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Seagate Skyhawk 10TB Review

Price: $409.99

Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD Introduction:

If there’s one thing you can be sure of in the world of computers, it’s that storage requirements of everything grow over time. The meteoric increase in size requirements for just about every part of our digital lives has driven the storage vendors to constantly push for higher density, faster speeds, and lower cost per bit stored. Seagate is no newcomer to the game of storage, with almost 40 years of experience building the spinning rust (and trapped electrons in the case of SSDs) that captures every detail in every photo and video we capture.

Today we’ll be looking at one of Seagate’s newest offerings in the realm of mass storage: the Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD. Don’t let the name fool you, though, this drive may have special functions for running in a 24/7 surveillance system, but it is just as capable of being at home in your desktop, NAS, or DVR. It was only a short two years ago when I had my hands on a 6 TB drive from Seagate that was, at the time, the pinnacle of storage density. While SSDs have dropped dramatically in price in the past few years, while also growing in capacity at a staggering rate, they’re still nowhere near the price of a handful of cents per GB that modern HDDs can offer. This new 10 TB SkyHawk drive is in the standard desktop 3.5” HDD format and boasts all the features you’d expect from a flagship drive: 256 MB of cache, 7200 RPM spindle speed, 180 TB/year workload rating, and a three-year warranty. Seagate doesn’t specifically call this out as a helium-filled drive, but based on other similar models (and the power usage profile) I suspect this is actually filled with some funny gas.

This drive isn’t just for single-drive installations – you can also rest assured that it will behave well in both RAID arrays and large multi-drive installations, thanks to its integrated vibration sensors that automatically adjust to poor operating environments. That means even if you decide to put one in your desktop with a thumping subwoofer next to it, you can never worry about your movie or stream hiccupping due to an explosion or bass line.


Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD Closer Look:

Taking a gander at the SkyHawk 10 TB drive for the first time reveals a bit of a different shape than I’m used to. After taking it out of the anti-static protective bag, two things are apparent. One, this drive looks quite different than a standard HDD! The face and bottom of the drive are almost perfectly flat; clearly there are a lot of platters in the casing to account for the prodigious capacity rating of 10 TB. The second thing you notice is the weight! Compared to a standard 3.5” HDD, this beast feels like it weighs a good 50% more.

The top of the drive is almost entirely covered by a label that shows off the drive model line (SkyHawk Surveillance), the 10 TB capacity, the model number, and a maximum power draw rating for both the 5v and 12v rails. As far as HDDs go, this one is fairly nice looking, not that it matters once you have it installed into your system of choice. One feature I haven’t seen before is a QR code that lets you validate that the drive you have in your hands is a genuine Seagate product. I can’t imagine the market for counterfeit hard drives is big, but it’s an easy addition to ensure quality.

The bottom of the drive is essentially flat with only the drive controller and motor ribbon cable exposed. There’s another QR code here, but for what purpose, I have no idea. Perhaps an internal QA procedure uses it? The mottled aluminum finish looks quite nice compared to the traditional painted black aluminum seen on nearly every other drive produced in the past few decades.






Spinning the drive around reveals a welcome addition for those running high density arrays: the serial number is adorned on the face of the drive! This is a huge convenience feature in hot-swap bays that only expose the face of the drive to you as you’re trying to replace a specific drive that has failed. Seagate has learned a lesson here, since some prior drive models didn’t include this handy little feature!

Moving around the drive, you can see the interesting finish of the raw aluminum. The SATA power and data connectors are pretty standard. There is a 4-pin connector for internal debugging and QA at Seagate; don’t put any jumpers here, as you’ll likely cause “bad things” to happen.

The machining and quality overall are quite nice; there’s no doubt you’re holding a premium drive in your hands.




Now that you’ve heard a bit of the basics regarding the drive, I’m sure you’re pining to hear how it performs! While many have relegated HDDs to bulk storage (and thus, don’t care much about performance), it is still helpful to examine the performance of the drives that hold so much data. The faster the drive is, the faster you can fill it with new content, the faster you can serve that content, and the faster you can recover if something breaks and you need to quickly copy all of your data to or from the drive. Keep reading to find out how the Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD performs!


  1. Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD: Specification & Features, Testing Setup
  3. Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD: HD Tune, SiSoft Sandra, Anvil Storage Utility, ATTO 2.47
  4. Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD: CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD, PCMark 8, IOmeter
  5. Seagate SkyHawk 10 TB Surveillance HDD: Conclusion
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