Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

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cdxp01
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Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

Post by cdxp01 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:39 pm

Basically dont.

I had a drive fail on my 4 Drive QNAP TS-451+ WD60EFRX (Marketed as WD NAS Red 6TB 5400)

The local distributor did not have WD60EFRX available and offered me a RED WD60EFAX at the same price which was supposed to be the same, newer, but a bit better - more cache. The logic was it wont be any better in your NAS but it wont be any worse.

Based on the weekly Qnap NAS performance test
----------------------- WD60EFAX (1)----WD60EFRX (3)
Sequential Read:-------89 MB/s----------153,154, 161 MB/s
IOPS Read:---------------110--------------- 91, 94, 94

Turns out while both are offered as RED drives the EFRX is native Western Digital, EFAX is a drive technology acquired as part of Western Digital integration of Hitachi Global Storage and built in a different factory and probably has many other differences than just cache.

It is what it is but just a warning that while the "Red"branding may be the same, the drives arent.
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P3R
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Re: Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

Post by P3R » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:49 pm

cdxp01 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:39 pm
Basically dont.
I understand that you're disappointed but now that you don't recommend using WD60EFAX, what's the better alternative for replacement when WD60EFRX are unavailable?

As WD Red is the only 5400 rpm disk on the market it isn't the best choice if high performance is expected to begin with. They are mainly bought for being NAS compatible, not using a lot of power, running cool, running silent and being relatively low cost. All available alternatives on the market are 7200 rpm so most likely make more noise, run hotter and use more power but are generally faster.

It appear that the WD60EFAX have very inconsistent performance, and you probably are one of the more unlucky customers in that lottery. :cry:

WD60EFRX for reference, they're much more consistent but with a slightly slower average.

I assume that you use some kind of RAID and while the WD60EFAX will slow your RAID down, it's still the gigabit networking that's the bottleneck in your TS-451+ so you shouldn't be noticing any performance difference from your client devices. I hope that can cheer you up a little. :wink:
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

cdxp01
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Re: Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

Post by cdxp01 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:33 pm

I'm using Raid 5 I'm a little under half full at about 8TB and get about 75MB/s read 55MB/s write on a video file copy which is well under the theoretical throughput (125MB/s) of Gigabit Ethernet.
Performance is dropping as the disks fill up which would suggest it is a disk bottleneck problem however full disclosure i havent eliminated all the network components yet - I'd started with the QNAP internal performance test and that was a surprise .
I'm only using it for home media serving so its not a real problem but its a bit annoying to see such significant differences in performance in a product carrying the same branding. I had a lot of problems with HItachi drives back in the day and had i known i wouldnt have bought it.

The thing i'm pointing out is the characteristics of the EFAX and EFRX seem to be very different - at least in a in a QNAP NAS and you probably shouldnt mix them if you can avoid it.
If anyone has a system with 4 EFRX drives i'd be interested to know the read/ write performance - sadly i dont have a before and after.

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Re: Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

Post by P3R » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:59 am

cdxp01 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:33 pm
I'm using Raid 5 I'm a little under half full at about 8TB and get about 75MB/s read 55MB/s write on a video file copy...
If you see that when copying a single large file I'd tend to think that it indicate another bottleneck (either in the NAS, in the network or in the client used). I can't understand that a RAID 5 could become that bad from that single disk alone. Even if all disks in the RAID 5 are slowed down the striping advantage should still keep aggregate RAID performance higher than that I think, at the very least on reads.
I had a lot of problems with HItachi drives back in the day and had i known i wouldnt have bought it.
If you had "DeathStars" I understand but wasn't that IBM technology that Hitachi aquired?

Hitachi/HGST are mostly known for both excellent reliability and good performance and many of us found it sad that WD killed the brand but think it's reassuring that the technology is reused in WD products. If it's true that the newer 6 TB WD Red are also HGST inside, then obviously that specific low power technology isn't the best. Though I can't remember hearing anything bad at all about the HGST low power products when they had those. My 10 year old DeskStars are still doing service today along with some 9 year old UltraStars in my main Qnap unit and the performance is decent considering their age. Those very old disks are actually much better than your WD60EFAX (120-140MB/s). Considering the extreme performance difference you see, have you looked at the detailed SMART data? Maybe you can spot an issue there? SMART ID #199 for instance...

Even if you can't find anything suspicious why not try to claim warranty on the disk? Since it's so significantly worse than the older model I would claim it's unacceptably slow, which indicate WD have a QA problem. If you're lucky you could get a sample that's better.
The thing i'm pointing out is the characteristics of the EFAX and EFRX seem to be very different - at least in a in a QNAP NAS and you probably shouldnt mix them if you can avoid it.
Yes I know and I agree that it's preferable to run the same model/firmware versions together if possible but the problem is normally that we end up in the same situation as you, the older model is unavailable. Then it's very hard (or even impossible) to find a better alternative than EFAX, if you like the characteristics I mentioned previously that the Reds are known for.
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

Ron1963
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Re: Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

Post by Ron1963 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:37 pm

cdxp01 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:39 pm
It is what it is but just a warning that while the "Red"branding may be the same, the drives arent.
They really aren't, see viewtopic.php?f=45&t=154346 What a scam.
1x TS431, 1x TS251, 1x TS253

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Re: Mixed Red WD60EFAX WD60EFRX drives TS451+

Post by P3R » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:49 am

Ron1963 wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:37 pm
They really aren't, see viewtopic.php?f=45&t=154346 What a scam.
Well that explain the slowness and inconsistency. :cry:

As I said to the OP earlier, make a warranty claim pointing out that the performance is unacceptable compared to the previous version. :evil:
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

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