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Big HDD Showdown: Seagate 10TB vs. HGST Ultrastar He10 vs. WD Gold 8TB

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 10TB HDD

Seagate built the 10TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD upon the company's sixth-generation HDD design, which has numerous capacity points, but only the 10TB model bears the first generation of its helium architecture. Seagate is not as forthcoming with the details of the design as its competitors are, but we do know that it employs a forged wrought-aluminum base and a gas-impermeable enclosure. The company utilizes a wide-weld technique to fuse the drive together.

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 10TB 10TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD
InterfaceSAS / SATA
RPM7,200 RPM
Sustained Transfer Rate249MB/s
Average Latency4.16ms
Operating Power8.0W (SATA) / 9.0 (SAS)
Idle Power4.5W (SATA) / 5.5 (SAS)
Cache Buffer256 MB
Workload Rating550 TB/Year
MTBF (Million Hours)2.5
UBER Rating1 in 10^15
Warranty5 Years
Weight650g

Seagate's PMR-powered helium HDDs only come in the 10TB capacity point in both 12Gb/s SAS and 6Gb/s SATA flavors, though the company has listed 8TB versions in its manual that are not available. The SATA version of the Seagate 10TB model has a 1.5W higher average operating power specification compared with the HGST model, but it amounts to a 3W decrease compared to Seagate's previous generation air-based 8TB model. The remainder of the features are very similar, though Seagate shed 160 grams of weight over its previous-generation product while gaining an additional 2TB of storage; that brings its weight to 650g (10g less than the HGST model). The Seagate 10TB has a higher areal density of 867Gb/in2 and also uses 7 platters and 14 heads.

Seagate touts that it can achieve 4K random read/write IOPS up to 170/370 at QD16, which is a notable departure from other HDD spec sheets, which often avoid listing random performance metrics. The Seagate 10TB HDD accomplishes the impressive random write performance with its Advanced Write Caching feature.

Seagate debuted its new caching implementation with its 8TB HDDs, but it uses a unique caching mechanism. HGST uses a section of the platter to give its cache a persistent (non-volatile) quality, but Seagate actually employs a persistent NOR memory buffer to cache the incoming random write traffic before writing it sequentially, and thus quickly, to the platter. Seagate doubled the amount of NOR up to 4MB for the 10TB model, and like the competing HGST implementation, the cache never "runs out."

The Seagate 10TB HDD also carries a five-year warranty and 2.5 million hour MTBF, along with a 550TB/year workload rating that covers 600,000 cycles. The series comes with Secure Download and Diagnostics capabilities, and Seagate offers Secure Self-Encrypted Drive (SED) and FIPS models.

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The Seagate drive features a small PCB that connects to the drive body via surface mount pads. We also note the 256MB Micron DRAM package and a SMOOTH motor controller. Two accelerators occupy opposing corners of the board, which allows the drive to detect and counteract vibration, and the drive uses an Avago controller. 

  • Bret_Schumacher
    You should have compared it to the 10TB gold which had "supposedly" higher read/write rates comparable to seagate and hgst
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    18389500 said:
    You should have compared it to the 10TB gold which had "supposedly" higher read/write rates comparable to seagate and hgst

    I agree. The 10TB Gold was only announced two days ago. We inquired with WD, but samples are not ready yet.

    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    I know that your review uses the pricing that you have at hand, but as I'm reading the article, your ads are displaying prices as follows:
    HGST ULTRASTAR HE10 - $506 on Amazon
    SEAGATE ENTERPRISE CAPACITY 10TB - $589 on Amazon
    WD GOLD 8TB - $600 on Newegg

    The HE10 in the review is taken as the most expensive drive when it's actually the cheapest. Would you consider revising your pros and cons for each drive's cost?

    Thank you
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    18389599 said:
    I know that your review uses the pricing that you have at hand, but as I'm reading the article, your ads are displaying prices as follows:
    HGST ULTRASTAR HE10 - $506 on Amazon
    SEAGATE ENTERPRISE CAPACITY 10TB - $589 on Amazon
    WD GOLD 8TB - $600 on Newegg

    The HE10 in the review is taken as the most expensive drive when it's actually the cheapest. Would you consider revising your pros and cons for each drive's cost?

    Thank you

    Prices fluctuate, and it varies between retailers. Usually we do not provide a graph with low, average, and high values, but I added it due to the big price variation between retailers. It isn't a perfect system, but retail pricing is our only resource.
    The $500 for the HGST He10 is noted in the 'low' category, but the drive is still retailing at CDW for $855.

    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Thanks Paul! :-)
    Reply
  • spookyman
    No Seagate for me. Their drives are notoriously unreliable and always fail on us.
    Reply
  • 3ogdy
    18389819 said:
    No Seagate for me. Their drives are notoriously unreliable and always fail on us.

    THERE.YOU.GO. Once again another one just like me...
    Seagate hard drives have proven to be extremely unreliable for me too. This company is an absolute nightmare. I have quite a few 7200.12 500GB and 7200.14 2TB Barracudas that simply stopped working. Some of them, in a very convenient way, right after the 2yr warranty - even though that doesn't cover data recovery, of course.

    Once my last 7200.14 2TB Barracuda went belly up...I had to cough up over $1000 to ship that POS to the Netherlands and have my data sent back to me on an external Seagate drive. VERY poor quality products from this company. I'm terrified at the thought of using anything from Seagate to store my data on. I lost countless projects, personal data and things I needed, but Seagate isn't gonna get a copulating cent from me anymore. I'm not touching anything coming from them and they can easily rest assured none of my clients EVER will.

    Another detail I'd mention is this: I was on the phone with a Seagate representative and I told them how everything happened (well, basically my partitions were not there in Windows, the drive didn't show up under Device Management...). I'm asked for a serial number and then I'm told: You've just lost your warranty on your Seagate product. (it was legally under warranty that I could have claimed through the shop I got the drive from)

    EXCUSE ME?
    Very bad customer experience - building HDDs to get people to call on you for data recovery and pay over 15x the price of your POS product in order to get their data back. Your business model is not focused on providing reliable storage systems ( HDDs ) - you're not an HDD manufacturer at heart - you're a data recovery company.

    WELL DONE WE'RE DONE, Seagate.

    Also, shall I mention there's a class action suit being prepared against Sh*tgate at the EU level?

    HGST (WD subsidiary) has proven much more reliable throughout the years and they also provide a 5 years warranty (data recovery not included, of course).

    P.S. NEVER provide your HDD's serial number to Seagate on the phone.

    The lesson I'm teaching everyone I can around me is NEVER EVER trust your data to Seagate. NEVER use Seagate products as they don't stand by them and are only interested in making your pockets lighter. Even friends who weren't aware about this company now know what to avoid in their systems.

    Whenever you have to choose storage - consider SSDs first and if capacities don't fit the budget, pick something more reliable from either HGST, WD...I can't really speak for Toshiba drives but I doubt they're as problematic as Seagate's I rememebr reading Backblaze's reliability reports and thinking : It all makes sense to me now. People said they hadn't tested Seagate drives properly and that their technique was flawed, but they were right.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Paul, any chance you or Chris R might review a basic consumer spindle drive soon? I know they're not the "sexy" thing right now with new SSDs and high-capacity enterprise storage getting released. But considering most consumer builds still include a TB or two of spindle storage, I'd be interested to see if there have been any significant advances in the last 3 - 5 years. In particular, the WD Blue 1TB is 7200 rpm while the 2TB model is 5400 rpm. Is 5400 still a curse word in today's spindle drives?
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    18390300 said:
    Paul, any chance you or Chris R might review a basic consumer spindle drive soon? I know they're not the "sexy" thing right now with new SSDs and high-capacity enterprise storage getting released. But considering most consumer builds still include a TB or two of spindle storage, I'd be interested to see if there have been any significant advances in the last 3 - 5 years. In particular, the WD Blue 1TB is 7200 rpm while the 2TB model is 5400 rpm. Is 5400 still a curse word in today's spindle drives?

    There is actually something in the pipeline right now, so we should have something for you soon(ish). I am not sure about the test pool yet, but those are good suggestions. :)
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    I really want 2x8tb drives for a Raid 1 setup, but the cost is still too high. :(
    Reply