Seagate has introduced a family of 3.5" hard drives designed for network-attached storage. The NAS HDD line is suitable for both all-in-one NAS boxes and small servers, Seagate says, and it appears to be based heavily on the Desktop HDD.15. Like the desktop drive, the NAS HDD is available in capacities up to 4TB. The two also share the same 180MB/s maximum sustained data rate, suggesting that they have identical platters and 5,900-RPM spindle speeds.
Hard drive makers routinely produce RAID-optimized versions of their desktop models, so we're not surprised to see the Desktop HDD.15 repurposed for light server duty. To adapt the drive to its new environment, Seagate has implemented NAS-specific error recovery routines and tweaked the power management. The NAS HDD also features improved vibration tolerance to help it deal with life inside enclosures crowded with other drives.
Seagate has priced the 2, 3, and 4TB versions of the NAS HDD at $126, $168, and $229, respectively. With the Desktop HDD.15 4TB selling for $190, you're paying up to a $39 premium for the NAS-specific features and a slightly longer warranty. The NAS drives have three-year coverage, up from two years on Seagate's desktop models.
WD's Red hard drive is comparable to the NAS HDD, but it's only available in capacities up to 3TB. According to Seagate, the competition is up to 10% slower, as well. We may have to put that claim to the test with a closer look at the NAS HDD.