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Home » WD Purple vs WD Black: Which Hard Drives are Better?

WD Purple vs WD Black: Which Hard Drives are Better?

WD Purple vs WD Black

Our PCs handle a huge amount of workload and process tons of data. Recently, we have turned to the digital world more than ever and you might have noticed the additional strain on your electronic devices. From streaming to gaming, security to memories, it’s common to need an internal hard drive to boost performance. Western Digital is known for its reliable storage solutions. We are going to look at two, in particular, the WD Purple vs WD Black.

We will consider all of their features, speed, and value for money. After including a comparison chart and some pros and cons, we will decide which is the best internal hard drive.

We will begin with what the WD Purple and the WD Black have in common.

WD Purple vs WD Black – Similarities

Hard Drive Type

The WD Purple and the WD Black are both SATA 6.0GB/s internal hard drives with a form factor of 3.5 inches. Although there are different storage capacities, we are going to focus on the 4TB.


Despite one being purple and the other being black, they are practically identical and not enough of a difference to influence the decision. The WD Purple is 5.70 x 4 x 1.03 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds. The WD Black is the same size but weighs 1.66 pounds.


You can use the WD Purple and the WD Black with PCs. If you have a Mac, they are still compatible, but you will need to reformat them.

Side by Side Comparison

Below we have all of the specifications sides by side.


WD Purple

WD Black

ImageWD PurpleWD Black 2TB
Size5.79 x 4 x 1.03 inches5.79 x 4 x 1.03 inches
Storage Capacity4TB4TB
Other Capacities500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB
Form Factor3.5 inches3.5 inches
CompatibilityWindows and Mac with reformattingWindows and Mac with reformatting
UsesSurveillance- up to 64 cameras, up to 8 bays, home or small businessesPC enthusiasts, gaming, system builders
TechnologyAllFrame 4KStableTrac and Acronis True Image WD Edition
Cache64MBX2 DRAM 256MB
Revolutions per minute5,400RPM7,200RPM
Transfer RateUp to 150MB/sUp to 256MB/s
SATA 6.0 GB/sYesYes
MTBF1.5 million hoursNot stated
Workload180TB/yearNot stated
Warranty3-year limited warranty5-year limited warranty

Differences Between WD Purple and WD Black 

Those are the only similarities, so we will now move on to how the WD Purple and the WD Black differ.

Other Storage Capacities

These internal hard drives can be found in a range of capacities from 500GB to 10TB.

Western Digital 6TB WD Black

WD Purple

Apart from the 4TB, you can choose from 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 6TB, 8TB and 10TB.

WD Black

You have one less option here. You can buy all of the same capacities with the exception of the 3TB.

The Winner Is- The WD Purple

Read next – Best Hard Drives for Xbox 360 [Reviews & Guides 2021.]

Ideal Uses

For some, the decision will be easy depending on the intended use of the internal hard drive.

WD Black Comparison

WD Purple

This is a surveillance hard drive. It has been designed to work 24/7 to ensure that your security system is constantly running at peak performance. It supports up to 8 bays and 64 cameras and is ideal for homes and small businesses.

WD Black

This is a great choice for PC enthusiasts, professional digital editors, system builders and gamers.

The Winner Is- A Tie

Read next – WD Red vs WD Purple: Which Hard Drives are Better?


Because of the specific uses, the hard drives have different technology.

WD Purple Comparison

WD Purple

All of the WD Purple hard drives have AllFrame 4k technology. This helps to improve the quality of video playback and reduce frame loss. This makes them ideal for more bays and NVR systems.

WD Black

StableTrac and Dynamic Cache technology improves the reliability of the hard drive. Acronis True Image enables you to backup all of your data.

The Winner Is- A Tie

Read next – WD Red vs WD Black: Which Hard Drive is Better?


We considered the cache size and the revolutions per minute to determine which hard drive was faster.

Western digital purple

WD Purple

The cache is 64MB and the RPM is 5,400, both are average ratings for an internal hard drive. Transfer speeds are up to 150MB/s.

WD Black

You will notice a difference in speed with a 2 DRAM 256MB cache and 7,200RPM. The transfer speeds are up to 256MB/s.

The Winner Is- The WD Black

Read next – WD Blue vs WD Black: Which Hard Drives are Better?


We are lacking product information, which is a shame.

WD Purple review

WD Purple

It can handle up to 180TB per year and has a mean time before failure (MTBF) of 1.5 million hours.

WD Black

There is no product information about the workload.

The Winner Is- The WD Purple

Read next – WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk: Which Internal Hard Drives are Better?

Value for Money

For the quality of the internal hard drives, both are excellent value for money.

WD Black Review

WD Purple

It’s cheaper but the warranty is a little shorter. Still, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

WD Black

You might be able to find different offers but it’s about $50 more expensive. The warranty here is 5-years limited.

The Winner Is- A Tie

Read next – WD Gold vs WD Black: Which Hard Drives are Better?

Pros and Cons

Before our final verdict, here are some pros and cons of the WD Purple and the WD Black.

WD Purple


  • There is no overheating
  • It runs quietly
  • It is easy to install


  • There have been a few problems with reliability

WD Black


  • It’s fast with transfer speeds as advertised
  • You can use it with a USB 3.0 docking station
  • Excellent reliability


  • It can be noisy

The Final Verdict

If you are looking for an internal hard drive for your surveillance system, the WD Purple is the way to go. It’s not designed for speed; it’s designed for 24-hour use. If you are looking for an internal hard drive for general use, we felt the WD Black was far superior. You have a good range of storage capacities and all are easy to install and use. The transfer speeds were excellent, which makes it ideal for the transfer of larger files. Although it is more expensive, the increased performance was worth it. Plus, the longer warranty is a sign that Western Digital stands by the longevity of the hard drive.