news seagate enters consumer ssd market adds new enterprise drives
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Seagate enters consumer SSD market, adds new enterprise drives

Traditional hard drive makers have been slow to get into the SSD business, especially with consumer-focused drives. However, Seagate has now thrown its hat into the ring with a fresh lineup that includes everything from 2.5" client drives to PCIe-based accelerators designed for servers. Let’s start with the consumer-oriented Seagate 600 SSD, which uses the same Link_A_Media Devices controller as the Corsair Neutron SSDs we reviewed last year.

The simply named 600 SSD combines the LAMD controller with 19-nm MLC flash memory. Like most modern solid-state drives, it’s available in a slim 7-mm form factor. Seagate is also making ultra-slim 5-mm versions of the drive for especially skinny notebooks. The 5-mm models have identical performance ratings, and I suspect the only difference is the thickness of the case. Speaking of performance ratings, here’s how the various models stack up.

Capacity Sustained sequential (MB/s) Peak 4KB random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
120GB 500 300 80,000 60,000
240GB 500 400 80,000 70,000
480GB 500 400 80,000 70,000

There’s no word on pricing, but we can tell you the 600 is backed by a three-year warranty. The 480 and 240GB drives are covered for the length of the term or until 72 terabytes are written, whichever comes first. Oddly, though, the datasheet also says thoses drive are rated for a maximum of 40GB of writes per day. 40GB per day for three years works out to only about 44TB. The math is similarly confusing for the 120GB model, which is good for 20GB per day or 36.5GB of total writes.

For entry-level enterprise markets, the Seagate 600 Pro adds power loss protection and claims to offer the "industry’s highest" highest IOps rate per watt. Seagate has a broader range of capacities in the 600 Pro family, and it looks like there are versions of the same hardware with different overprovisioning percentages. Here’s how the lineup looks:

Capacity Peak sequential (MB/s) Peak 4KB random (IOps)
Read Write Read Write
100GB 520 300 80,000 20,000
120GB 520 300 80,000 8,000
200GB 520 450 85,000 30,000
240GB 520 450 85,000 11,000
400GB 520 450 85,000 30,000
480GB 520 450 85,000 11,000

All the 600 Pro drives are covered by a five-year warranty, and their endurance ratings vary quite a bit. Rather than expressing endurance in gigabytes written per day, Seagate goes straight for the totals. The 480 and 400GB models are rated for 350 and 1080TB, respectively. The 240 and 200GB variants are good for 134 and 520TB, while the 120 and 100GB models can handle 24 and 220TB. As the total capacity drops, the endurance benefit associated with the extra overprovisioned area increases. The additional spare area also improves random write performance.

Like the 600 SSD, the 600 Pro uses MLC NAND and features a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, then the 1200 SSD might be up your alley. This drive is primed for servers and features a dual-port, 12Gbps SAS interface. It also has a five-year warranty and the ability to withstand up to 14 petabytes of writes in its top, 800GB configuration. I won’t drown you in performance specifications for this one; the official datasheet (PDF) has the goods.

The final member of Seagate’s new solid-state family is the X8 Accelerator, an eight-lane PCI Express 2.0 card designed for really high-end servers. If you have to ask how much this one costs, you probably can’t afford it. The X8 is available in capacities up to 2.2TB, yet it still squeezes onto a low-profile expansion card. That top model is rated for over a million random read IOps, and its endurance is pegged at a substantial 33 petabytes. You can view the datasheet right here (PDF).

While the X8 Accelerator is a little outside the realm of what we cover, we’re working on putting together a review of the Seagate 600 SSD. Stay tuned.

0 responses to “Seagate enters consumer SSD market, adds new enterprise drives

  1. What size are you buying, if I may ask? We’re now doing SSDs for all the devs – 120GB LITEONs that ship with our Dell systems. It’s a little tight but I don’t do local data analysis, so it’s doable. And we haven’t had any failures in the year we’ve been doing this.

    I do want to say that my regret regarding my home desktop has to do with going back to separate boot and data drives, not the SSD technology or reliability.

  2. BTW, HardOCP has a review up for those wanting to know some performance numbers

    [url<]http://hardocp.com/article/2013/05/07/seagate_600_pro_ssd_review#.UYvOpKK-p0Q[/url<] Could be a good contender if the price is right. "The Bottom Line The Seagate 600 will provide good performance for all but the heaviest of users, who will benefit from the 600 Pro revision. We have a hard time recommending the Seagate 600 Pro for desktop users, even most enthusiasts, since the enhanced endurance and power capacitors are better suited for professional usage models. The Seagate 600's aren't the fastest SSDs on the market, but these perform well with a proven controller and proven NAND. We expect Seagate to do well with these SSDs if the price is right, but unfortunately we have no pricing guidance at this time. The performance of the Seagate 600 and 600 Pro is good enough for the [H]ardOCP Silver Award, but without pricing we will have to wait and see in order to make a final recommendation." Another review at SSD Review [url<]http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/seagate-600-series-ssd-review-480gb/[/url<] "As far as the benchmarks go, they consistently exceed specifications listed by Seagate and we see read performance of over 500MB/s and write performance just below. IOPS performance is excellent and speaks to both read and write IOPS with both being over 70,000 IOPS consistently. By all counts, the 600 SSD appears to be a solid first entry by Seagate."

  3. I’ve also nearly purchased a 335 before. Keeping my eye open for it and the 840.

    Call me ridiculous, but I even considered getting the 500gb 840 for $350 the other day >_>

  4. Can you cite reliability issues for any other SSD besides a Vertex 2?

    I have SSDs at work installed that have 3 years of use with 99% life left, according to CrystalDisk. I would even say the vast majority of those writes were in the first few months of use, as programs/OS were getting patched/updated. What are the reliability issues?

  5. Besides a Vertex 2 that I installed for a friend that failed within a year, I have six SSD in my server, desktops, and laptop running pretty much 24 x 7 without issue. Knock on wood.

    I know one isn’t a good sampling size, but SSD or HDD, I rely on the same fault prevention approach — nightly backup of file server locally and offsite backup of data once in a while. And as far as NAND lifespan goes, other than Samsung 840’s TLC NAND, it will take years to wear it out (even on my 240GB SSD with 3 VMs running 24 x 7). Again, I rely on my backup system to mitigate the risk of data loss.

  6. I don’t trust them, personally, due to the reliability issues and I don’t want to feel like I have to count every write I ever make including the ones that Windows does on its own. I do like the idea of SSD caching and hybrid drives–the latter of which Seagate already offers–as they give most of the speed while retaining logical transparency. I may try one on my next build. When it dies I can just swap it out without needing to spend two weeks reinstalling my stuff.

  7. I see your X4 955, and raise you a late 2007-vintage Opteron 180 relegated to HTPC duty.

    With an Intel 520 120GB, because irony is funny.

  8. Migrated my entire work desktop/laptop force to SSD. Not a single failure since 2010. We’d previously have between 2-4 failures a year on mechanical, going back 11+ years.

  9. “Even my i5 2500K” – LOL “Even” my X4 955 (a.k.a. my main rig) has an SSD in it.

  10. Intel 335 is good to. Man, just figure, all this time that you’re spending waiting for SSDs to drop by $25, you could be using the SSD. So sure, you could save $25 if you wait, but you lose the benefit of use for that whole period you waited.

  11. My mind stopped arguing with itself, once i read the 5 year warranty… SOLD

  12. [quote<] I don't quite know what you want. Free bacon with every purchase?[/quote<] BEST IDEA EVER!

  13. “A couple of years ago”

    A 120GB Corsair Force3 was the same price as a 250GB Samsung 840 is now.
    More than double the capacity, and a faster controller as well.

    I don’t quite know what you want. Free bacon with every purchase?

  14. I hope Seagate are working closely with LAMD on controllers.

    The Neutron GTX is a great SSD and I still have high hopes that Hybrids will be the future. 4TB of SSD-like storage for the price of a 4TB mechanical? Yes please.

    Baby steps, but Seagate putting their name, warranty and showing a clear understanding in the benefits of overprovisioning is no bad thing.

  15. December 2014 SSD Prices, for your planning purposes.

    “Pro” Level
    ..512 GB…..$308
    ……1 TB……$670

    “Consumer” Level
    ..512 GB…..$219
    ……1 TB……$430

  16. About time Seagate finally got into things. They don’t appear to be subpar as far as their spec performance is concerned. Also interesting that Seagate goes write into Fusio I/O territory so we may be looking at more then just another competitor for the desktop market. If that’s the case I could sorta see why it took so long for Seagate to get everything sorted out before diving in. They wanted a complete and competent solution that spans all aspects of SSDs, not just one small area.

    Perhaps this may be in line with Intels approach, where they’re tweaking another companies controllers while developing their own in house… I await TRs review.

  17. Nov 2011: 512GB…$880
    Dec 2012: 512GB…$600
    May 2013: 512GB…$520

    1.) 40+% drop in a year and a half ain’t nothing.
    2.) $880 for 512GB ain’t reasonable.
    3.) 18 months ain’t “years”.

    —-
    Edit: and then you have the “non-pro” grade ones now with 480GB and 500GB for $395 – $400 range.

    Edit 2: Samsung 500GB $370 on newegg currently.

    Edit 3: Point 3. % change

  18. I’m a bit contrarian, so I’ll back your play here. I actually regret getting one for my desktop. I’ve got an Intel X-25M 120GB boot drive and a Samsung 7200rpm data drive, and that split drive system just isn’t working for me. Sure, MS Word, notepad++, perl, etc. are all on speedy storage. But my client files and games aren’t. I maybe reboot my home desktop monthly (for Windows updates) but I certainly don’t sit there waiting for it to come back. I have 8GB of RAM, so I doubt the page file gets hit hard. Yes, the drive is aligned. It benches like every other X-25M I’ve seen.

    I also have a laptop at home, and a desktop and laptop at work. All 3 of these have SSDs and on all 3 I notice it. The difference? They’re 100% SSD only, w/ no spinners. And I guess they’re not running some software, like Crashplan, which I wouldn’t expect to make a difference.

    So I don’t think it was necessarily dumb at all to wait to get your SSD. Now that large drives are getting affordable, I’m planning on redoing mine this year sometime though.

  19. Lets simplify this. Some SSD’s are faster than others. However, the difference is not something you can notice unless your running some kind of benchmark software. Any SSD is going to be faster than a HDD.

    So go get a SSD, just about any SSD will do. I would look for warranty and reliability and not worry about the speed much at all. Honestly, you will be amazed at the difference from booting off a HDD.

  20. No, literally years. They came down to reasonable prices back in late 2011.

  21. This.

    And that’s coming from someone what bought a first-gen Indilinx drive for nearly $400 for a measly 128 GB (which is still in use inside my amazingly snappy netbook).

    At the very least buy a cheap/small SSD and set up a cache for your main boot drive…

  22. Get one. It’s that simple. If it’s something to bite the bullet on when it comes to computer stuff… it’s worth it w/ an SSD.

    840 Pro 256gb would be nice, if not get a 830 256gb or OCZ vector 256gb.

  23. Well, just comparing the 840 pro to the 830 last year makes me hesitant. At one point the 256gb 830 was $180 so in my mind that’s the price I should buy an SSD of that calibre for, and now the cheapest I see the 840 Pro in Canada is $240 which seems like too much.

    I’ve come close to buying an SSD on a few occasions. I’m OK buying a 250-256 gb drive for 150-180 or so, but every time I come close to considering a non-pro 840 I read something that convinces me that I’d be better off with the pro. I will consider the 840 if I see it go on sale again, thanks.

  24. So I should have bought it when it was $165 shellshocker last week….. *bows head in shame*

  25. You’re over-analyzing this. You are apparently just not convinced yet that SSDs are a good deal right now, for whatever reason, and that’s fine I guess. I’m just saying that even if prices drop by a third in the next 6 months and you buy one, you’d be kicking yourself for not having bought an SSD right now.

  26. Fair point.

    Maybe I just don’t know enough about other SSD makers to make a good choice there. I just keep hearing either get Samsung or Intel from people who value speed and reliability. OCZ drives have a pretty bad rep and I find other makers don’t get a lot of press so I don’t know enough about them to pull the trigger on their product.

    What would you recommend for a reliable 250-256gb drive that doesn’t break the bank?

  27. A five year warranty is awesome. Hopefully this would become the standard with SSD’s soon.

    I miss the days of buying a ‘standard’ HDD with a 5 year warranty.

  28. What you’re missing is the fact that high-end SSD’s AREN’T needed. The difference in feel between the 840 and 840 pro on a gaming rig is probably imperceptible. I throw cheap 120gb SSD’s in everything around the house, old laptops, desktops (especially the kids’ gaming rigs), etc.

    Never looked back.

    I’m still running some 3 year old 120GB intel 320’s in raid 0, which is outclassed by a single 840 pro on paper, but when my pc boots in 7 seconds, and games load instantly, I can honestly say I’ve never said, “Gee, wish I’d sprung for that really high end pro SSD.”

    🙂

  29. Tons of competition in this market, but it doesn’t seem like there is much price pressure. Except for the new Crucial 960GB unit, prices per gig have been about the same for the past couple of years.

  30. February yes.. Q4 2012.. no. I saw Samsung 830 256 GB SSDs going for as low as $180 on some sales late last year. The 840 pro is selling for $60 more than that in Canada right now.

    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely agree that an SSD is absolutely necessary for a high-end rig, but for now I can get by without one until the right deal comes along.

  31. The SLI is only temporary. I bought the second 670 for $280 after MIR which was a pretty magnificent sale price, ultimately for the purpose of having a decent GPU in my old rig that is being re-purposed for the wife.

    I’ve just had the luxury of 2 GPUs in the meantime.

    And yes, I just built a socket 2011 system, but the 3820 is like $50-100 cheaper than the 3770k depending on where you’re looking. I picked it up for $280, which is $50 cheaper than the 3770k is on NCIX. It’s not like I threw down a huge pile of cash on a 3930k or 3960/70x. The motherboard was also quite affordable for a fairly fully featured x79 motherboard, $209 for the ASRock Extreme4.

    I’m sure you can see a trend of budget-conscious but fairly high-end parts here, which is why I’m still holding on for the right deal on a 250+gb SSD.

    I should have pulled the trigger on a Samsung 830 256gb when they were on sale for $180ish last year… I keep hearing mixed reviews on the 840 (non-pro) which have resulted in me passing up a $165 sale on an 840 250gb SSD. I’m pretty fixated on an 840 pro at this time, but $240 for an SSD seems steep to me.

    The 840 500gb is newegg.ca’s shellshocker today at $350 and it has crossed my mind, it’s really great in $/GB, but still a lot of money for a drive of any sort IMO. Great value but still… paying that much just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

    My priority is mainly fluid 1080p high framerate gameplay at 120hz, nicer loading times and a snappier Windows experience are just icing on the cake and can wait until the right deal comes along.

  32. This. Even my i5 2500K living room PC has an SSD in it. And that Vertex 3 was $400+ when I bought it. You can get a Sandforce 240 with synchronous NAND for $180 if you look hard.

    Having a Socket 2011 system without an SSD doesn’t compute.

  33. Up? Prices are WAY down compared to Febuary last year, now is a good as time as any to buy an SSD. I should know because I paid more than twice as much for one last year compared to what they cost now, and I still think it was worth it.

  34. Man, you have GTX 670s in SLI and you’re putting together a socket 2011 system. Something about your priorities seems very odd to me, but to each their own…

  35. I still haven’t made the jump to an SSD… and am really hungry to get one. But prices seem up from last year and I don’t want to overpay on a 250+gb model compared to last year.

  36. Interestly. Looking forward to pricing and potential TR reviews to see how they do!

  37. I only included the after thought of more competition hurting because of the possibility of the SSD market being over-saturated, but I’m not about to pretend I’m an expert in economics. So if anyone wants to correct me, feel free.

  38. read up on plextor mp5 and corsair neutron ssd’s. educate yourself.

    better things will probably come from these new controllers. IMO they’re already better than what you mentioned. (ronch)

    the name makes me figgety….kinda reminds me of PNY….

  39. Somehow, Link_A_Media Devices reminds me of AMD…

    I propose we call them [i<]El[/i<] AMD.

  40. More competition never hurts. Especially if the new competitor is producing a quality product.

    I can’t say I’m surprised to see Seagate jumping into the consumer SSD market. It’s obviously the way things are heading. Especially when we start seeing products that have more than a few hundred GBs available as that’s enough for most users. As the price on SSDs continues to come down I expect to see the smaller HDs to disappear from the marketplace.

  41. First time I heard of Link_A_Media. Catchy. Are they as good as those SandForce and Indilinx controllers? Sorry, haven’t following the SSD scene lately.

    Edit – Ok, they’re acquired by SK Hynix. Still… I don’t trust them at this point yet.

  42. That’s cool and all, but you have to wonder if the world really needed another SSD manufacturer.

    Oh well. I guess more competition couldn’t hurt…. or could it?