Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Review

BluePanda - 2014-05-07 18:10:21 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: July 14, 2014
Price: $599.99

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!!

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Specifications:

Standard Model Number (512E):
Humidity Sensor:
Super Parity:
Low Halogen:
PowerChoice Technology
Hot-Plug Support
Cache, Multisegmented (MB):
Mean Time Between Failues (MTBF,hours):
Reliability Rating @ Full 24x7 Operation (AFR):
Nonrecoverable Read Errors per Bits Read:
1 sector per 10E15
Power-On Hours per Year:
8760 (24x7)
Sector Size (Bytes per Logical Sector):
Limited Warranty (years):
Spindle Speed (RPM):
Interface Access Speed (Gb/s):
Max. Sustained Transfer Rate OD (MB/s):
Average Latency (ms):
Interface Ports:
Rotation Vibration @ 1500Hz (rad/s^2):
Temperature, Operating (Degrees Celsius):
5 to 60
Vibration, Nonoperating: 10Hz to 500Hz (Grms):
Shock, Operating, 2ms (Read/Write) (Gs):
Shock, Nonoperating, 1ms and 2ms (Gs):
Height (in/mm, max):
Wdith (in/mm, max):
Depth (in/mm, max):
Weight (lb/g):
Carton Unit Quantity:
Cartons per Pallet:
Cartons per Layer:


Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Features:


All information courtesy of Seagate @


Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Testing:

Testing of hard drives can be done in several different ways. One method involves leaving the drive bare and connecting it as a secondary drive in an existing system. By simultaneously cleaning the drive after each benchmark run-through, this allows you to see its theoretical peaks in performance. However, these results would only represent a best-case scenario – one that you may never see unless operating a bare drive. The second method, which OverclockersClub employs, involves loading the operating system and benchmarking suite onto the test drive itself. This would give performance results that emulate real-world usage more closely. Testing will be completed with the Z87-based system listed below, alongside a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit that is updated to SP1 and fully patched as of the date of testing. The latest Intel Rapid Storage technology drivers and software have also been installed. All tests are conducted with the drive connected to a native SATA III 6 Gb/s port on the motherboard, in an effort to eliminate any possible bottlenecks with performance.

Testing Setup:


Comparison Drives:



  1. HD Tune 5.0
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2014
  3. Anvil Storage Utility
  4. ATTO Disk Benchmark
  5. Crystal Disk Mark
  6. AS SSD
  7. PCMark 8
  8. IO Meter

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Testing:

HD Tune 5.0 Pro measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers. In the 5.0 Pro version, the user can measure not only drive performance as a whole, but also run more precise file and random access benchmarks as well.



















File Benchmark:



SiSoft Sandra 2013: SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. It allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.



The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 was qutie impressive; though it can't really compete with the SSDs, it sure did try. It was rather impressive compared to its own breed. 

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Testing:

Anvil Storage Utility: Anvil Storage Utility is a fully configurable tool that allows the user to test and validate the performance of the installed Solid State Drives showing both bandwidth and IOPS results. The tool will output a read score and write score along with an aggregate score much like we see with AS SSD. Not only do you get standard test routines but a myriad of options when you dig into the tools capabilities. For our testing we will run the default tests and report the results in chart form below for comparison.




















Atto Disk Benchmark v2.47: Atto Disk Benchmark is another aged, but good hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.




The Seagate 6TB drive is still impressive in these runs despite Anvil being designed for testing SSDs. The large capacity still wins the race in the HDD race in every way.  

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Testing:

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.





















AS SSD v1.1.3466.29641: AS SSD is a benchmark specifically designed to test the speed of solid state drives. However, it also works for traditional hard drives. It is designed to measure the read and write speeds, as well as access times for set block sizes. It also assigns a score to the read, write, and overall performance of the drive.




Again we've got another SSD bench in here (there seem to be more SSDs populating to the market than HDDs) but it doesn't seem to make the 6TB from Seagate give up. The numbers seem a bit harsh, but compared to the others in the race it does quite well indeed. 

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 Testing:

PCMark 8 Storage test. This test is used to measure the performance of SSDs, HDDs, and even Hybrid solutions by running a set of traces through real world applications to determine drive performance. Each of the routines as well as the overall scoring and bandwidth tests are used for a performance comparison with higher results indicating superior peformance.





















IOMeter is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and announced at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) on February 17, 1998. Since then, it has seen widespread use within the industry.




The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB drive is clearly slower than the SSDs in nearly every test but it doesn't suffer in comparison to the the other HDDs (which is what really counts). The scores are phenomenal and give a bit of respect to the added cost and capacity. 

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4:

Well, I think it is safe to say that the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 is indeed a BEAST. I think I've said "beast" quite enough times throughout the review, often more referring to the size of this drive, but along with its large capacity is some rather large and impressive numbers to go with it. The comparisons to SSDs leave much to be wanted, though its never really fair to compare HDDs to SSDs. Compared to your standard consumer level 3TB drive this thing is double the capacity and brings home the money with the performance. To have capacity and performance at the same time is the golden ticket. Although this drive has the added cost of being an enterprise drive, having dealt with some enterprise drives I can say it is well worth it if longevity and long up time is what you are looking for. They are just built to keep going all day and all night. Unfortunately at this time there is no non-enterprise version of this drive available – so if you want this capacity in a single drive you are left with only this one for the time being (not that I really see that as a major problem).

Probably most exciting about this drive is the fact that it doesn’t need more power for more capacity. The power use is about on par with any standard consumer desktop drive (6.9W idle power and 11.27W typical power), so it is perfect for your huge storage array or security system without requiring any bump in power needs; so leaving it running all the time isn't a big deal. You'll also get the much longer warranty period if something does happen to go awry, you've got 5 years (as opposed to 1-3 years with a consumer drive) to get things taken care of. However, I will admit that this likely isn't up everyone's ally at just shy of $600. It's more likely that if you NEED that extra storage you'll just buy multiple smaller capacity drives; however, this is one hell of a drive.