Seagate’s new hard drive serves up 4TB on four platters

4TB desktop hard drives aren’t really anything new—Western Digital released one last November. Seagate’s new 4TB Desktop HDD.15 is a little different, however. It achieves that same capacity using four platters rather than five, and its platters spin at 5,900 RPM instead of 7,200 RPM like the 4TB WD Black.

Thanks to the reduced spindle speed and platter count, Seagate touts power savings of 35% over the competition. The company claims its drive delivers the "highest average data rate on the market today," as well: 146MB/s. Other key specs—a 64MB cache, a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface, and a 3.5" form factor—are in line with the competition.

Now, given that WD quotes (PDF) a "sustained" transfer rate of 154MB/s for its 4TB Black drive, I’m not sure Seagate’s performance claim checks out. The Desktop HDD.15 does appear to have lower power draw, though: it draws only 7.5W during "typical operation" and 5W at idle, compared to 10.4W during read/write operations and 8.1W at idle for the Black.

The Seagate drive is also much cheaper. Amazon has it listed for only $189.99, well below the $302.87 price tag of the 4TB WD Black.

Speaking of e-tail listings, it looks like the 4TB Desktop HDD.15 has been available for some time. The earliest Newegg reviews for it date back to late February. Yet strangely, Seagate wrote to us yesterday, "Today, Seagate will begin shipping the industry’s only 4TB/4 disk desktop solution with 1TB/platter, the Seagate 4TB Desktop HDD." Curious. We’ve asked Seagate to clarify and are awaiting a reply.

Comments closed
    • who_me
    • 10 years ago

    They are different classes of HDDs. WD blacks are marketed as reliable, well built, enterprise ready models. The WD platters spin at 7200 rpm vs 5900 which, at least in theory should reduce random access times when compared to the model from Seagate. Oh and there is also the warranty periods. 5 years for the WD vs 2 years for Seagate.

    • willmore
    • 10 years ago

    I know it’s Tom’s, but take a look:
    [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hdd-charts-2012/-02-Read-Throughput-Maximum-h2benchw-3.16,2900.html[/url<] When I ran CrytstalDiskMark on it when I first installed it, I got 210MB/s for sequential read speed. That's the peak on the outer part of the drive and it does go down a lot as you get near the inner tracks: [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hdd-charts-2012/-03-Read-Throughput-Minimum-h2benchw-3.16,2902.html[/url<] The 1T Caviar Black drive used in the TR review is a really old model with much lower density platters. Edited to add more links: [url<]http://origin-www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/desktop-hdd/#[/url<] Shows it as 210MB/s on the OD. The areal density of the 1TB WD Caviar Black is given by TR at 400Gb/s while Seagate gives a value of 625Gb/s for their 1TB platters. That's a linear density increase of 25%. So, for the same RPM, one would expect sequential read/write speeds to go up proportionally.

    • Laykun
    • 10 years ago

    Time to replace the old 15 drive file server with 5 drives 😀

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    WTF… I’ve never seen a mechanical do over 200 even on the outside edge… or really anything over 150… I mean look at this.

    [url<]https://techreport.com/review/24561/seagate-laptop-thin-sshd-500gb-hybrid-drive-reviewed/4[/url<] Unless you have a raptor or something. A Caviar Black is included as well. Personal experience with HD tach would be quite in line with this as well.

    • sluggo
    • 10 years ago

    And how does knowing that there are 10,000 and 15,000 RPM drives out there make you feel about 7200 RPM drives?

    Kidding aside, if a slower RPM drive delivers comparable transfer rates, there’s not a lot of reasons to opt for the higher RPM drive. Very marginally faster seek times, yes, but if your data requires a lot of seeking, drive RPM is practically meaningless.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 10 years ago

    yeah so its really only like 3 days worth of porn instead of 3.5.

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    Vhat you say?

    • willmore
    • 10 years ago

    I assume that the 4TB/4platter drive will have the same performance as my 2TB/2platter drive as far as sequential read/write goes. It does 210MB/s at the outside edge, so that 154MB/s figure probably is the average.

    Edit: Oh, crud, it won’t as the 2TB drive is 7200RPM, so this comparison isn’t meaningful, nevermind.

    • willmore
    • 10 years ago

    Also, some of the 2TB 7200 drives–like the one in my desktop.

    Edit: Oops, too late, LastQuestion got in first.

    • dextrous
    • 10 years ago

    Nope. It’s 4TB or 3.63797880709 TiB for $189.99.

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    im starting to chafe, man. either get some lotion or get off my nixon. pole jockin me like this is the races

    edited to replace a foul word

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    4TiB of porn storage for $189.99?

    Count in me. 😀

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    2/10

    HDDs are commodity goods build with very fine tolerances. It is actually more of a surprise that failures aren’t more commonplace.

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    Not for datacenters, businesses and private NAS users. When you are running 100s of units in the field, every watt counts in terms of operational costs.

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    Friendly correction for an easy mistake.

    Sector sizes are fixed, you can’t just “format to 64KB sectors”. What you’re thinking about is “clusters”, which are made of sectors. A cluster is the logical unit the file system uses, while the sector is the physical unit the harddrive uses.

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    That’s almost $2/year/drive in saving(assuming 2 watt savings)! But really, I’m more concerned about heat generated than power consumed, but they tend to go hand-in-hand.

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    I’m more concerned about power consumption now-a-days. SSD for speed and 5400rpm for mass storage.

    My opinion.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 10 years ago

    Seagate has done a remarkably efficient job of hiding the speed on this drive. And since most people just assume that a high end drive would have high end speeds, they’re not checking too hard for that rather important 7200rpm designation.

    • Farting Bob
    • 10 years ago

    They planned to cut 5400/5900rpm 2.5″ drives, not 3.5″ drives. And WD uses the “green” brand, not seagate.

    • continuum
    • 10 years ago

    Depends on the file sizes and whatnot. Honestly it doesn’t look like you’ll see a huge difference in large sequential transfers. Quality of the USB implementation probably would matter more than the drive itself (assuming a current-generation drive).

    • CaptTomato
    • 10 years ago

    Sorry, I was a bit vague…..my question is, if I’m transferring from my C drive SSD to a 4t external via UB3, will my transfer rates suffer using a 54/5900rpm UB3 ext HDD….IOW, is a 7200 USB3 external faster…?

    • mesyn191
    • 10 years ago

    No. USB3 tops out around 600MB/s.

    • CaptTomato
    • 10 years ago

    I want USB 3 maxed, will these 5900rpm’s cut it..?

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    I could see it doing 154MB/s. Higher density platters and reading from the outside edge would probably give you that, unless that’s averaged. Of course this is probably a range of 154MB/s at the outside edge and like 67MB/s on the inside edge.

    Neat, but not really anything new like was mentioned. Hitachi has been doing these for years haven’t they? They were the first ones with 4TB drives by lobbing a 5th platter on.

    Still kind sad after the perpendicular recording boom we sorta planed off at 4TB, 3TB normally. I guess this is a density increase for Seagate, but still rather small.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 10 years ago

    You don’t really need a 7200rpm hdd to watch porn…

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 10 years ago

    I reread your post and wanted to give you a thumbs down, then I realized I already did earlier.

    • jackiesz0911a
    • 10 years ago
    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    I guess you always drop your Seagates from 4 feet high.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    I know RPM doesn’t tell the whole story, but 5,900RPM just douses my excitement. If this spun at 7,200RPM it would have put this thing on my radar.

    • Welch
    • 10 years ago

    Sounds like a Troll working for the competition to me……. Your name is ClickClick, as in hard drive clicking? Original.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    “Seagate touts power savings of 35% over the competition”

    yeah, power savings measured in pennies per year. seriously, shaving off half a watt isnt much of power savings, as the performance will end up being very costly.

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    judas priest can deliver the goods

    • DrCR
    • 10 years ago

    Posters, hang ’em.

    I hope this HDD manufactures can serve up the goods.

    • wizpig64
    • 10 years ago

    and 4TB WD Greens won’t be coming until Q3: [url<]http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/04/wd_5tb_drives/[/url<]

    • Stickmansam
    • 10 years ago

    AFAIK the 1TB ones are all 1TB platters while the 2TB is like a lottery

    I went to store to get my 2TB one so I made sure it was the 1TB version (deeper notch on the top lid)

    • ClickClick5
    • 10 years ago

    And yet still die in 4 min or less.

    • continuum
    • 10 years ago

    I guess when Seagate decided to cut production of “Green” drives to simplify their product line, they really meant they were just changing the name. >_<

    • tfp
    • 10 years ago

    Isn’t that veird?

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 10 years ago

    a platter so dense it reminds you of other posters

    • LastQuestion
    • 10 years ago

    Also, the 1tb and 2tb HDDs ‘can’ have 1tb platters. There’s a lottery with those, at least, I know there is for the 2tb and I’m half remembering the same for the 1tb. While the 1tb and 2tb .14s require looking at the S/N and running benchmarks the 3tb model use’s only 1tb platters.

    • insulin_junkie72
    • 10 years ago

    The other model, which other retailers also have had for months, was perhaps a five platter model?

    It wouldn’t be that unusual for a company to switch platter configuration without changing the model. Seems to fit the facts, although time will tell.

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    platter so big u can eat off them

    • LastQuestion
    • 10 years ago

    It’s not, accurate to compare the pricing of WDC Black HDDs to those offered by Seagate. WDC Black is about reliability and performance and are ideally suited to video capture and editing. There’s also that warranty.

    That said I recently started to run out of free space for video capture and was short on cash so I went ahead and purchased a 3tb .14 from Seagate. I’ll see how it holds up compared to the 2tb WDC Black with who knows how many TBs of read/write on them. Normally I would never have considered anything other than WDC Black or enterprise HDDs for such tasks but by using 1tb platters the drives are less apt to fail. I was also curious to see if the increased write speed would improve my fps. I gained a few fps, but to be fair this is inconclusive as I formated the new drive with 64k sectors, as apposed to the 4k on the WDC Blacks. Anyways…

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    i wasn’t, so thanks.

    • LastQuestion
    • 10 years ago

    You’re probably trolling, but no. Seagate’s 3tb model use’s 3 1tb platters.

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    is this the first use of 1tb platters? i haven’t seen another drive with them. it would also explain their comment

    • brute
    • 10 years ago

    newegg wouldnt be the FIRST etailer to fake reviews, and it definitely wont be the last

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