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  • jwcalla - Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - link

    I'll remember this review when I go to build my NAS next year.

    Since SSDs have a hook in me, I no longer put any consideration into performance of high-capacity drives. The only things I'm looking for in them are low power, low heat, and low noise. For the most part they spend their time idle and any time I need them it's to access items that have no need for high throughput (e.g., media and backup). But... that's just me and I'm just a single person.
  • Locut0s - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I don't think that's just you. I think that's really the usage paradigm we are seeing the whole industry move towards. SSDs for the OS and a few apps, HUGE efficient low power drives for all your other stuff. Given this I'm not sure it was a smart move for Seagate to abandon their 5900s. I can tell you the next few drives I'm going to be buying will almost certainly be more WD 2TB Greens, if the prices ever go back down again. Reply
  • bznotins - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Definitely agree here. My focus on platters is now power consumption, size, and reliability. If speed is necessary, I go with the SSD.

    I'm starting to bump up against the end of my 4x2TB JBOD and will likely need to start swapping-in 3-4TB drives soon. I'll be largely ignoring speed when I do so.

    Perhaps reviews can focus more on these elements (power/reliability) over time (understanding the latter is a tough one)?
  • Samus - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Great article Anand. Glad to see AT reviewing internal HDD's again (it seems to have been forever as the modern focus is obviously on SSD's)

    Statistically, the ideal operating temperature for HDD's is between 35-45c, and while Green drives operate <=35c, they still seem to be more reliable in the end; I've never had one fail, where as I've had two 7200.11 drives and a WD 1TB Black fail in the last two-three years, all from SMART sector allocation errors.

    I think Seagate is making a mistake giving an entire market to WD. I don't think Hitachi or Samsung make 'green drives' (they might, I'm just not familiar with them) so WD is going to have this market cornered, and I believe thats a big market, especially for external drives where the low temperatures and power especially make sense.
  • futurepastnow - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    I agree so much, I moved all of my high-capacity storage drives to a separate, dedicated computer.

    There's just something very... freeing... about having an appliance-like network storage. It backs up all of my computers (and itself) at night. I don't have to think about what movies and pictures are on which machine.

    Slow, low-power drives and a slow, low-power CPU? No problem.
  • Techrev - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    I've gone with an 8 bay external eSata case. I love the hell out of it, so I'm using my HTPC as a file server now, but the drives aren't clogging up the case and have their own power. I thought about going NAS, but I wanted the high speed Sata connection for my game pc. Even still, interface aside, big low power drives still make more sense to me. Using my HTPC in this way seems to be the best and most efficient, but if a NAS ever seems to make more sense, I'll just grab an ITX mb and case and build a small PC to connect to the 8 Bay instead... Reply
  • gevorg - Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - link

    The 2TB version looks like a price sweet spot. My only concern with these new drives is their 2 year warranty, which doesn't even match Western Digital's 3 years on the Green drives, let alone 5 years on the Black drives. Still, time will tell, should see first reliability reports in a few months. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I thought these drives were going to come with 4gb nands or is that something else? I would buy it then as an OS drive for a diff pc.

    Also amazing time to release new hd with prices super amazingly low to azn flooding.
  • Rand - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    That's the upcoming Barracuda XT. Reply
  • misaki - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Personally, I want reliability, reliability, reliability. Performance is pretty much irrelevant these days just by sticking in a single SSD for your OS and apps. However, I feel that drive quality has dropped significantly ever since we went over 1TB a few years ago and now I'm always on the lookout for when the next drive is about to fail. This is across Seagate, WD and Hitachi, including WD's Black line.

    I've had the most success with Samsung in the past 2 years or so, but now that they have sold their HD division to Seagate, I don't know who I can trust. I hope that now that Seagate and WD are the only 2 makers left, that they will bring up their standards, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Agreed (times 3). Some of these 4+ platter HDDs have absurdly high failure rates! Totally unacceptable. I wonder if reliability is one of the reasons for reducing the platter count on these larger drives by using 1 GB platters. If that's the case, I'm all for it.

    SSD for speed. HDD for file storage and backup - and it had better be reliable because we know it won't be fast.
  • Snotling - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Don't bet on reliability from a lower end product. History tells us that older technology is not worked on to make it more reliable, only cheaper and those so called GREEN drives are targeted at the low cost customer who in the minds of the marketing geniuses deserve to have something that breaks early and breaks often.

    Super high-end performance may not have the maturity to be reliable but lower performance products are usually even worst. Reliability is found in the "enterprise class" which usually performs on the level of upper-mid-range to middle-high end. There is a reason for that, these parts are not prototypes anymore and they are not made of components rejected for manufacturing better products.

    They're the real deal.
  • Sivar - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    I agree regarding Samsung drives.
    Anecdotes are not data and all that, but Samsung is the one drive brand I've not had fail. I'm not talking about sample sizes of 2 or 3 -- I have 9 of just their 2TB F4 in my home server right now. I've worked with and owned over 400 hard drives.
    I think I know my hard drives. I've set up six large storage servers; 2 for enterprise. I was the first moderator on StorageReview's forums, edited Eugene Ra's articles before publication, made friends with three hard drive engineers through many discussions. One of the other more prevalent users of that site owned Red Hill Computers in Australia. Since starting that company in the early 90's, only one Samsung drive was ever returned to him as defective, and that one had visible dents and was from a customer that wanted a refund and not a replacement. He suspected the customer damaged the drive intentionally to get some quick cash. Whether true or not, one return in several decades is notable.

    I wouldn't touch Samsung's phones or televisions, but their hard drives are rock solid.
  • Locut0s - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Cause the terrible mess that the HD market is in due to to the Thai flooding has even the old Barracuda Green 2TB selling for north of $220 on NewEgg right now!! And even at the low end I haven't seen it much lower than about $170-180. I can remember selling these drives for $70 or less only a few months ago when I was working computer retail. Reply
  • radium69 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Just build a pontoon under that damn factory in Thailand.
    Prices are going through the bloody roof.

    Bought a 160gb WD a month ago for 38 euro.
    Looked at their website now and it 79 euro.

    Jeebus, more than 200% increase in price.
    For that price I can buy extra ram.
    There is no excuse for such a bloody increase in price.
  • mcturkey - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    You're right. The fact that the company making 75% of all hard drive motors for the entire industry is currently unable to produce anything is no excuse for prices skyrocketing. The fact that every computer manufacturer has purchased as much stock as they can to ensure they can still sell PCs is no excuse for prices skyrocketing. The fact that even once the flood waters fully recede, it will take 6-8 months for everything to come back online 100% is no excuse for prices skyrocketing. The fact that once we're back at 100% production, early drive production runs may be questionable due to downtime, inconsistent machine performance, etc is no excuse for prices skyrocketing.

    Seriously? I am so tired of seeing people say that the price jump is gouging. The limited supply of drives that retailers have are being sold at these prices, because those who absolutely need the storage are willing to pay it. I am willing to bet that unless a miracle happens, you won't be able to buy mechanical drives at all from most retailers for awhile next year. The limited amount of production that does exist will be snapped up by the PC makers to keep them afloat.
  • marvdmartian - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    And yet, how foolish is it of any company (or companies), to depend on getting 75% of ANY part required for their product, solely from one area of the world, which is known for having a monsoon season (and subsequent flooding)??

    While this year's flooding in Thailand is much worse than previous years have seen (the "hundred year flood" concept), it's still awfully foolish of these companies not to have spread their suppliers around. I'm sure there are factories in India and China that would have happily taken on part of the load in the past, thus negating this shortage, and minimizing it's impact.

    In the meantime, as has been pointed out already, this might be a foolish decision, by Seagate, to trade cost for performance. Again, as already stated, reliability is much more important of a consideration, and I'd rather be stuck with a 5900rpm drive with a 3 to 5 year warranty, than a 7200 rpm drive with a 2 year warranty, especially if it's just going to be a storage drive.

    Time will tell, how good of a decision this will be for Seagate.
  • name99 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    "And yet, how foolish is it of any company (or companies), to depend on getting 75% of ANY part"

    Gee, it's like relying on a vital commodity (call it "oil") most of which comes from countries with unstable governments that could, at any time, collapse into war or revolution...

    As long as you have a system (political and financial) that rewards people (CEOs and politicians) purely on short-term results, this is the way the world will work.
  • JackNSally - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    "most of which comes from countries with unstable governments that could, at any time, collapse into war or revolution..."

    So Canada and Mexico are unstable and at any time is about to collapse into war or revolution? (well, Mexico has it's problems with the drug cartels but that's mainly near the border)
  • name99 - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    Don't be a retard. OIl is a fungible commodity.
    You think if Iran or Saudi Arabia stop exporting oil it won't affect the US?
  • Jaybus - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    This is normal for any aging technology. These motors are not used in anything else. The market for these motors is not expected to increase, ever, and will almost certainly decrease in the not too distant future. Nobody is going to start up a company to make hard drive motors, therefore there is only one major supplier and a handful of smaller suppliers that could not produce enough on their own. It will become more and more a niche market, just like cathode-ray tube suppliers. It's not that there won't be demand for some time to come, but rather that the demand will never again grow. There is no more room for growth in the hard drive market in general, so not much incentive for new suppliers, or for current suppliers to expand. Reply
  • BlazeEVGA - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I think you meant to say, more than a 2x increase in price - which translates to a 100%+ increase in price.

    That said, the hard drive industry is a hard-pressed commodity industry (you can blame the OEMs for the drive the price into the ground nonsense...) that has been looking for an excuse to shake up historical tpricing rends. I agree with most that these supply/demand price drivers are actually gouging but the on the flip-side, storage has been almost TOO crazy cheap for far too long. Just think how much tech (layers) go into storage, how much realibility is expected to perserve data & deliver performance and then compare that to how much you pay for an iPod, iPwn or HDMI cable and ask yourself - what gives?
  • BlazeEVGA - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    That said, the hard drive industry is a hard-pressed commodity industry (you can blame the OEMs for the drive the price into the ground nonsense...) that has been looking for an excuse to shake up historical pricing trends. I agree with most that these supply/demand price drivers are actually gouging but the on the flip-side, storage has been almost TOO crazy cheap for far too long. Just think how much tech (layers) goes into storage, how much reliability is expected to perserve data & deliver performance and then compare that to how much you pay for an iPod, iPwn, HDMI cable or even your monthly phone bill and ask yourself - what gives? Reply
  • Phyltre - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    The price has been multiplied by two, but you can't parse that into "more than a 2x increase in price" due to reading conventions. It will be read as "more than a two times increase in price," which taken literally means the same thing as a "200% increase." They both literally say "the price has been increased, by 200 percent" and "the price has been increased more than two times."

    If a bottle costs, say, fifty dollars and the price undergoes a 200 percent price increase, the increase is 200 percent of the original cost. You then add the increase--the 200 percent of the original value-to the original cost. The original cost and the increase are separate numbers. Much simpler to say that the price has more than doubled, or it's now twice the previous cost.
  • BlazeEVGA - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Say what?

    Prices on average have doubled since the flood.

    That represents a 100% increase in price or 2x the base (original) price.

    The key operative word here is "increase" - as used by the OC.

    If people are buying at price levels increased by 200% - they are surely being gouged and making hasty purchasing decisions. Not saying there aren't channels pricing hard drives at that level, just saying that 2x (100% increase) is the typical trend.
  • BlazeEVGA - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    The rest of your frikin clue. Reply
  • Grizzlebee - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    I agree with what he's saying, although his wording could be better.
    I, too, hate when people say something is 3x "faster" when it is really only 3x "as fast", which, of course, is only "2x faster".
  • BlazeEVGA - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    Say what? Reply
  • Grizzlebee - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    3x faster = 4x as fast

    50% faster = 150% of original

    I don't really know of a simpler way to say it.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, November 07, 2011 - link

    "3x faster = 4x as fast"

    haha you are insane
  • iwod - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I always thought Low Power were selling really well. At least that is what's happening on WD's side.

    And i am waiting for an 3,5" HDD that could be plugged into USB2.0 without addtional power supply. I dont mind being much slower ( USB 2.0 is only up to 38MB/s anyway ), I need something to backup and write slowly.
  • Snotling - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Get a 2.5 drive... you'll be better off as they have shock resistance built-in and they go up to 1TB .(backup disks are bound to be moved around so shock resistance is a must)

    Need more than that and speed is not an issue?

    cloud backup. more expensive, slower and heavy on bandwidth at first but so much better than anything else
  • Mickatroid - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand, is the effective sequential write power consumption (for example) of the XT comparitively better than the graphs indicate? I ask because of the higher number of MB the XT should write per second, in comparison to the Green, at its measured power consumption.

    That is to say, the XT should be finished before the Green and the XT's power consumption should then be able to drop. An intersting power consumption metric might be Joules/MB written or read :)

    Also, you would need three Greens spinning (at 2TB) v two XTs (at 3TB) to make up 6TB of storage. For someone with a larger storage needs this might be relevant. Again with metrics, I would be interested to see watts/TB at idle.

    Love your work.
  • Booster - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I couldn't care less when Seagate releases their new 'drives'. I don't know how others are able to use that garbage, but each time I stumble upon recent Seagates (post 7200.10) they are either dead or dying as we speak, reallocating sectors etc. It's a miracle these products even make it to market since their reliabily is non-existant.

    Flaky and unreliable and now with only 2 year warranty! And the 2 400 power on hours limit is ridiculous. It's even worse than IBM Deskstars being rated for only 8 hours a day.

    Keep your drives, Seagate. Not interested. I'd rather wait for WD to rebuild it's factories rather than deal with you.
  • Booster - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Yeah, check that fancy Seagate specs sheet, it clearly lists power on hours as 2 400 for all models! Now even Seagate itself admits their drives are garbage... ;) RIP Samsung HDD division, I'll cherish my 4 2TB HD204UIs and wait for WD to rebuild. Reply
  • Transmitthis14 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    What limit?

    Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) of 0.32% - Is based on a usage of 2400 power-on-hours a year.

    If you use it more, then the chance of a failure increases over that estimate of .3
    So use a drive for a year 24hours a day 8736hrs, would mean your MTTF is just over 1%. The longer you keep a drive the sooner it will die anyway.

    As for reliability, well, I "Expect" any drive to fail at some point, and I always have a spare which is a clone of the one I'm using. Anything else is just asking for trouble.
    Seagate drives are not any worse than other makes.

    Warranty - if my drive fails within "5" years - I still contact them and ask for a replacement, as its well within my consumer rights here in the UK (reasonable length of time and all that)

    But every one has a favorite supplier, just make sure you have a backup/clone or cloud to keep you stuff safe. :)
  • IceDread - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I agree.

    However, the market could use some competition, thou competition from segate I do not see as a factor.
  • Henry 3 Dogg - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link


    Over the last 25 years I have owned hundreds of Seagate drives. That includes a single array 88 drives that I ran for a several years.

    In all that time I think that I have only ever seen 4 Seagate drive failures, though I have thrown the odd other drive as a precautionary measure (SMART output, temperature, squeaks...)

    On the other hand I have owned only 3 Western Digital drives. The first because I didn't know better, and the other two because I needed drives in a hurry and had to take what was there now.

    Of those 3 drives, 2 failed within 6 months of purchase. The other, a 2T Green WD20EADS brings slow to a level that I would not have imagined possible in this day and age.
  • IceDread - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    There will be a lack of competition on the 5400 rm drivers that I love for storage. Performance and power wise segate could not compete with WD but still. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    The laptop oriented Momentus XT did so well in reviews I wonder why HDD manufacturers haven't imitated it. Even on desktops where you can have a dedicated SSD, a hybrid would do better in picking which files you access most, and do it automatically. Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    "The laptop oriented Momentus XT did so well in reviews I wonder why HDD manufacturers haven't imitated it."

    Because it sucked in real life, as opposed to artificial tests. The algorithms it uses to decide what to store in the flash are garbage, so any sustained long reads from the drive (eg backups, playing music, playing a movie) remove all the useful stuff (OS files, apps) from the flash.

    And since Seagate pissed in that well, giving hybrids a bad name, no-one else wants to take the risk that their drive won't sell because people aren't willing to gamble 50%+ extra dollars on the CHANCE that it might perform better.

    Of course, the other thing this shows us is the fundamental stupidity of this industry. If they were willing to work on creating a set of benchmarks that accurately reflected real world usage (eg heavily weighted the cost of small delays for VM swapping and launching apps, took into account the extent to which data is ejected from the flash in a hybrid, etc) and could then point to those benchmarks as proving the value of their hybrids, people would be happy to pay the premium. But no, no-one wants a benchmark that shows the actual VALUE of their drives (as opposed to just tech specs) because they're all afraid they'll look bad --- better to be king of a dying industry than risk falling behind in a new industry.
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Because a 64GB SSD for $100 runs circles around it. And at $200 for 128GB, most people will learn to manage their bulky content on a separate drive (music, movies, etc...) Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    I can see from the table that the drives have Power-On Hours on 2400.
    Now i know that this parameter shows how long the electronics can be in power on state, but 2400 hours means 100 days.

    I have desktop class disks that have stayed on for at least 3 years which is more than 1000 days with no problems. So this kinda looks too bad to be true.

    Any explanation on this parameter and the stated amount of hours?
  • Guspaz - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    In this day and age of SSDs, is the speed of massive drives really important anymore? Consumers are more likely to either go with a smaller cheaper drive as their primary, or an SSD. Big drives like these tend to be used for bulk storage, where performance often isn't very relevant. This makes the Green drives, in my opinion, even more important.

    The few watts of power might not seem like much, but when you've got 10 of them in a home file server, that saving adds up. Between the Barracuda 3TB and the Caviar Green 3TB, there's almost 3W at idle. So, 30W there. The startup power draw on the Green drives (how much power they take to spin up) is also much lower, which can make a big difference in sizing a power supply for a home file server. And of course, noise becomes a big concern too when you've got 10 drives...
  • Snotling - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    start up power... oh my. you realize that unless you use an Atom CPU, the power draw of 10 5400rpm HDs vs 10 7200rpm HDs will be ridiculously marginal at least at start up... I can't argue with runing 10 drives all day not making a difference but then, you should not rely on low end products for such a task since they just won't survive 24/7 activity.

    also, these drives need to disappear completely because as long as they exist, some cheap ass OEM will use them as a boot drive on some all in one that is reviewed today on this very same website. And that my friend, is a crime against the consumer.
  • Denithor - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    When are the hybrid drives expected to be out?

    Why no 4TB or 5TB models if they now have 1TB platters?
  • n0b0dykn0ws - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    When did you review the Barracuda XT 4 GB?

  • n0b0dykn0ws - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Err. 4 TB, sorry.

  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Review was of the external stuff:
  • Marc HFR - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Dear Anand,

    Can you provide us the avarage read and the write speed and read and write disk busy time under Light and Heavy AT Workload 2011 ?

    Performance seems strange, it can be related to the very low performance of some HDD drive with very small write, like in this test :
  • Golgatha - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    $179.99 MSRP

    Just did a Google shopping search and they are $249.99 and up from there. Wow!
  • Dug - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    All hard drives are through the roof.

    I checked Newegg for 1TB and couldn't believe it.
    $130-$220 for 1TB?!?!
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    My plans for buying 2 3TB Western Digital drives for $110 each on Black Friday have gone out the window.

    And to think, I bought 2 3TB WD drives from MicroCenter for $120 each because I didn't want to pay the $10 extra per drive. STUPID.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Below the power charts, you mention "5400RPM Barracuda Green". Seagate uses 5900RPM though, as you said throughout the test. :-)

    Interesting stuff. Another con for 7200 should be their loudness compared to most 5400 drives.
  • Snotling - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    that's about 3db... unless you run 10 of them like that guy up ther in the comments, you won't notice.

    ever since they introduced fluid dynamic bearings, the noise level of ALL hard drives has become a non issue.
  • name99 - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    There is a segment that Seagate isn't considering as it decides to axe the Green line: the home server market. If you're doing mass archival to some external storage, random performance is likely not a big concern. Instead, all you want is cheap, low-power storage.

    Is this a legitimate viewpoint?
    Surely, for most home servers, the drive is not in use. So the OS can spin it down. If it's only spinning for an hour or less a day, then does the higher power it's using while spinning matter that much?
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    Hmmm.. maybe they leave low power segment to Samsung harddisks? In my crystal ball I can see Samsung F5 coming, with very low power usage.... Reply
  • Nogib - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    "The new 1TB platter drives all carry the M001 suffix to their model numbers."

    B.S. Look at the chart. Clearly only the 1TB and 3TB models are using the 1TB platters given their listed heads/disks (6/3 on 3TB, 2/1 on 1TB). The 1.5TB appears to be using the slightly older 750GB platters (4 heads/2 disks) and the 2TB using even older 667GB platters (6 heads/3 disks).
  • ggathagan - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    If he had said "All of the drives with the M001 suffix are 1 TB platters", you would be correct to call B.S.
    He did not say that, however.
  • mattgmann - Thursday, November 03, 2011 - link

    so these will be going for about a grand in a week or two right? At this point SSDs are almost on par with price/gb as hard drives. Reply
  • alphamm - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    I browse through Seagate's official website, but can't find the MSRP.
    AFAICT, this MSRP is absolutely unbelievable. How did you get it?
  • Robert Kooijman - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    From this review one can conclude the WD Caviar Green gives the best performance per Watt.

    A few years ago I build an AMD 780G based HTPC that has 6 SATA and 3 USB WD Caviar Green drives. Both 1 and 2 TB units. Zero problems so far: everything runs very cool and quiet. 1080p playback no problem either.

    So yes, Seagate's decision to abandon low RPM drives doesn't make sense.
  • ikkaiteku - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    Is Seagate using 4k sectors with their 1TB platters? Where I work, 512B vs 4KB sector size on drives makes a big difference in whether or not some machines will factory restore properly. Western Digital has been labeling *most*, but not all, of their Advanced Format drives, but Seagate is a big unknown. Reply
  • royalcrown - Saturday, November 05, 2011 - link

    and see if it bricks... Reply
  • Booster - Sunday, November 06, 2011 - link

    Freaken eh, LMAO! :D

    Main reason I went with WD instead of Seagate - reliability. WD drives up to 1TB have been rock solid for me. 2TB Greens are kinda flaky though, that's why I chose Samsung HD204UIs for 2TB Green drives, they are quite good.

    Now that Samsung is out of business and WD had sunken, seems like it's a win-win for Seagate, right? Not quite so. Seagate sucks so much noone in their right mind would even consider it. For instance, they release firmware updates for their bricks on a regular basis. Haven't seen a single update for a WD drive - ever.
  • sduguid - Sunday, November 06, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure where all of these comments about Seagate reliability are coming from. I suspect we're hearing from people who have used a few of them or have encountered a problem or two over time.

    I've installed thousands of Seagate drives over the years (starting with the 40GB models) and have had only a handful of returns for failure (less than 5). In two of these failures, heat was to blame due to air circulation problems.

    Some of the 7200.11 drives were a bit of a fiasco and required firmware updates to work properly but those issues seemed to be under only specific and rare circumstances.

    My experience with Seagate has been that their drives perform well and, more importantly, have been absolutely rock solid.

    I tend to not bother posting in comments sections but thought I would counter some of the disinformation with real-world experience.

    Now, if I could just actually get some more drives on a timely basis but that's a different problem. :)
  • Booster - Monday, November 07, 2011 - link

    "I've installed thousands of Seagate drives over the years (starting with the 40GB models) and have had only a handful of returns for failure (less than 5)."

    You're kidding, right?

    "Some of the 7200.11 drives were a bit of a fiasco and required firmware updates to work properly but those issues seemed to be under only specific and rare circumstances."

    ALL of Seagate drives post 7200.10 are unreliable due to design change. 40GB 7200.7 and other drives of that era were rock solid, true. But they also had issues like oxydizing contacts IIRC.

    Basically what Seagate did with 7200.11 and derivatives - they took a more advanced SCSI hard drive architecture and implemented it with low-grade consumer components. SCSI drives enjoy much higher quality heads, lower density platters to minimize read/write errors whereas consumer drives have very high read/write error rate and poor signal quality. SCSI architecture is a lot more demanding to the quality of drive components which Seagate also lowered to cut costs. So what do we have now?

    Seagate drives are bricking left and right, coz that's what server drives do when they encounter errors to allow for data restoration. Seagate is working very closely with data recovery companies. In fact, their drives are designed to not only simplify recovery process, but to also ensure continuing supply of bricked drives. Seagate doesn't care if your drive bricks. After that you're supposed to pay the recovery company if the data is precious enough.

    On the contrary, recovery companies don't like WD drives. They are made differently, therefore in most cases data recovery is not possible since every drive is basically unique so you can't use head assemblies from other drives or PCBs etc.

    WD drives up to 1TB have been and are very reliable unlike Seagates. Post 1TB WD is also having difficulties but they are still far better than anything Seagate these days. A lot of people have encountered dead 2TB WD Greens, for instance.
  • sduguid - Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - link

    I'm just not seeing the same thing you are. I've put a ton of 7200.12 drives in the field and have had one failure. 7200.11 also with one failure but, realistically, I used very few of them because they were replaced with the 7200.12'sfairly quickly by Seagate. I'm sure there was a reason for that.

    Yes, by the way, I am indeed serious about having used thousands of Seagate drives and experienced almost no failures.

    However, even in the thousands, I suspect the number is statistically not significant enough to be of great use.

    It is, though, somewhat better than "I had two seagate drives and both gave me problems. Seagate sucks and all their drives fail"

    I think one thing everyone can agree on is that the Maxtor drives of the 40GB and 80GB era must have had a horrible failure rate :)
  • Booster - Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - link

    "Yes, by the way, I am indeed serious about having used thousands of Seagate drives and experienced almost no failures."

    Excuse me, but how could you have used thousands of drives? It's physically impossible. You could've installed them and shipped those many PCs to consumers, but in actuality there'd be no way for you to observe them.

    Modern Seagate drives are the worst, and it's not just my personal experience - it's a fact. Seagate took a wrong turn redesigning their consumer drives from the ground up. Now I hear rumors they've been investing heavily into the new architecture so maybe future drives won't suck as much, but that's yet to be seen.

    To sum it up, 7200.11s had bricking issues. But not only that. I personally have used several 7200.11 drives and did observe instability. For instance, some of them would show increasing High Fly Writes count IIRC, and then one day would just start clicking and the PCs would freeze. But they wouldn't die surprisingly, however those aren't the drives I can trust obviously.

    Newer 7200.12 generation drives tend to quickly develop reallocated sectors. I mean like all of them and it speaks for itself. Don't know if they brick just as often as 7200.11, but I'm not willing to try.

    No such problems with any WD, Samsung or Hitachi drives. Now that the latter two have quit the market, I just don't see Seagate being a viable option.
  • JHBoricua - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    "Some of the 7200.11 drives were a bit of a fiasco and required firmware updates to work properly but those issues seemed to be under only specific and rare circumstances."

    Sure, if you consider power-cycling a computer a rare circumstance. The issues with the 7200.11 drives are well documented and it wasn't just 'some' by any small margin. Please don't try to rewrite history.

    I personally had 10 out of 20 new drives fail within 2 weeks because of the issue. I'm sure the other 10 would had failed had I not updated the firmware after researching the problem. And Seagate's handling of the issue with denial after denial was idiotic. Haven't bought a drive since.

    Since then, even after the update, I've had to RMA 5 of those 20 drives back to Seagate. One of the 'certified refurbished' drives I got back as replacement failed within a week. Haven't bought a Seagate drive since.
  • sduguid - Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - link

    There's really not much point in going back and forth on this any further. I have a large number of drives in active service and I do not see the issues you are referring to.

    The 7200.11 family was largely skipped over and I am perfectly willing to agree that it may have been problematic. As I said earlier, there is likely a reason they replaced that family so quickly. I used few of them. 7200.12 I have found to be rock solid.

    Everyone has their preferences and we're not going to convince each other to change so I think we can agree to disagree.

    By the way, it is possible that I will start to see abnormal issues or failures with the 7200.12 series but I'm simply saying that I have not to this point.
  • JHBoricua - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    You can buy the 2TB drive for a cool $289.00
  • mikbe - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    I wonder if the target audience is people that use an SSD as their primary drive but want a moderately fast second data drive. Something they can use for: storing infrequently used files, a scratch disk, Internet browser temp files, Microsoft's virtual memory, and other activities that write a lot of tiny temporary files that will decrease the life of an SSD.

    They want a middle of the road drive that will be reliable and fast but they don't need a 10,000RPM drive that will die in a year and uses as much energy as a small hamlet or a 5,400RPM Eco drive that takes forever to transfer data back and forth.
  • UltraTech79 - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    Hmm no dB measurements? C'mon.. Reply
  • n13L5 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    One would really wish Anandtech and everybody else would vastly reduce the role of speed benchmarks in their tests for hard drives...

    Instead, give some room to figure out likely reliability and at least quote MTBF, if its rated for 24/7 operation or 8 hours/5days a week etc...

    Reliability, heat and noise far outweigh any speed considerations since we have SSDs.

    Its a huge drag to slog through review after review, being presented with the same benchmark charts that are very close to irrelevant now. They should at most occupy 1/4 of a review.
  • oranos - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    This + SSD OS with cache partition for Intel Rapid Storage Technology is the ideal setup for any home user. Reply
  • Alientech - Thursday, May 28, 2015 - link

    I got an email from Seagate if I would partake in their questionare and would be willing to do reviews for samples and the last question was would I recommend their products to others. After having been strongly attacked when I was trying to find out more information on some of their drives, I believe people think if they come out strongly against those who comment negatively then companies will consider them for review units. I just dont see the point otherwise for such strong opinions from people who have no experience. If anything a company like blackbaze can be trusted to more accurately show their experiences especially when it matches your own. Using thousands of drives and not having more a couple of failures defies even the marketing that the companies put out and they should take photos of such people and post it with their recommendations because of such good luck in getting all the high quality drives. Its like getting 5GHZ intel cpu's without having to buy millions like some companies do to actually get a couple of them they can show off with.

    I also wonder about some of the tests. My crucial 240GB M500 SSD showed a far different picture than what I seen in review sites and I could not figure it out for an year. Where ever there was data on the drive it would show read speeds of 250MB, the blank areas would show 500MB read speeds.. On just one site I saw a similar snapshot explaining that it was the address translations slowing down the drive when reading from the used data area. So how come other sites say they were benching dirty drives but it not showing the same problems? The same way, when I benched this ST3000DM001 I saw very different results. It was like they were using zones of SMR to fit more data and seagate itself would provide no information on it. The 8 or so zones on the drive showed the data read speeds slowing down and then picking up again, which I never seen on any other drive. It could be seagate was testing new ways to pack in more data and also have SMR type tracks work for efficiently. I have not had experience with thousands of drives, but I do have experience with hundreds of drives. Seagate is a marketing company, nt a technological powerhouse, they sell cheaply made low quality drives for far less than others. Put other companies out of business and buy them out and use their patent portfolio to survive. CDC drives were more than twice as fast as seagate drives of the time. Once seagate got their hands of them, CDC drives were not reliable. Same goes with Quantum. My friend was always so proud of how fast their drives were and would boast of their reliability, of course they dropped off a cliff once Seagate got them. Maxtor drives were not reliable but they were fast. A match made in heaven. But at least maxtor had 5 years warranty and usually failed only in the 6th year. The dozen or so progressive drive all failed in a staggered fashion after the warranty expired for all the weird reasons.

    But I did find a couple of messages even on seagate forums that they were experiencing the very same results and problems I had with drives using a particular firmware. Seagate not answering speaks loudly about why that would be. and the ever decreasing warranty periods and things like 5 days of 8 hour usage and other stipulations on how to void the warranty. It is like some SSD makers slowing down their drives after hard usage so it lasts the 10 years of warranty.

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