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

Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB Review: Big Capacity At 5900 RPM
By , Achim Roos

First, Seagate renamed its Barracuda hard drive family to Desktop HDD.15. Then, it introduced the first model in the new line-up—the Desktop HDD.15 ST4000DM000. Does Seagate's first massive 4 TB desktop disk deliver the performance we want or disappoint?

It’s time to bid farewell to Seagate’s Barracuda. The branding, that is. Not the actual 3.5" desktop hard drive family, which will henceforth be known as Desktop HDD with .15, .14, and .12 generational suffixes. 

Seagate is looking to make a splash with its flagship in the newly-named line-up, the Desktop HDD 4TB, also known by the ST4000DM000 model number. Up until now, Seagate's desktop portfolio didn't stretch as high as 4 TB. Only the business-oriented Constellation ES.3 line included a 4 TB repository. But now that Seagate is playing in the super-high-capacity space, it currently enjoys a commanding price-per-gigabyte advantage. The ST4000DM000 is going for as little as $180 on Newegg right now. That's four and a half cents per gig.

The Desktop HDD 4TB (ST4000DM000) spreads its multiple terabytes across four platters and spins at 5900 RPM. The 1 TB and 3 TB Barracuda 7200.14 drives employ the same platter size, but instead spin at 7200 RPM. As a result, we expect the new Desktop HDD.15 to be somewhat slower, and Seagate's technical specifications reflect this. The company says its Barracuda drives are capable of up to 210 MB/s, whereas the Desktop HDD.15 maxes out at 180 MB/s.

Aside from the extra capacity and slower spindle, nothing else really changes from the Barracuda 7200.14 to the Desktop HDD.15. The drives still sport a SATA 6Gb/s interface, feature 64 MB of data cache once you hit the 1 TB model, and are built for 300,000 load/unload cycles. Our benchmarks should give you a good indication of how the Desktop HDD.15 ST4000DM000 performs, and how it stacks up to the Barracuda 7200.14.

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  • 4 Hide
    vinhn , July 8, 2013 10:41 PM
    Would rather take 3TB @ 7200 over 4TB @ 5800, I'm sure people would agree with that.
  • 1 Hide
    guru_urug , July 8, 2013 10:49 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.
  • -2 Hide
    outlw6669 , July 8, 2013 11:07 PM
    Now that everyone has a full lineup of 4TB drives out, how about finally releasing something larger?
    Bring on the 2160p content!
  • 2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 8, 2013 11:35 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.
  • 7 Hide
    Mike Friesen , July 9, 2013 12:03 AM
    The one graph, about temperatures, said "higher is better" beneath it...
  • 3 Hide
    masterjaw , July 9, 2013 12:34 AM
    Great media storage drive for those with SSDs as boot drive which is what is currently on the trend right now.
  • 1 Hide
    csf60 , July 9, 2013 1:00 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.
  • -1 Hide
    wavetrex , July 9, 2013 1:27 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...
  • 0 Hide
    daglesj , July 9, 2013 2:50 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.
  • 0 Hide
    Larry Bob , July 9, 2013 3:07 AM
    Unique name Seagate.
  • -5 Hide
    MasterMace , July 9, 2013 4:32 AM
    I don't even look at HDDs under 7200rpm. not worth it.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , July 9, 2013 5:01 AM
    Quote:
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    bin1127 , July 9, 2013 5:39 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.
  • 0 Hide
    ceh4702 , July 9, 2013 6:10 AM
    I could see a drive like this if you also use an SSD.
  • 1 Hide
    Fabel , July 9, 2013 6:56 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.
  • 2 Hide
    dmitche3 , July 9, 2013 7:32 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?
  • 3 Hide
    InvalidError , July 9, 2013 8:38 AM
    Quote:
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    vmem , July 9, 2013 9:02 AM
    Quote:
    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"
  • -8 Hide
    Tanquen , July 9, 2013 10:15 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.
  • 0 Hide
    stevenrix , July 9, 2013 10:26 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).

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