The exponential increase in data storage requirements over the last decade or so has been handled by regular increases in hard drive capacities. Multiple HDD vendors supply them to cloud providers (who get the main benefits from advancements in hard drive technologies), but, Seagate is the only one to also focus on the home consumer / prosumer market. In the last three generations, we have seen that Seagate has been the first to target the desktop storage market with their highest capacity drives. The 10 TB BarraCuda Pro was released in Q3 2016, and the 12 TB version in Q4 2017. Seagate is launching the 14 TB version today.

Introduction

The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB is a 7200RPM SATAIII (6 Gbps) hard drive with a 256MB multi-segmented DRAM cache. It features eight PMR platters with a 1077 Gb/in2 areal density in a sealed enclosure filled with helium. The main change compared to the 12TB version introduced last year is the usage of Seagate's second-generation two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) heads, allowing for higher areal density (1077 Gb/in2 vs. 923 Gb/in2 without TDMR). If you are curious about how TDMR enables this, we have a brief explanation towards the end of this review.

According to Seagate, the 14TB BarraCuda Pro typically draws around 6.9W, making it one of the most power efficient high-capacity 3.5" hard drives in the market. It targets creative professionals with high-performance desktops, home servers and/or direct-attached storage units. It is meant for 24x7 usage (unlike traditional desktop-class hard drives) and carries a workload rating of 300TB/year, backed by a 5-year warranty. The drive also comes with a bundled data-recovery service (available for 2 years from date of purchase). The various aspects of the drive are summarized in the table below.

Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB Specifications
Model Number ST14000DM0001
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
Sector Size / AF 512 (Emulated) / 4K Native
Rotational Speed 7200 RPM
Cache 256 MB (Multi-segmented)
Platters 8
Platter Type PMR
Rated Load / Unload Cycles 300 K
Non-Recoverable Read Errors / Bits Read < 1 in 1015
MTBF 1M hours
Rated Workload ~ 300 TB/yr
Operating Temperature Range 0 to 60 C
Physical Parameters 14.7 x 10.19 x 2.61 cm; 690 g
Warranty 5 years
MSRP (in USD, at launch) $580

With the launch of the 14TB BarraCuda Pro, Seagate has also updated the model numbers for the other capacities in the series. While performance numbers remain relatively unchanged, capacities 10TB and up come in at 690g, while the 8TB is at 650g. The 6TB, however, is at 780g, pointing to different number of platters for different capacities, and even non-helium technology for the smaller ones.

A high-level overview of the various supported SATA features is provided by HD Tune Pro.

The main focus of our evaluation is the performance of the HDD as an internal disk drive in a PC. The other suggested use-case for the BarraCuda Pro is in direct-attached storage devices. The evaluation in these two modes was done with the help of our direct-attached storage testbed.

The internal drive scenario was tested by connecting the drive to one of the SATA ports off the PCH, while the Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro was used for evaluating the performance in a DAS. The Thunder3 Duo Pro was connected to one of our testbed's Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port. The controller itself connects to the Z170 PCH via a PCIe 3.0 x4 link.

AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH ATX
CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 4 F4-2133C15-8GRR
32 GB ( 4x 8GB)
DDR4-2133 @ 15-15-15-35
OS Drive Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 NVMe 256 GB
SATA Devices Corsair Neutron XT SSD 480 GB
Intel SSD 730 Series 480 GB
Add-on Card None
Chassis Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
PSU Cooler Master V750 750 W
OS Windows 10 Pro x64
Thanks to Cooler Master, GIGABYTE, G.Skill and Intel for the build components

The full details of the reasoning behind choosing the above build components can be found here.

Performance - Internal Storage Mode
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  • boozed - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    *expressed Reply
  • Xajel - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Using helium helps with reducing turbulence near the platters allowing them to have these platters closer to each other, or slightly thinner platter, or both of these worlds to have more platters. But another thing about He filled drives is that platters faces lesser friction than regular air-filled drives, making the motor doing less work to maintain it's speed which eventually means lower power usage.

    But He filled drives are more expensive to make, not because of the Helium it self which only costs a little. But because Helium is too light and can escape very easily from any tiny hole and even macroscopic holes like how Helium filled balloons inflate with time because Helium is very good at escaping, They had to design the HDD to be completely sealed to force the Helium inside. And because Helium is used mainly to put in more platters in the drive so gaining more capacity per drive there's no point in adding it to smaller drives with these extra costs and complications. The only benefit then is to save more power.
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - link

    I think you mean *mi*croscopic holes. Macroscopic makes me think of Donut County:
    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/08/donut-count...
    Reply
  • Teknobug - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    14GB! I haven't even filled my 1GB drives yet. Reply
  • Teknobug - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    14TB & 1TB*
    ^ brain fart
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Same here. I've got a 1TB 2.5 inch drive in an external case that I plug into my laptop for backing up the 500GB SSD. There's less than 250GB used. Not everyone has so little data though and its nice to see Seagate seeling capacity to those that want or need it. It looks a lot like some of the features are inherited directly from enterprise drives which makes me suspect a rebrand, but not a bad one given the additional features. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Pfft, the ExploitedCollegeGirls library alone is 1TB... Reply
  • timecop1818 - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Seagate? Nope. Drives over 4-5TB not in RAID? Nope. I'd like to actually keep my data. Reply
  • Hixbot - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    What's preventing you from using RAID with this drive? I have 5 of the 10tb versions in raid 5. Reply
  • wumpus - Monday, September 10, 2018 - link

    Mostly cost, although once you get into 40TB raid land I suspect the convenience of >10TB drives outweighs the issue of buying multiple 8 port SATA pci-e cards to go along with 16 3TB drives. The 3TB still wins in cost (although any more and I'd look into jumping to 4TB, the cost of the ports outweighs the cost of the parity drives) and you can also bump up to RAID 6. On second thought, I'm not sure how I'm going to wrap a case around 16 drives: that might be the biggest hurdle.

    Not that I'm convinced that RAID6 is necessary (as far as I can tell most "you need RAID6" assumed that bad bits were randomly dispersed and that a single bad bit would kill your data, actually bad bits have to be in 4k(byte) chunks (32,000 times as rare as they thought) and that at least consumers aren't going to store anything that can't afford a single [sector] of error (at least at 40TB level). But If I'm already buying 15 hard drives for RAID5, I'll bump it up to RAID6.

    Do you back that monster up on LTO? Picking up refurbished/semi-obsolete LTO for consumer gear appears complicated (but eventually justifies the cost): picking up "list price pro gear" makes more sense to have a backup RAID array.
    Reply

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