News

WD today announced the expansion of its award-winning WD Red line of SATA hard drives for home and small office NAS (network attached storage) systems with the release of a 5 TB and first-to-market 6 TB capacity for NAS-specific storage and the introduction of WD Red Pro hard drives that address the medium to large business NAS market. Compatibility-tested with top NAS system manufacturers and optimised for power and performance, WD Red 3.5-inch hard drives are now shipping in 1 TB to 6 TB capacities; and the new WD Red Pro 3.5-inch hard drives are available in 2 TB to 4 TB capacities.

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WD Red

A storage industry innovation first introduced in 2012, WD Red hard drives address the unique environment of NAS and the growing demand for affordable, reliable and compatible storage that reduces customer total cost of ownership. With the release of 5 TB and 6 TB models, the WD Red line of hard drives is now further enriched with greater storage capacity and increased performance with WD NASware 3.0, an enhanced version of WD’s original NASware technology, designed to improve reliability and system performance, reduce customer downtime and to simplify the integration process.

WD Red hard drives also feature 3D Active Balance Plus, an enhanced balance control technology, which significantly improves overall drive performance and reliability. Exclusive for WD Red customers, WD offers free premium 24×7 dedicated support.

By increasing NASware 3.0 capability, the WD Red 1–6 TB capacity drives are capable of supporting up to eight bays NAS systems with no negative impact to performance.

WD Red Pro

Ideal for medium to large business environments, the new WD Red Pro line of NAS hard drives supports eight to 16 bay NAS systems. The enhanced design offers reliable, high performance storage powered by WD NASware 3.0. By introducing the WD Red Pro, WD now has a full portfolio NAS storage solution with the WD Red family (WD Red and WD Red Pro) for both consumer and business NAS solutions.

WD Red family of hard drives will integrate seamlessly with WD NAS solutions and are qualified to work with a wide array of WD OEM NAS partners. An updated list of WD Red-qualified products and manufacturers is available on the WD website at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810.

WD Green

The WD Green line of cool, quiet and eco-friendly hard drives will also be seeing capacity expansion in the near future with soon to be announced 5 TB and 6 TB additions for high capacity consumer storage.

Availability and Pricing

Available now at select U.S. retailers and online at www.wdstore.com, WD Red and WD Red Pro have three- and five-year limited worldwide warranties, respectively. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for WD Red 5 TB (model #: WD50EFRX) is £199.00, and £240.00 for 6 TB (model #: WD60EFRX). Pricing for WD Red Pro 2 TB (model #: WD2001FFSX) is £124.00, £149.00 for 3 TB (model #: WD3001FFSX) and £199.00 for 4 TB (model #: WD4001FFSX). More information about WD Red hard drives including terms of the limited warranty may be found on the company website at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810.

With storage requirements becoming bigger and bigger all the time, WD have released a new 6 TB drive in their Red NAS range, and here is our review.

~Jeff~Chillifish~Customers~Western Digital UK~EVENTS~2014~WD Red~WDRed_CoverOn_FrontHigh_WD60EFRX_HiRes

WD Red hard drives also feature 3D Active Balance Plus, an enhanced balance control technology, which significantly improves overall drive performance and reliability. Exclusive for WD Red customers, WD offers free premium 24×7 dedicated support. By increasing NASware 3.0 capability, the WD Red 1–6 TB capacity drives are capable of supporting up to eight bays NAS systems with no negative impact to performance. The drives have a 3.5 Inch, 1.2TB / Disk; 5-Platter Design.

Who are WD?

From their website:

We are thousands of people worldwide working to enable you to store, collect, access, and use a vast and growing body of digital information. Our reliable hard drives and solid state drives, marketed under the WD and HGST brands, are everywhere that digital information and content is found: in the cloud, supporting your mobile digital lifestyle; in business and personal computers; in external storage devices; in the digital video recorder in your home; and in sophisticated medical, military, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and telecommunications systems. We also make media players that enable you to enjoy your digital content on the biggest screen in your house – your TV. Our customers range from some of the largest companies in the world to individual users like you.

Specifications

Specs

A Closer Look at the Drive

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Windows sees the drive as 5.45 TB.

CDW Review WD 6.0TB Red Drive - 3

Performance Tests

CrystalDiskMark

The average read speed was 177.8 MB/s and the average write speed was 172.6 MB/s (which is up on last years 4 TB Red Drive).

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Final Thoughts

The WD Red drive comes in a variety of sizes from 750 GB all the way up to the new 6 TB version we are reviewing here.

This is one of the first 6 TB drives on the market so if you need a lot of storage, and a good speed, and you plan on using the drive in your NAS then you really should look at this drive closely.

Also, this drive comes with a 3 year warranty. Now this may not seem like a major selling point to some people but believe me over the years I have had my fair share of failed drives and so it’s nice to know that anytime during that 3 year period WD will replace my drive if I have a problem – after all, you are spending a lot of money on it!

Every WD Red hard drive also comes with professional support services which includes a premium dedicated 24/7 support line. I didn’t need to use them during the course of this review, but having that option there if you need it is very good.

The performance of the drive is very good – especially as these drives are optimised and designed for use in a NAS, so if you want a reliable, good performing storage drive for your NAS then this will be right up your alley.

The WD website also has a NAS Compatibility Selector which enables you to check if these drives are compatible with your NAS – it’s certainly worth checking, although you will find all the usual suspects are supported.

The retail price for the 6 TB drive (WD60EFRX) is around £240 but as usual look around for a good deal.

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Learn more from the WD website.

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Marvel Studios have released a two new clips for “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

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From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Chris Pratt is Peter Quill Clip:

My Name is Peter Quill Clip:

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan,Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael Nand Benicio del Toro as The Collector.

James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn, with screenplay by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” releases in UK cinemas on July 31, 2014.

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Paramount Pictures UK and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures are proud to uncage a brand new featurette (Armed For battle) for HERCULES starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Brett Ratner.

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Here it is:

Are you going to see Hercules? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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To celebrate the release of the highly anticipated strategic shooter Sniper Elite 3, we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of the game on PS4, along with a PS4 headset by Giotek, and a runner up a copy on the Xbox One – and here are the winners!

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Observe.  Plan.  Execute. Adapt… Sniper Elite 3 is out now on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 from 505 Games.

Check out our review of Sniper Elite 3 here.

The Winners

So the first prize of Sniper Elite 3 on the PS4 along with a PS4 headset by Giotek goes to:

Jane Chadwick

The runners up prise of Sniper Elite 3 on the Xbox One goes to:

Lee Hardy

In addition, Gioteck are offering 50% off their AX1-R headset for PS4 (also works with Xbox One with the additional Microsoft Stereo Headset Adapter) via Gamers Outlet http://tinyurl.com/osmb2p2- just enter the code SNIPER50 on the check-out screen (valid from the 1st of July to 22nd July).

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To celebrate the launch of Under the Skin on DVD and Blu-Ray, we gave you the chance win the DVD and a copy of the soundtrack – and here are the winners.

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Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth), UNDER THE SKIN features an absolutely mesmerising performance from Scarlett Johansson (Her, Don Jon) as a seductive alien preying upon hitchhikers in Scotland.

Adapted from Michael Faber’s novel of the same name, UNDER THE SKIN has undergone a decade-long transition from page to screen, with performances heightened in the finished film by Glazer’s singular decision to shoot many of Johansson’s scenes as unscripted conversations with non-actors, using hidden cameras.

The Winners

Alex Boone

David Winter

Sammy Sellick

Under the Skin is available on digital platforms on July 7th and on Blu-ray & DVD on 14th July, 2014.

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I can honestly say I’ve been clapping for some time now since completing the final episode of The Wolf Among Us ‘Cry Wolf’. I rarely feel compelled to clapping after films and video games. I must be thoroughly entertained, brought to some kind of tears and/or left wanting more in whatever type of ending I’m left with. I’ll put my hands up now and admit that Episode 5 did this and gave me the same closure to the story, content with my decisions throughout and the emotional rollercoaster ride that their previous game The Walking Dead ended on too. Anyone that has read my previous reviews for these episodes will remember that every episode has got progressively better. More detective elements balanced with Bigby’s quick time events in the wolf action sequences has made each episode progressively better. And to top it off, Cry Wolf takes everything that worked well and ends on an incredible climax.

For anyone that still hasn’t played through the game I’d recommend you to overt your eyes and pick up the season pass as soon as possible. For everyone else that has you’ll be glad to know that Bigby’s tale of uncovering the mysteries behind the deaths in Fabletown and the corruption behind the key characters actually ties together nicely and all questions answered, unlike in the TV show Lost. In the final scene from the previous episode Bigby finally comes across the infamous Crooked Man, instigator behind everything that went wrong and is the sole reason behind this investigation. What cleverly flips these accusations against said man is the reasoning behind such manipulation and exploiting throwing the player into their biggest morality trip ever. If someone instructs the murder of someone then are they innocent or just as bad as the killer themselves?

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From the opening scenes you’ll find yourself playing this season’s most heavily quick time event driven episode so far. Fighting for your life and chasing down the truth players will find the first half of Cry Wolf pretty much an extended action sequence. With less than a handful of choices deciding where you’d like to pursue first and very little differences in the outcome of the choices we discover who actually killed Faith and Lily before facing off with Bloody Mary, finally. With a lot more back story to hear from Georgie the pimp, his girl Vivian and their club Pudding N’ Pie we learn some disturbing truths and finally understand what exactly the magical neck ribbons actually do. And there’s me thinking it was just a magical fashion statement.

The second half of episode 5 is by far one of the best bits of writing I’ve experienced in a game. To set the scene, the Fabletown members including Snow and Bigby have an informal trial regarding The Crooked Man’s crimes. Getting to hear what he has to say countered by what you could possibly choose to say sways the ‘jury’ to who’s making the better point to defend their actions. You have The Crooked Man on one side explaining that this manipulations and exploiting characters such as Beauty and Beast was for a good cause to keep a roof over their heads. On the other side you have Bigby defending his own actions for hurting or killing characters, if that’s how you played, and with Snow over watching our choices does this make her just as bad as The Crooked Man for not being involved in the killings and just over watching it too? All the moral choices are played out in this amazing trial and depending which people you please there’s always going to have others that are upset with either your kindness or brutal decisions. I certainly learned a lot about myself as a human being during this scene. I’m diplomatic, allow everyone to have equal say to defend themselves and if there’s no evidence to clearly prosecute someone then I won’t treat them as bad, or I could have just cut off the heads of everyone that opposes me. The choice is really up to you.

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Everything from this trial onwards teases the fact that there could be more to come from detective Bigby Wolf. Not so much a cliffhanger but more to the point that Fabletown is a town that needs work to be cleansed still. We’ve learned that none of the characters are perfect, every choice has impacted characters such as Toad and his son not being able to live peacefully among the Mundies and sometimes you got to put the squeeze on someone to get an answer. But most importantly Cry Wolf questions at the end if we’ll go out of our way to help someone if there’s not an emotional reason to get involved. My mind was blown. Thank you Tell Tale.

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Never have we been more unified as a nation. The Capitol and the districts are bound together in solidarity, striving to forge a stronger future.

Snow

To commemorate this resolve, the Capitol mandates your viewing of President Snow’s Second Panem Address: “Unity.”

Admire your President’s official portrait and watch this latest address now at www.TheCapitol.PN, then voice your Capitol Concerns to further improve communication throughout this great nation.

Brought to you by Capitol TV in stunning 4K

Panem today, Panem tomorrow, Panem forever.

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To celebrate the launch of Under the Skin on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, we have another great giveaway for you – this time you can win tickets to a very exclusive screening with a DJ set from Mica Levi.

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Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth), UNDER THE SKIN features an absolutely mesmerising performance from Scarlett Johansson (Her, Don Jon) as a seductive alien preying upon hitchhikers in Scotland.

Adapted from Michael Faber’s novel of the same name, UNDER THE SKIN has undergone a decade-long transition from page to screen, with performances heightened in the finished film by Glazer’s singular decision to shoot many of Johansson’s scenes as unscripted conversations with non-actors, using hidden cameras.

How to enter to win

We have 5 pairs of tickets to this exclusive screening and party. You must enter the contest via Twitter:

Just retweet the message below, and make sure you are following @aedney on Twitter:

Usual contest rules apply, and the winners will be selected at random. This contest is open only to those in the UK – sorry! The screening will take place in East London on Monday 14th July starting with a drinks reception at 6.30pm. You are responsible for your own travel costs to the screening, the prize is for the tickets only.

The contest ends Thursday 10th July, and winners will be notified on Friday 11th so good luck, and remember you must be following @aedney and have retweeted.

Under the Skin is available on digital platforms on July 7th and on Blu-ray & DVD on 14th July, 2014.

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I must honestly say I’ve always known about the One Piece anime but never watched it or played any of the other games. I can now say that I’ve missed out. After playing through Unlimited World Red on the 3DS I’ve started watching the show and I’m now actually a fan. If a video game makes me interested in the story and characters outside of the game that’s pretty good in my books and this latest title from Namco Bandai was the perfect stepping stone into this world.

One Piece Unlimited World Red follows the protagonists from the Straw Hat pirate crew on an adventure led by Luffy, the kid with the elastic rubbery limbs. All the characters are extremely unique and very eccentric. There’s a skeleton with an Afro called Brook who’s the musician of the group and there’s even a shape shifting talking deer. No one in this game, friendly or foe, is normal but that’s what makes this game have its charm and uniqueness.

Unlimited World features two very different game modes, the story mode and the Battle Coliseum mode. The Story is the adventure that is the action role playing game side to the game. There is a town development element to the game where you must collect resources on your outings to build shops, places to eat and other useful outlets for the town hub you come back to. Having such shops allows you to buy items for your missions but from my play through isn’t as vital as you might think. As the base genre of the game is fighting you can more or less complete the game as a fighting game and overlook the town expansion side to this game. It is there however for anyone that wants to further their experience and for the players playing on a console with the trophies system who want that platinum.

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Within each mission you’re usually trying to track down something or someone before coming across a boss character that you must defeat. The only thing that mixes up the variety is all the side tasks you can participate in. Whether you’re exploring to collect materials and resources for your town hub, grinding the enemy hordes to level up your characters or participating in the mini games such as fishing, there’s something for everyone making the missions less linear than you would expect. The presentation for the in game cut scenes is quite the spectacle. You can see the team behind the game have tried to keep the epic fights and humour as true to the anime from the episodes that I’ve seen. This is a game about the most eccentric group of pirates with their own unique approach to fighting and morals and each of the playable members come across exactly how they’re portrayed in the show.

The Battle Coliseum mode was my favourite mode to play through which follows a different story arc to the game and show itself. Instead of just being a mode where you can fight all the bosses and enemies it has been structured into an actual developing story itself unlike other game’s similar modes. The Coliseum is about Luffy’s team partnering up with the new playable character Law to fight in a tournament. With more characters to play with including the unlockable bosses you must work your way up through the 3 leagues. The types of fights to choose from are Duel which is one verses one, Scramble which is fighting multiple enemies just like in the story mode, Battle Royal where you battle two strong foes or a strong foe and an enemy horde or the Boss Rush which is 5 boss fights back to back. These eventually come in 3 difficulty settings that unlocks more experience points to progress through the league.

What makes the Battle Coliseum amazing is that there are multiple challenges to complete before you’d even get a full completion rate. You have to unlock characters which aren’t available by meeting requirements such as winning battles with certain characters, performing a number of special attacks or even participating in Special Matches where fixed combatants must face up against each other as rivals all with its own back story.

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There’s very little to fault with this game as every small issue I’ve had with it has a solution or understandable excuse. At first I found the camera angle to be tough to get to grips with but there is a Circle Pad Pro option to have that second analogue stick to fix this on the Nintendo 3DS (sold separately). The game wasn’t in 3D at all and it would have been interesting to see some of the sequences like this but the game itself is on multiple formats and is understandable to keep it the exact same. Finally, the game seems to be a game that would be better to play with others and is actually cooperatively for the Wii U if you transfer your save file across. Ideally for me I’d have liked to play this on the move on the 3DS and the on screen hints about playing with others does appear on the format that doesn’t have multiplayer capabilities, but I can half excuse it as you can transfers your save to the Wii U.

All in all I enjoyed my first experience into the One Piece franchise. It’s quirky, fun and offers something for everyone out there with longevity, replayability and the lack of portable cooperative play keeps it from being perfect.

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Marvel Studios have released a new 2 minute extended scene Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

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From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan,Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael Nand Benicio del Toro as The Collector.

James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn, with screenplay by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” releases in UK cinemas on July 31, 2014.

It’s time for another two minute review, this time for the Synology DiskStation DS414.

CDW Synology DS414 - 3

Synology DiskStation DS414 is a feature-rich 4-bay NAS specifically designed for growing businesses to effectively manage, protect and share data. Equipped with comprehensive office applications, DS414 raises working efficiency while securing data with full backup solutions.

  • Dual Core CPU with Floating-Point Unit
  • Over 207.07MB/s Reading, 135.63MB/s Writing
  • Dual LAN with Failover and Link Aggregation Support
  • 1GB RAM Boosting Multitasking Power
  • Features SuperSpeed USB3.0
  • Hot-swappable & Tool-Less Hard Drive Tray Design
  • Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

Specifications

Specs

A Closer Look

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Final Thoughts

The DS414 looks great with it’s black matt sides which do a great job of keeping it looking clean.

The DS414 doesn’t come with any hard drives preinstalled, so the first task is to slide out one of the drive bays and fit the drive. The whole process is very quick and easy and you should be up an running in no time at all and you don’t need any tools to do it either!

As usual with Synology, the thing that makes everything so easy, and provides all the functionality is the DiskStation Manager software – everything you could possibly need to do can be done from it, from setting up users and folders, to installing and configuring applications.

The rear of the DS414 has two USB 3.0 ports, unfortunately the USB port on the front, which can be used for bulk ingestion of data from a USB drive is only USB 2.0 meaning it can be a lot slower. Hopefully on later models this will be addressed.

There are also dual fans (only one of which is in use at any one time which is great for keeping the noise levels low) and dual Gigabit LAN ports. So you have a fair bit of redundancy packed into such a small box.

The cost of the DS414 is around £350, although as usual you should look around for the best deal.

If you are looking for a NAS box with some great features, then this could be the box for you! Remember, the major selling point for any Synology box is the Diskstation manager software, so keep that in mind when comparing the DS414 against other NAS boxes on the market today.

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You can learn more about the DS414 from the Synology website.

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