Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB Reviewccokeman - May 5, 2013
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB Introduction:
Seagate recently updated its enterprise class lineup to increase the capacity available up to 4TB with the introduction of the Constellation ES.3 4TB drive. Delivering drives with larger capacities results in needing fewer drives to reach targeted storage capacities for a data center. When you have fewer, more efficient drives the end result is a lower total cost of ownership. With this latest introduction Seagate offers the Constellation with either a SAS or SATA 6Gbps interface. The Constellation ES.3 4TB drives are equipped with the ability to use Seagate's proprietary Power Choice technology that can deliver significant cost savings through the use of configurable host timer settings that can reduce costs by up to 90%. Hardware based encryption (FIPS 140-2 level 2 compliant), the introduction of an industry leading 128MB of drive cache, 1.4 million hour MTBF, and a five-year warranty should make the Constellation ES.3 attractive to the data center manager.
The drive I will be looking at today is the Constellation ES.3 4TB SATA 6Gbps model number ST4000NM0033. This model is non-SED compliant and is priced from $389. Pricey for sure when you compare it to the consumer ready drive at a more attractive $189. Consumer drives cannot deliver the end to end reliability of an enterprise class product where data integrity is the expectation.
Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB Closer Look:
The drives I received from Seagate were bare drives without any accessories, so let's take a look at the drive. Externally the drive looks comparable to any 3.5 inch form factor drive sharing the same dimensions and mounting points that meet the standard. The front of the Constellation ES.3 4TB has the model number (ST4000NM0033), serial number, product number, and build date listed with bar codes above each for easy scanning. The bottom of the drive hides the PCB, which houses the drive controller, 128MB of cache, and a humidity sensor. A specially tweaked firmware is used to maximize performance. I cannot find any information that definitively states whether this is a four or five platter drive, but with Seagate's ability to produce 1TB platters it seems likely that is what is installed. Common with Seagate's consumer drives, the ES.3 4TB drive uses a 7200RPM spindle speed with an average latency of 4.16ms. Designed for use between 5 to 60 °C the Constellation ES.3 can handle shock loads while operating of 70/40 2ms (Read/Write) (Gs). The Constellation ES.3 is offered in both SATA and SAS interfaces that support transfer rates up to 600MB/s with sustained rates of up to 175MB/s. The SAS interface drives add features such as SED and FIPS 140-2.
With plenty of features above those employed for consumer drives, I look for the Constellation to distinguish itself from the comparison field.