10TB HDD Performance Testing
We chose other high-capacity 7,200-RPM products for comparison. The Seagate IronWolf is very similar to the BarraCuda Pro, but it implements technologies designed to enhance performance in servers and NAS that experience higher levels of vibration than a normal desktop PC. The HGST Deskstar NAS and Western Digital Red Pro are also designed for NAS and server use.
The Seagate Desktop HDD and Western Digital Black are designed for the desktop like the BarraCuda Pro. The Desktop HDD is an older model that Seagate replaced with the Guardian Series. It is still available at online retailers.
Sequential Read Performance
The first chart measures sequential read performance in various locations on the platters. These products can lose to half of their performance when nearly full. The performance is highly dependent on where the data is located on the spinning disks.
Seagate's own marketing material claims the BarraCuda Pro is the fastest consumer HDD on the market. The sequential read test shows almost that. The Seagate IronWolf and IronWolf Pro came to market shortly after the BarraCuda and BarraCuda Pro. In some of our tests, the IronWolf (non-Pro) outperforms the BarraCuda Pro.
The two Seagate Guardian Series drives stand out in this test and outperform the other products.
Sequential Write Performance
We noticed the IronWolf has consistent performance but the BarraCuda Pro exhibits much more variation. The inconsistent sequential write performance appears to come from the advanced cache system that flushes data to the platters. Seagate designed the BarraCuda Pro for consumer use, and those workloads tend to be bursty in nature. Multi-tier cache is great for burst performance, but sustained workloads expose a slight weakness.
Random Read Performance
Just like with solid-state drives, random read performance almost exclusively defines the desktop user experience. With disks, performance at higher queue depths (QD) takes on extra weight because it's much easier to stack commands. That's because HDDs can only serve a few hundred IOPS at top speed while an SSD serves thousands of IOPS with ease. The BarraCuda Pro provides impressive performance again, but the other drives are similar at QD1. The BarraCuda Pro scales better than most of the other products as we intensify the workload.
Random Write Performance
SSDs have such good random write performance that we often overlook this portion of the tests. HDDs have also made great strides in this area, but they are still vulnerable during multitasking and heavy workloads. The evil here is a full pause; that's the worst-case scenario that the drive needs to avoid. The advanced cache hierarchy does an excellent job of soaking up the incoming data.
80% Mixed Sequential Workload
Seagate trails Western Digital in low-QD mixed performance during light workloads. This is an area we would like to see Seagate and other manufacturers focus on in the future.
80% Mixed Random Workload
The mixed random results are similar between Seagate and Western Digital products. The older Seagate drive highlights the generational advances in the Guardian Series.
The newer Seagate and Western Digital HDDs provide comparable performance until they reach the 50% mixture. After that point, the Red Pro and Black perform a little better as we further increase the writes in the mixture. We don't typically see these heavier write mixtures during normal desktop use, so we focus mainly on the 80% (consumer) and 70% (workstation) workloads.
With hard disk drives, the 4KB 100% write test turns into a cache-and-flush benchmark. The newer caching algorithms double the performance of the older products.
PCMark 8 Real-World Software Performance
For details on our real-world software performance testing, please click here.
The Seagate BarraCuda Pro led most of the desktop application tests. The drive delivers very strong application performance for an HDD.
Application Storage Bandwidth
We average the results and present the data as throughput. The BarraCuda Pro 10TB led the other HDDs, but only by a small margin compared to the Seagate IronWolf.
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