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Western Digital (WD) Gold 12TB Hard Drive Review

Rating: 8.5.

Western Digital’s Gold range of hard drives have been designed to service nearline enterprise environments and as such they have a range of sensors and technologies onboard to help them maintain peak performance in such environments. The latest Gold model launched has a 12TB capacity and is the new flagship drive for the range.

The 12TB Gold uses WD’s 4th generation HelioSeal helium technology allowing eight 1.5TB platters and 16 heads to be built into an enclosure that is 26.1 mm high. Like all the Gold range it has a spin speed of 7,200rpm and comes with a 256MB cache. The 12TB drive currently sits at the top of range of seven drives starting at 1TB. The smaller capacity drives (1, 2, 4 and 6TB) have 128MB caches while the 8TB and 10TB models have 256MB of cache.

Quoted peak transfer rate for the drive is 255MB/s and WD claim a 550TB a year work load.

WD back the Gold range of drives with a 5 year warranty.

Physical Specifications:
Usable Capacities: 12TB
Spindle Speed: 7,200rpm
No. Of Heads: 16
No. Of Platters: 8
Cache: 256MB
Recording Method: Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR)
Interface: Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/s (SATA III)
Form Factor: 3.5in
Dimensions: 147 x 101.6 x 26.1mm
Drive Weight: 660g

Firmware Version: 01.01H01

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  • Richard Powell

    550MB a year work load.! i hope they mean TB

  • blackperl

    256GB cache ?

  • Giannhs Jdm Nanas


  • Per Wigren

    What about noise levels and temperatures? For home NAS usage, those are very relevant parameters when choosing HDDs.

  • Mischko

    It is never mentioned. Many people want to know, but every time they seem to “forget” that, or answer any questions about it. Definitely much more important than 240 or 260MBs throughput..

  • >savt

    “WD claim a 550MB a year work load.” This doesn’t look right

  • Timothy Atwood

    I know – if 550MB per year, it would take you the entire lifetime to fill up the drive 😉

    It IS 550TB

    Real specs:

    Designed with a workload rating up to 550TB per year

    Up to 2.5M hours MTBF with a 5 year limited warranty

    4th generation HelioSeal technology (12TB)

    RAFF technology for vibration protection

    RAID-specific time-limited error recovery (TLER)

    Was going to buy seagate, but found these beauties at a great price so going in for 4 initially 🙂

  • Timothy Atwood

    Same spam bots on all the tech sites. I doubt “Cheryl” could earn that much in one month unless it was through illicit means.

  • JacktheSleeper

    550TB per year doesn’t sound much. That’s like 45TB per month, 11TB per week, 1,63 TB per day. How is this a high workload?

  • Timothy Atwood

    Compared to ssd drives it is a lot. Compared to seagate enterprise drives they are about the same. Barracudas are at 300TB year. I have done more than the specced workloads without any issues. Typical use even in enterprise is not that high unless you are writing TB data daily such as telecommunications companies do. This only recently appeared as part of hard drive specs. You can clearly exceed the workload but if the drive dies prematurely I bet they try to get out of warranty replacement. But having worked telecom, we constantly replaced hard drives due to heavy workloads back in the early 2000s.