Because of cost I decided to take a chance and try a While Label 6TB drive for $150. From the information I can gather, it’s most likely an “unbranded” WD Red, but who really knows. As soon as it arrives I plan to scan the drive for defects (and any other bits of info) before placing it in my 5N. I will let you know how it goes.
After 84 straight hours, the drive passed the surface scan test. The SMART data looks alright as well. The drive was in a hard drive dock right next to my keyboard and it ran completely silent and got only mildly warm. Next step is to place this in Drobo and see how well it holds up in the real world.
maybe its some kind of anti competitiveness/trust business rules that each main manufacturer who has some kind of a monopoly position, needs to sell a certain amount of units to other smaller business resellers at a cheaper price so that they can then resell (or something similar to BT having to unbundle the local loop so that other telecoms providers could price things competitively too)
either way, if it is cheaper for consumers and still works fine, its all good