Western Digital's Colorful Drive Labels

If you have shopped for hard drives lately, you may have noticed that Western Digital has a range of color-coded drives. What's that all about? Is it just a marketing thing?

Well, sure it's a marketing thing - but it also does indicate that some drives are engineered to work better in some environments. So in that sense, it should be helpful in a general way if you are trying to match a type of hard drive with a specific application.

There are typically several drive models and capacities within a given color designation.

BLUE - these are "everything" drives; general purpose devices that should work well in most settings.

GREEN - similar to BLUE, but more efficient/slower (largely phased out).

BLACK - higher performance drives, for those who need or demand it.

RED and RED PRO - drives aimed at NAS/RAID users, typically large capacity and high reliability.

PURPLE - "Surveillance" drives, aimed at that kind of hardware (storing data long term, in less than ideal conditions).

GOLD - these are Enterprise-class drives, used in high-end, mission-critical situations.

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