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Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Review

BluePanda    -   July 14, 2014
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Price: $599.99
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Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Introduction:

Many, if not most of you, might remember the days of hard drives with just Megabytes of data. It wasn't until 1980 when the first 5.25-inch hard disk was actually released by Seagate. Before that, the idea of storage was left to the lab monkeys budgets. Today the thought of only having even the big 500MB drives of the past is absurd; that's not nearly enough to install most of today's popular games, let alone any of the most popular operating systems (your best bets would be Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux). But, to be fair, at the time 500MB was "huge" — things of that era didn't require more. As technology has grown over the years, so has our sense of storage needs/capabilities. The thought of less than a terabyte is frightening for a few and many of our Steam libraries would fail to completely install to that. It has been just over a year since we saw the 4TB release here on OCC, and not too long since the commercial release of WD HGST (Hitachi) Helium-filled 6TB Drives in November of last year. So what's next? Is it time for MOAR yet? Well, not today — today we'll be looking at Seagate's newest friend on the market: the Segate Enterprise Capacity 6tB 3.5 HDD v4. This is the first drive of its capacity to not be filled with Helium and manages to pack in a full six platters in the new internal design. It is said to be 25% faster than 6TB competitors and optimized for 24/7 storage. So whether you are looking for some drives for your NAS box or perhaps just a mega drive for your main machine the next step in 6TB storage is here.

Alright, so this drive might not exactly be right for your use, but, it's BIG, so I know you at least want one. The ideal uses for a drive like this really is hyper scale applications: high-capacity RAID storage systems, external storage arrays (SAN, DAS, NAS), centralized surveillance, Cloud Data Centers, and the obvious Enterprise backup; but, that being said does not mean those are the only applications. Personally I plan on using this as a backup to our ZFS/NAS box so that if we really have leave here quick it's not a whole server box to take with us; but that's clearly not the only use for this type of drive. I will advise, as with any boot drive (if that's how you choose to use this) to buy a second and back up your files as well. 

As an enterprise drive this beast has quite a bit to offer considering its design intentions. It is engineered to be run 24/7 at insane workload of at least 550TB/year — that's TERABYTES!!!  That's ten times the standard capability of desktop drives. These are designed to be driven hard (no pun intended) by large amounts of data. That's insane! The non-recoverable read error rate increases a bit having an enterprise drive over a consumer drive by an order of magnitude as 1 sector per 10E15 or 1 per QUADRILLION. Based on the specification, this makes the drive 10 times more reliable than the consumer product. An easier way to relate this specification is to say that for every 114 TB read, you will have on average a single unrecoverable read error. The point is it is supposed to be more reliable than a standard consumer desktop drive. 

 

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Closer Look:

Why don't we take a moment to enjoy the glory of a 6TB drive in the flesh (well almost — pictures are close right?). The lovely beast of a drive, the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB HDD, came to me packaged rather simply in nothing more than a plastic clam shell inside a layer or two of bubble wrap in a box. I'm guessing the standard shipping might be more what you are accustomed to, but it's hard to say. The majority of consumers for these drives likely purchase in large quantities so it is a very different world of packaging altogether. Nonetheless, it got here in one piece and ready to go.

Pulled from the plastic shell it appears as a rather standard drive. It's comparable in size and looks like any other 3.5-inch form factor drive sharing the same dimensions and mounting points you already know and use. The front of the drive reads the Seagate brand followed by Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4. The capacity is in bold numbers: 6000GB, which seems like a lot for one standard sized drive! The serial number, date codes, PN, FW, and such are all listed with bar codes for easy scanning. In general, from first looks it's a pretty standard hard drive – though I will admit it has the density in its added weight.

 

 

 

 

The back of the drive shows you just how little room was available to fit the larger capacity into the same standard HDD dimensions. There are almost no recessed portions to the bottom of this drive except for the small grooves for the PCB. This drive is literally filled to its brim. As you can see here at the back of the drive from the PCB as well as from the end of the drive that this particular drive is SATA; which is becoming a little more normal with the larger capacity enterprise drives which would normally only be available in the SAS format. In general, besides the sticker and added heft to this drive, it appears as any normal 3.5 HDD you would normally purchase; but, hidden beneath it all is 6TB of storage glory!

 

 

 

Back to rattling off numbers and specifications at you before diving into testing; let us be reminded that this six-plattered drive is still quick at 7200 RPM with an impressive 216MB/s maximum sustained transfer rate. On top of all that, this heavy weight champ still manages to keep a reasonable power usage of 11.27W of typical use and down to 6.9W at idle. If you're craving more specifications hop over to the next page – otherwise jump to page 3 so we can find out how this beast performs!!




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