as standalone drives. So if you’re looking for a drive to use in a single-bay NAS, either one will work fine.

This difference can be significant for users who need to store large amounts of data or who want to connect a large number of devices to their NAS.

WD Red drives may be a better option for users with more modest data storage needs, while Seagate IronWolf drives may be better for users who need the highest capacity and performance.

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: Warranty

WD Red and Seagate IronWolf both offer comprehensive warranties on their products.

WD Red offers a standard three-year warranty on all of its drives, with the option to extend that to five years for an additional cost. Seagate IronWolf also offers a three-year standard warranty, but it includes two years of coverage for NAS systems with more than eight drives.

Both companies offer similar coverage for data recovery and replacement in the event of failure. However, WD Red’s warranty does not cover drives used in enterprise applications, while Seagate IronWolf’s does.

As a result, depending on your needs, one company may offer a more attractive warranty than the other.

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: Rotation speed

Rotation speed is one of the most important factors, as it determines how fast data can be accessed.

WD Red drives have a rotation speed of 5400 RPM, while Seagate IronWolf drives have a rotation speed of 7200 RPM. This means that IronWolf drives are faster than WD Red drives when it comes to accessing data.

However, WD Red drives are more energy-efficient than IronWolf drives, so they may be a better choice if power consumption is a concern. Ultimately, the best choice for a NAS hard drive depends on the needs of the user.

This difference can have a big impact on performance, especially when it comes to writing speeds. In general, faster drives will provide better performance all around.

However, they also tend to generate more heat and noise, which may not be ideal for everyone.

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: MTBF


16TB ironwolf


Another important consideration is MTBF (mean time between failures). WD Red has an MTBF of 1 million hours, while Seagate IronWolf has an MTBF of 1.2 million hours. This means that, on average, WD Red will last for about 100 years before failing, while Seagate IronWolf will last for about 120 years.

Of course, these are just averages, and actual results may vary. But overall, WD Red is slightly more reliable than Seagate IronWolf.

However, there is a difference in the way that WD Red and Seagate IronWolf handle data. WD Red uses SLC caching, which is faster but more expensive than MLC caching. Seagate IronWolf uses MLC caching, which is slower but more affordable.

As a result, WD Red is a better choice for those who need the highest possible performance, while Seagate IronWolf is a better choice for those who are looking for a more budget-friendly option.

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: Workload

Generally speaking, the WD Red is a better choice for most home and small office users. It offers good performance and reliability at a reasonable price. The IronWolf, on the other hand, is designed for more demanding applications.

It costs more but delivers higher performance and greater reliability. If you need maximum throughput and data protection, IronWolf is the way to go.

However, if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution for light-to-medium workloads, the WD Red is a better option.

Other comparisons: WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: The best NAS Drives compared

WD Red vs Seagate IronWolf: Cache

Seagate’s IronWolf and WD’s Red are both NAS-targeted hard drives. They’re designed for 24/7 use in always-on networked environments requiring low power consumption.

They have similar features and capabilities, but some important differences can make one better suited for your specific workload than the other. The major difference is in their cache sizes. The WD Red has a 64 MB cache, while the Seagate IronWolf has a 128 MB cache.

A larger cache can be helpful when working with large files or dealing with a lot of small files at once. It can also lead to faster data transfer speeds.

However, it’s worth noting that the additional cost of the Seagate IronWolf may not be worth it for those who don’t need the extra cache size. In terms of reliability, both drives are top performers.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...