Western Digital has begun to ship its WD Gold HDD with 12 TB capacity to partners and large retailers. The 3.5” drive relies on the same platform as the HGST Ultrastar He12 launched this year, and will initially be available to select customers of the company. The WD Gold 12 TB is designed for enterprise workloads and has all the performance and reliability enhancements that we come to expect, but the availability at retail should make them accessible to wider audiences.  

From a hardware point of view, the WD Gold 12 TB is similar to the HGST Ultrastar He12 12 TB hard drive: both are based on the fourth-generation HelioSeal technology that uses eight perpendicular magnetic recording platters with a 1.5 TB capacity for each platter. The internal architecture of both HDDs was redesigned compared to predecessors to accommodate the eighth platter. Since the WD Gold and the Ultrastar He12 are aimed at nearline enterprise environments, they are equipped with various sensors and technologies to protect themselves against vibration and as a result, guarantee sustained performance. For example, the WD Gold and the Ultrastar He12 attach their spindles both to the top and the bottom of the drives. In addition the HDDs feature a special technology that increases the accuracy of head positioning in high-vibration environments to improve performance, integrity, and reliability. Finally, both product families support TLER (time-limited error recovery) rebuild assist mode to speed up RAID recovery time.

Since the WD Gold 12 TB and the HGST Ultrastar He12 are similar internally and feature the same 7200 RPM spindle speed, they also have similar performance — the manufacturer puts them both at 255 MB/s sustained transfer rate and 4.16 ms average latency. The main difference between the WD Gold and the HGST Ultrastar He12 are the enterprise options for the latter: there are models with the SAS 12 Gb/s interface and there are models with SED support and Instant Secure Erase feature.

Comparison of Western Digital's WD Gold HDDs
Capacity 12 TB 10 TB 8 TB 6 TB 4 TB
RPM 7200 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
DRAM Cache   256 MB 128 MB
NAND Cache   Unknown No Yes Unknown
Helium-Filling   Yes No
Data Transfer Rate (host to/from drive) 255 MB/s 249 MB/s 205 MB/s 226 MB/s 201 MB/s
MTBF 2.5 million
Rated Annual Workload 550 TB
Acoustics (Seek)   - 36 dBA
Power Consumption Sequential read 7 W 7.1 W 7.2 W 9.3 W 9 W
Sequential write 6.8 W 6.7 W 7 W 8.9 W 8.7 W
Random read/write 6.9 W 6.8 W 7.4 W 9.1 W 8.8 W
Idle 5 W 5.1 W 7.1 W 7 W
Warranty 5 Years
Price as of September 9, 2017 MSRP $521.99 $410.99 $327.99 $244.99 $183.99
Per GB $0.0435 $0.0411 $0.041 $0.0408 $0.046
GB per $ 22.98 GB 24.33 GB 24.39 GB 24.48 GB 21.73 GB

Western Digital aims its WD Gold and HGST Ultrastar He-series drives at operators of cloud and exascale data centers that demand maximum capacity. The 12 TB HDDs can increase the total storage capacity for a single rack from 2440 TB to 2880 TB, replacing 10 TB drives with 12 TB drives, which can be a major benefit for companies that need to maximize their storage capacity per watt and per square meter. Where the HGST-branded drives are made available primarily through B2B channels, the WD Gold are sold both through B2B and B2C channels and thus can be purchased by wider audiences. For example, boutique PC makers, as well as DIY enthusiasts, may start using the WD Gold 12 TB for their high-end builds, something they could not do with the HGST drives. These HDDs may be considered as an overkill for desktops, but since WD’s desktop offerings top at 6 TB, the WD Gold (and the perhaps inevitable future WD Red Pro 12 TB) is the WD’s closest rival for Seagate’s BarraCuda Pro drives.

The WD Gold HDD is currently available directly from Western Digital for $521.99 as well as from multiple retailers, including Newegg for $539.99. While over $500 for a hard drive is expensive, it is actually less than Western Digital charged for its WD Gold 8 TB about 1.5 years ago ($595) and considerably less than the initial price of the WD Gold 10 TB drive last April.

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Source: Western Digital

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  • Samus - Monday, September 18, 2017 - link

    ZFS is awesome. What Storage Spaces should have been all along. But of course Microsoft fucked it up.
  • Reflex - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - link

    "I never ever order HDDs online and wait for shipment to my door, I go straight to the warehouse of the primary importer and buy from there."

    No, no you don't. The vast majority of 'primary importers' are not permitted to sell direct. You were doing fine when you explained why you prefer ZFS (I'm more mixed on that position but meh), and I ignored the usual stupidity about ECC and your imagined benefit, but once again you had to suddenly make yourself into a self-imagined tech god with your supposed connections to 'primary importers' whatever that statement actually means.

    Tone it down a notch or twelve and people wouldn't mock you quite so much.
  • ddriver - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - link

    Yes they do, just not to nobodies like you. Not only am I able to buy directly, but I enjoy 10% discount as a valued big volume customer. Also skipping door delivery when shopping HDDs has a huge effect, it reduces DOA, early and late failures by orders of magnitude.

    ZFS without ECC? Sure thing genius, if you like data corruption and feel like losing entire pools. Most prebuilt and barebone NAS boxes come with ECC as well, which is the very reason intel made low end products which support ECC. ECC is mandatory if your data matters, be that NAS, server or workstation. Just because your data doesn't, it doesn't mean everyone's data doesn't.

    Also, you seem to confuse "people" with "buthurt losers like you who got repeatedly called on their BS and pwned" ;) It only goes to show how clueless you are, assuming such groundless and pathetic intimidation techniques as "people mocking" would work on me. And to show you how friendly and caring I am, I will give you an advice - your current approach will never do anything for that inferiority complex of yours. Put more effort in improving yourself rather than cultivating denial for the achievements of others.
  • Hurr Durr - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - link

    You protest too much, hehehe.
  • damianrobertjones - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - link

    There's a life out there, waiting, just for you... .
  • LordSojar - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - link

    I dare say... big volume customer? Highly. Unlikely. But alrighty then...
  • Reflex - Monday, September 18, 2017 - link

    He didn't define what 'primary importer' means. The channel has many layers, and there are authorized and grey market sellers. If primary importer means whoever ships the drives to the dock, then no he isn't buying from them directly since they do not sell directly regardless of volume. They have established clients who are the first stage distributers. You *can* get a direct deal with that layer, but its difficult and you need volume equivalent to Newegg or Amazon to get a deal there. Even the US government does not buy 'directly', the closest they would get would be someone like Ingram Micro.
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, September 18, 2017 - link

    There's your answer then. ddriver is obviously a dock worker and makes "purchases" directly from the insides of shipping containers that accidentally break open during unloading. :)
  • Reflex - Monday, September 18, 2017 - link

    There is also the fact that buying from the factory vs home delivery really has no impact on reliability rates. Modern HDD's park the heads in a stable/secure way when powered off and have since the early 00's. You can toss around a powered off drive in reasonable packing all you want and are unlikely to damage it.
  • Reflex - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - link

    Cool story bro.

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