Seagate Debuts 20TB HDDs for Mass Deployments at Sub-$700 Price

(Image credit: Seagate)

Seagate on Thursday introduced its first 20TB hard drives for mass deployments, just like the company promised several months ago. The new Exos X20 and IronWolf Pro 20TB HDDs target hyperscale datacenters, enterprises, and NAS applications. The new drives will be available later this month for less than $700.

Seagate's new Exos 20 (18TB and 20TB) and IronWolf Pro 20TB hard drives employ the company's familiar 5th generation helium-filled platform relying on nine 2.2TB perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) platters. Those platters are serviced by 18 heads that use two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) technology to deal with a very high track density.

Since Seagate did not increase the number of platters, it had to boost the areal density to 1135 Gbit/inch2, which increased maximum sustained transfer rates of the new drives to 285 MB/s (up from 270 MB/s in case of 18 TB drives). Meanwhile, all Exos X20 SKUs are rated for up to 168/550 random read/write IOPS (4K, QD16), which aligns with the Exos X18 generation.

Despite sharing a platform with their 18TB predecessors, the new drives lower average operating power to 7.7W, down from 8W. This could signal a general optimization of the platform.

The Exos X20 and the IronWolf Pro 20TB HDDs are enterprise-grade, so they feature all the appropriate enhancements to boost reliability and performance in high-vibration environments (a package that usually includes a top and bottom attached motor, RV sensors, and other means to reduce turbulence). 

As for endurance, all Exos hard drives are rated for up to a 550TB/year workload over five years, whereas all IronWolf Pro HDDs are rated for an up a 300TB/year workload over the same timeframe. 

One thing to note about the new Exos X20 is that Seagate makes it available in SATA and SAS form-factors (at least as far as data sheet is concerned), something that no other competing drives offer.

Seagate's Exos X20 20TB will be available this month for a recommended price of $669.99, whereas the IronWolf Pro 20TB will be offered for $649.99. 

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.