SPECworkstation 3.0.2 Storage Benchmark
SPECworstation benchmark is an excellent benchmark to test systems using workstation type workloads. In this test, we only ran the Storage component, which is 15 separate tests.
The WD Red SA500 1TB does not do particularly well in this test, except for the Life Sciences category where it manages a win over a handful of other drives.
We monitored the idle and maximum temperature during testing with HWMonitor to get some idea of the thermal performance and requirements of the drive. Please keep in mind that our test bench is an open frame chassis in a 22C room, and is thus not representative of a cramped low-airflow case.
As we suspected earlier, the SATA nature of the drive prevents both the NAND and controller from stressing out too much, leading to lower temperatures. 58C under sustained load is downright chilly compared to some other drives we have tested.
The WD Red SA500 1TB is available for approximately $130 online, and theoretically competes with the Synology SAT5200-960G and Seagate Ironwolf 110 960GB drives for placement in NAS systems. However, those drives are significantly more expensive and have a much more enterprise-focused feature set, since they come with significant over-provisioning and power loss protection, both of which the SA500 1TB lacks. With that said, the Synology and Seagate drives are significantly more expensive than the WD Red drive, so an argument could be made for cost savings.
Overall, the WD Red SA500 1TB drive strikes an odd impression; it does not feel much like a NAS focused SSD. Instead, it seems more like a standard consumer SSD that has just been given a coat of Red paint. Compared to the more purpose-designed choices of the Synology SAT5200 and Seagate Ironwolf 110 drives, the WD Red SA500 seems quite pedestrian. It is much less expensive, but just as we said in the SA5200 review – you get what you pay for. Given the feature set delta, we feel this is similar to how WD Red was found to use SMR and forced WD to introduce the Red Plus. The Seagate and Synology drives feel like premium offerings while the WD Red brand is being pushed down market with lower-end features than its competitors.
If you need low-cost SSD drives for your NAS and do not require the enterprise features of more expensive drives, then perhaps the WD Red SA500 is a solid option.