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Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB Review: Big Capacity At 5900 RPM

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July 8, 2013 10:41:16 PM

Would rather take 3TB @ 7200 over 4TB @ 5800, I'm sure people would agree with that.
July 8, 2013 10:49:43 PM

Good Read.
Noticed a small insignificant error in the "Drive Surface Temperature" chart. It lists the 4TB HDD.15 as a 7200rpm drive rather than a 5900rpm one.
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July 8, 2013 11:07:36 PM

Now that everyone has a full lineup of 4TB drives out, how about finally releasing something larger?
Bring on the 2160p content!
July 8, 2013 11:35:30 PM

the thing is this hard drive geared towards speed it's mostly geared towards data storage, which is why it's only 5800rpm, so you wouldn't get this obv if you want fast read and write times, that's what SSD's are for.
July 9, 2013 12:03:48 AM

The one graph, about temperatures, said "higher is better" beneath it...
July 9, 2013 12:34:31 AM

Great media storage drive for those with SSDs as boot drive which is what is currently on the trend right now.
July 9, 2013 1:00:51 AM

To all the people who say performance is not important, I would like to remind them we don't have a 4 terabyte SSD yet, and until then, if I need 4TB I have to use a hard drive. And it better be a fast one or I will be sitting for ever in a loading screen in-game, opening big programs and loading 8GB of sample sounds to RAM when I work with music.

For me this is a big mistake for Seagate. I always bought their drives because they were the fastest, but it seems they are now joining the WD green lineup. I'll probably have to go with hitachi now to have some decent speed.
July 9, 2013 1:27:28 AM

I personally only care about price / gigabyte. Give me the ability to store more HD pron and I'm happy. Don't care if it dies...
July 9, 2013 2:50:34 AM

Would anyone use a 4TB drive as a system drive anyway? Short stoked to 200GB maybe but otherwise......? Reliability has never been a strong point with drives over 1TB IMO.

I just see these big drives as a huge liability really, but folks will hoard their data.
July 9, 2013 3:07:33 AM

Unique name Seagate.
July 9, 2013 4:32:04 AM

I don't even look at HDDs under 7200rpm. not worth it.
July 9, 2013 5:01:54 AM

outlw6669 said:
Now that everyone has a full lineup of 4TB drives out, how about finally releasing something larger?
Bring on the 2160p content!


1) 6TB drives are well on their way, but delayed. They were supposed to launch earlier this year... but then again most 4TB drives were supposed to launch a year ago as well but some floods seem to have delayed timetables a bit. I would give it another year before we see 6TB drives hit the market.

2) 4K content is not significantly larger than 1080p content. The nice thing about super high resolution video is that there are a ton of redundant pixels, which means that it compresses very nicely even at a lossless editable compression. Sure, if you are in a studio where you need purely uncompressed 4K video then the larger the drives the better... but if you are in that environment then you ought not be using these types of drives in the first place.
July 9, 2013 5:39:50 AM

this article showed me how high heat and power draw of the WD black. I think this drive is perfect for htpc or a fanless computer.
July 9, 2013 6:10:54 AM

I could see a drive like this if you also use an SSD.
July 9, 2013 6:56:22 AM

I will never get a 5xxx HDD again. No more green crap for me.

And for how many hours/year are those rated? 2400? 2600?

My last 4TB drives were Hitachi desktar 7200rpm and 24/7.
July 9, 2013 7:32:48 AM

And the warranty? Does Seagate have any faith in their products or is this another 1 or 2 year product that has a 10-20% chance of dying by the time the warranty expires?
July 9, 2013 8:38:22 AM

vinhn said:
Would rather take 3TB @ 7200 over 4TB @ 5800, I'm sure people would agree with that.

I agree with those who disagreed.

For near-line storage, I am far more interested in reliability and low power. 5xxxRPM drives run 5-10C cooler than 7200RPM drives, use 3-8W less power and all other related factors combined should help with reliability.

One thing that really annoys me about Seagate and warranties: warranty duration is omitted from datasheets and product info. The only official method to get warranty info is to use a serial number for a warranty check. It seems pretty retarded to me that a company that claims to provide world-leading quality shies away from including a standard warranty in their specs.
July 9, 2013 9:02:05 AM

csf60 said:
To all the people who say performance is not important, I would like to remind them we don't have a 4 terabyte SSD yet, and until then, if I need 4TB I have to use a hard drive. And it better be a fast one or I will be sitting for ever in a loading screen in-game, opening big programs and loading 8GB of sample sounds to RAM when I work with music.

For me this is a big mistake for Seagate. I always bought their drives because they were the fastest, but it seems they are now joining the WD green lineup. I'll probably have to go with hitachi now to have some decent speed.


simple solution for ya, especially if you would buy a 4TB SSD if it was available : it's called a "professional RAID CARD"
July 9, 2013 10:15:55 AM

Just remember that they lie about drive size. It’s 3.6-ish TBs not 4TBs. Is there even an OS that numerates a TB as 1000GBs? They actually have the balls to say that a MB is 1024KBs until a certain number of them and then they become MiBs and MBs are then 1000KBs after that and that operating systems are really using TiBs not TBs.
July 9, 2013 10:26:42 AM

This weekend i was able to grab a 4TB HGST Hitachi HDD for $139 + tax at Fry's. The transfer speed was acceptable, 120,000 kb/s on peak, 85,000 kb/s continuous. I don't really care about the brand but i do care about the sales after service, and most of the companies will send in the US refurbished HDD, including Seagate, they call it "recertified" hard-drives, and it's just bad service in my opinion, so i will stick with HGST right now, hoping that they wont get the same fate since theyve been bought out by WD.
I boycotted HDD sales after the flood because prices were outrageously expensive, that said, HDD sales took at 100% price increase when you compared the top of the line before and after the flood (2 TB was the top of the line before the floods).

July 9, 2013 11:18:11 AM

I would like 4 for my raid 5, please.
July 9, 2013 11:29:57 AM

This drive is still too expensive. It's cost per TB is greater than that of a similar 3TB drive. Perhaps if it was an enterprise grade drive so that it played nice with a RAID controller it would be a good deal.

As for the speed I could care less. It is more than fast enough to handle HD video streaming within a home network. The capacity would be nice for my expanding Blu Ray library. The low RPM would be nice for energy usage.

antiglobal said:
It's a 4TB drive, performance is not important. What is important is the reliability. Will it suddenly die or will it warn before failing, so the user can back up the data.


Only a foolish user would wait for warning signs of impending failure to backup data. If your data is mildly important maintain a backup. If it is very important maintain at least two backups one of which should be off site (either rotate them or over the internet).
July 9, 2013 12:25:09 PM

I see this being advertised for NAS devices, and use in RAID, but does it have TLER?
July 9, 2013 1:33:03 PM

vinhn view is how most customers feel; they don't like the 5900 RPM, and once told opt for the 3TB model at 7200 RPM ST3000DM001, the price delta is about $47.
July 9, 2013 1:56:54 PM

vinhn view is how most customers feel; they don't like the 5900 RPM, and once told opt for the 3TB model at 7200 RPM ST3000DM001, the price delta is about $47.
July 9, 2013 4:18:14 PM

I could see these in a nas box but really i would like the 105.8 f wd black in a itx box along side of a gtx 480 and pll965. serbian heater for the masses
July 9, 2013 4:59:12 PM

I have one and it's excellent. I can get speeds up to 130MB/s sequential read. Perfect for media files.
July 9, 2013 5:23:21 PM

Yeah the price means it isn't too bad in performance, but frankly I'd spend another 100 bucks and get a 5-year warranty instead of a 2-year one.
July 10, 2013 6:58:55 AM

reliability I the only 1st criteria in a read write store device I know
after that you can hope it's fast enough to keep up with your application
also the issue of operating power and temps comes to mind as in our case
se tend to use an array of drives so PS capacity and cooling
get important pretty early on the operating curve.
wonder if Seagate has a self contained RAID HDD in the plans?
something that has multiple redundancy built in from the factory.
that might be OK as a slower drive as long as the 1st criteria was met.
July 10, 2013 7:12:06 AM

Wah Seagate!!!

Never buy that crap. Always go with Samsung (usualy -10C then Seagate anyways)

WD is a choice too but still much hotter C.
July 10, 2013 7:15:42 AM

#1 its less than 7200rpm
#2 its performance here clearly reflects that.

As I'm a professional that gets paid by the hour, I do not get paid for WAITING customers. Shame businesses are going to the bang for the buck trend.
July 10, 2013 8:22:41 AM

7200RPM or 5900/5400RPM only if it has 16GB+ of read/write caching/buffering Flash.
I guess due to availability of 1TB/platter compatible heads, the 4TB drive doesn't have a 7200RPM option.

I too would not buy a hard drive with less than a 3 year warranty and would prefer 5 year.
July 10, 2013 8:28:48 AM

I have 8 of these already for a RAID 6 deployment in my server to replace 2TB Samsung drives. They actually perform VERY well and are very cool.

The BIGGEST problem is getting reliable drives from places like NEWEGG. I went through 14 drives to get good ones. And the last 3 (now they're saying 2, it's all !@#$%ed up) they're trying to say I damaged in install. They never were installed. They were run on a test bench and shipping did the work. That's how they were received and that's how my emails continue to show. We'll see how that works out. Very poor shipping practice for open drives. I changed to Retail packaging just for the security of the extra boxes. Still got 2 failures but they were an electrical failure (solder joint). ALWAYS test your drives before use!!!

Anyhow, my new 24TB array should be online at the end of the week. Last drive is literally validating now. But it's just about to pass... 98%. When they fail they tend to do so by 10%...

BUT - For those nay-sayers out there that are too stupid to look at the facts and only numbers (7200 vs 5900/5400/etc), these drives actually DO out perform many higher speed drives. Including the WD Black even on h2benchw tests... http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/R/382419/original/h2benc...

So it's a 'green' drive with insanely good performance to boot. Runs cool (though needs fans in the array to keep it that way), But they are designed to be storage drives, not speed drives. Get SSDs if speed is paramount or get two and RAID 0/10 them. But I'm all about cooler, performance drives over oven-temperature higher-speed drives every day, especially for my arrays!
July 10, 2013 9:41:51 AM

jowunger said:
Wah Seagate!!!

Never buy that crap. Always go with Samsung (usualy -10C then Seagate anyways)

WD is a choice too but still much hotter C.


Seagate bought Samsung's HDD division.
July 10, 2013 10:10:28 AM

LAMINI said:
As I'm a professional that gets paid by the hour, I do not get paid for WAITING customers. Shame businesses are going to the bang for the buck trend.

That's why smart people/companies use MULTI-TIER storage systems:
- SSDs and 10k/15k RPM drives for their online storage which holds their active working sets
- slower and cheaper drives for their much larger collection of near-line storage on NAS or other convenient location so they can still fairly quickly access less frequently used data
- offline storage for backups and long-term archiving

Nobody is saying that you must use a 5xxx RPM as your working/boot/etc. drive.

4k-5k RPM drives clearly belong in the near-line and offline storage categories.
July 14, 2013 9:11:45 AM

With these large capacity drives, how can you NOT buy at least two of them for at least a RAID-1?

Imagine buying a single drive, filling it up with something useful, then have it fail. Almost makes more sense to spread data across smaller drives in case you lose one.
July 14, 2013 11:02:12 AM

spectrewind said:
Imagine buying a single drive, filling it up with something useful, then have it fail. Almost makes more sense to spread data across smaller drives in case you lose one.

Most data hoarders I know (myself included) simply download stuff and almost never delete anything even though they might never use/watch it again - or even download stuff "just because they can - just in case" and never use it at all either because they never needed it or forgot they already had it or where they put it by the time they actually need it.

I have around 3TB of stuff scattered across a dozen HDDs but there is only about 50GB of it that really is of high enough importance (to me) to be worth making backups of so I make 2-3 copies of that on whichever mix of alternate storage locations seem most appropriate - external HDDs or other PCs on my LAN for large and rarely updated/accessed stuff, USB sticks for frequently updated stuff I need convenient access to, DVD+RW for somewhat periodic backups of stuff I update somewhat regularly and DVD-R for things I do not want to accidentally overwrite/delete.

That may seem like a lot of hassle but I wouldn't trust my most important data to any single storage format. Even RAID5 is not enough: one of my friends had to restore a RAID5 array from the previous night's backups because the RAID controller barfed and trashed the whole array. Backups on independent storage are much less likely to get wiped, stolen or otherwise become unusable or inaccessible simultaneously.
July 14, 2013 6:23:46 PM

The context is a lot different now that SSD have reached an affordable price point. Most users now rely on the super fast SSD when needed (OS, big apps, latest 5-6 games etc...) and put everything else on a big mechanical hard drive. The other factor is hard drive plater density have increased a lot in the last couple of years. Current 5800 are as fast as not so much older 7200.

For the vast majority of the content put on a mechanical hard drive, 5800RPM VS 7200RPM won't be noticeable. What will is less noise and improved long term reliability. The last thing you want is to loose 4GB on data for stuff that load or copy a couple of seconds faster.

To be quite honest, I don't even mind the time difference when I'm accessing stuff on my NAS over a GB connection with an average 65MB/s transfer rate. That's fast enough for 85% of my storage need. The 10% that need to be accessed faster (100-120MB/s) in on local mechanical 5800RPM hard drive (currently a 2GB WD Green) and the last 5% that really make or break my PC experience is on my SSD stripped RAID array (2 X M4 128GB @ 908MB/s sequential read). All this is padded with a 5GB RAM disk (temp, cache etc...) hitting 8800MB/s sequential read with my 16GB @ 1866Mhz setup.
July 18, 2013 4:07:13 PM

SirGCal said:
I have 8 of these already for a RAID 6 deployment in my server to replace 2TB Samsung drives. They actually perform VERY well and are very cool.

The BIGGEST problem is getting reliable drives from places like NEWEGG. I went through 14 drives to get good ones. And the last 3 (now they're saying 2, it's all !@#$%ed up) they're trying to say I damaged in install. They never were installed. They were run on a test bench and shipping did the work. That's how they were received and that's how my emails continue to show. We'll see how that works out. Very poor shipping practice for open drives. I changed to Retail packaging just for the security of the extra boxes. Still got 2 failures but they were an electrical failure (solder joint). ALWAYS test your drives before use!!!

Anyhow, my new 24TB array should be online at the end of the week. Last drive is literally validating now. But it's just about to pass... 98%. When they fail they tend to do so by 10%...

BUT - For those nay-sayers out there that are too stupid to look at the facts and only numbers (7200 vs 5900/5400/etc), these drives actually DO out perform many higher speed drives. Including the WD Black even on h2benchw tests... http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/R/382419/original/h2benc...

So it's a 'green' drive with insanely good performance to boot. Runs cool (though needs fans in the array to keep it that way), But they are designed to be storage drives, not speed drives. Get SSDs if speed is paramount or get two and RAID 0/10 them. But I'm all about cooler, performance drives over oven-temperature higher-speed drives every day, especially for my arrays!


Buy them from a Distributor instead of an Etailor, If one is close by you can even will call it and if its bad you can exchange it for a new one right away under their DOA policy.
July 19, 2013 6:47:57 AM

I picked one of these just last week as a backup drive for my laptop.

I have it sitting in an external USB3.0 dock right next to another 2TB Seagate 7200rpm HD in a slooww USB2.0 external dock.

I get an average 80 to 100MB/s for the 4TB and it is very quiet and cool. If I put it in a desktop I should get faster speeds according the charts in this article- but it's fast enough for what I want it to do.

(Oh yah, the 2TB in the USB2.0 external dock is only giving me a measly 29MB/s average.)
July 19, 2013 3:52:24 PM

I hope somebody creating 10TB or more by creating 5 1/4 harddisk. it is the easiest way to increase the capacity. and most desktop have the 5 1/4 slot, so it is not problems. it will make the production cheaper because no need special technology to create big capacity harddisk
July 20, 2013 8:14:37 AM

utomo said:
I hope somebody creating 10TB or more by creating 5 1/4 harddisk. it is the easiest way to increase the capacity

There actually are a many problems with that:
1- slower access time due to heavier actuator arm and longer mean travel distance
2- slower access time due to longer rotational latency and longer position settling time
3- lower data density due to larger positioning errors
4- longer actuator arm and wider platters will have less overall stiffness so are more likely to vibrate / wobble which compounds #2 and #3
5- more likely to exhibit vibrations due to minute platter balancing errors

I'm sure there are many more reasons why 5.25" HDDs are extinct. Under nearly all circumstances, we are likely better off that way.
July 23, 2013 10:59:16 AM

antiglobal is spot-on.

With drives of this capacity, I/O performance is really a secondary consideration to reliability. I'd like to see more in-depth analysis of this area WRT mechanical storage from Tom's in the future.
July 25, 2013 7:19:11 AM

Yea performance means little to me for what I would want these for.
September 4, 2013 6:30:20 PM

logainofhades said:
jowunger said:
Wah Seagate!!!

Never buy that crap. Always go with Samsung (usualy -10C then Seagate anyways)

WD is a choice too but still much hotter C.


Seagate bought Samsung's HDD division.


Didn't know that, but still: Samsung HDD are around 10Celsius cooler then seagates.
September 5, 2013 6:39:05 AM

You have to watch out though. There are Samsung drives out there with Seagate style part numbers.
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