Seagate is finally catching up to their competition with the announcement of their 6TB drive that finally brings the company into the realm of drives over 5TB. Their competition, WDC launched the HGST 6TB enterprise drive with Helium all the way back in November. While I’m not sure what took Seagate so long, it may not bode well for the company that they’re so far behind in terms of capacity. There are a lot of reasons that we could suspect why it took Seagate so long, but nevertheless they are here.
Yes, this drive is a 3.5″ drive, which comes as no surprise to anyone that knows about drive capacities. All of the leading capacity drives start out as 3.5″ drives and eventually their technology enables higher 2.5″ drive capacities. This drive will come in SATA 6G and SAS 12G, each with four different flavors and four different capacities. There will be two standard models one with 4KN (advanced 4K formatting) and one with 512E and an SED model as well as an SED-FIPS model. There will also be 5TB, 4TB and 2TB capacities of this same updated enterprise model and all version of this drive will be shipping with 128 MB of cache.
All of these drives will be 7200 RPM and are rated at a 1.4M MTBF, which makes these drive relatively reliable even though Seagate’s reliability has been put into question as of late by multiple publications and even by some of our own experiences with their 2.5″ enterprise drives.
In terms of performance, the SATA6G (SATA 3.0) drives are expected to deliver a sustained sequential read speed of up to 216 MB/s while the SAS12G (SAS 12 Gbps) interface drives are expected to deliver an extra 10 MB/s at 226 MB/s of sustained sequential read speeds. Seagate claims that this is the fastest 6TB drive in the world and as a result that would explain why they didn’t necessarily launch as early as WDC did with their HGST drive. The drives latencies remain the same across the board with an average latency of 4.16 ms. Their power consumption is also expected to hover around 8w (SAS) and 7w (SATA) under average idle power and almost 12w (SAS) and 11w (SATA) under typical operating conditions with random reads.
The final retail price still hasn’t been released yet, but I would expect it to sell in excess of $400 per drive, probably closer to $500.