Western Digital converts Green hard drives to Blue in branding makeover

By Scorpus
Oct 29, 2015
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  1. Western Digital has given their hard drive line-up a makeover, with the company rebranding all Green drives to Blue drives in an effort to make it "easier for customers to choose the right drive for their PC."

    Under the new branding scheme, Western Digital goes from having four main consumer hard drive lines to just three: Blue, for entry-level drives; Red, for NAS systems and long-term reliability; and Black, for ultimate performance from a spinning disk drive.

    However, by merging the Green and Blue lines, Western Digital has made their line-up more confusing for people wanting an entry-level drive. Previously, all Green hard drives featured 5,400 RPM-class performance, while Blue drives featured 7,200 RPM-class platters, making it easy to choose between energy efficiency (Green) or performance on a budget (Blue).

    With the new line-up, you'll have to look closer at model numbers to determine whether you're getting a 5,400 or 7,200 RPM hard drive. Western Digital suggests that the best way to do so is look at the last letter in the model number: if it's "X", you're getting a 7,200 RPM drive; but if it's "Z", it's going to be 5,400 RPM.

    The branding changes have already come in to effect at most retailers around the globe, so make sure you look at the model number when purchasing a Blue drive to ensure you're getting the performance you're after.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Guru Posts: 365   +81

    This is a stupid change. WD Greens were cheap, reliable storage; something you used when you didn't need any real performance in a drive. Now I have to look through WD Blues to find a Green drive.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  3. Randomthom

    Randomthom TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +16

    In what way is this simpler? Obvious colour vs single letter designation...
    ikesmasher likes this.
  4. Neojt

    Neojt TS Booster Posts: 165   +22

    Well for the color blind customers green was most likely an issue, a lette is much more simple [/end sarcasm]
    ikesmasher likes this.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,526   +830

    Yea this just complicates it more...
  6. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +494

    Step in the wrong direction, now you'll have to locate the greens among the blues because western doesn't want to use green ink anymore... Was the series suffering due to an "eco" vibe? 75% of my drives are WD Greens and only recently have a couple failed on me, Raw Read Error rates, so no data loss occurred fortunately. But hey, they still have 10 different levels of RE drives and Purple drives...
  7. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,828   +880

    So let's break this down. So someone first thought that this was a good idea and submitted it to their higher up, who also thought it was a good idea. It then went on to marketing where enough people thought it was also a good idea to pass it on to the board of directors. The board then thought it was a good enough idea to bring this idea to market.

    What an incompetent group of people. Green was suppose to be their low power eco drive. Please, someone, tell me how this new naming scheme helps anyone
  8. crocography

    crocography TS Member

    What an *****ically confusing thing to do... how is looking for an X or Z at the end of the model number easier? Their previous 4 categories was so smart and simple.
  9. Eric L

    Eric L TS Rookie

    Its easy, search for WD blue 2 TB drive on a web site, you probably going to end up with 2 prices, the cheaper is mostly the green ;)
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,339   +1,938

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. How can you not know the difference between X & Z unless you're dyslexic and the spindle speed is bound to feature somewhere where it's obvious.
  11. Primey

    Primey TS Rookie

    That's a terrible change.
  12. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,111   +1,377

    They must have hired a new designer who is hard at trying to prove his usefulness.
  13. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 240   +58

    I noticed on NewEgg the new Blue drives with the new label, listed on one page with tabs for the different capacities. When clicking on the various sizes, only the 1TB and smaller sizes are 7200 rpm, all the larger sizes (2TB - 6TB) are 5400 rpm with the "Z" model number. So if you want a performance drive in those capacities, apparently you now must spring for the Black series drives (which seem to be dropping in price at least). So anyone wanting the cheaper 5400 rpm drives can now just buy Blues in those capacities. This is definitely a marketing ploy, as many people will assume the Blues are all still 7200 rpm drives...
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  14. dcole001

    dcole001 TS Rookie

    Sure hope those drives still don't have the Green Function. With NAS Devices those drives go to sleep and can't wake up in a NAS Device...
  15. Revolution 11

    Revolution 11 TS Enthusiast Posts: 40

    Silly antics by Western Digital. The execs should get their heads out of the sand before cheaper SSDs devastate their margins.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Why would cheaper SSDs be relevant to the topic of color coding HDDs?
  17. GirlDownunder

    GirlDownunder TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +15

    "Green" denoted "energy-saver" which was noted by the leaf icon- made perfect sense. Black being fastest sort of reminded me of "black diamond" ski trails- for the fastest skiers, so kind of made sense. Blue? Whatever- but left in place, it was fine.

    I think what WD is doing is what M$ does- change something when you can't innovate. More marketing B.S...sort of like when WD sold their green drives as NAS-- then decided they'd alter them somewhat so that they could then bring out the "Reds" & charge more for them. Just a bunch of shifty-grifters, if you ask me.
  18. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 240   +58

    Yeah, imagine the nerve of those guys, trying to make more money! They should stop that!
  19. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    Yeah, how dare anyone question a blatant attempt to cheat consumers!
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    @yRaz I touched that up a bit for ya! Hope you don't mind...:)
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  21. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 797   +217

    The drives say green and blue on them, color blind does not mean they can't read the word green or blue.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  22. GirlDownunder

    GirlDownunder TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +15

    You make more money by innovating or by finding a way to make your product cheaper or you streamline the process-- that's innovating & the reward is profit. But to re-work a product to cobble it, in order to simply release it again as a different color at an increased price is shifty-grifter-time.
  23. Digiguy

    Digiguy TS Rookie

    This sounds more like a takeover than a makeover.
    If the object was to make things easier why not change the Red ones to Purple or change them all to BLACK for that matter since Black ink must be cheaper.
    Having both GREEN and BLUE ones I can testify to the substantial performance difference which varies from 3 to 5 times the reading speed and 2 to 3 times the writing speed.
    Whomever thought power issues were of any consequence in regards to data use should be exterminated.
    By in effect removing the only brand of performing affordable HDDs from the market and replacing them with what now appears equally expensive crappy ones the consumer gets screwed again.
    Why am I not hearing screams throughout my street?.
    Here is my suggestion, Buy as much BLUE ones as you can, don't bother checking for X, Z or Y for that matter, and send them back when they turn out to be rebranded GREEN ones. Sooner or later their vendors will make it clear to Western Digital that consumors will not stand for this kind of organized crime practices.

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