Concluding Remarks

The Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD is the latest addition to our 6 TB drives evaluation set. We have taken a look at how it compares against the other three 6 TB drives that have been evaluated before, but it is hard to recommend any particular one as the clear cut choice unless the particular application is known. The interesting aspect here is that none of the four drives have overlapping use-cases.

For home consumers who are interested in stashing their media collection / smartphone-captured photos and videos and expect only four or five clients to simultaneously access the NAS, the lower power consumption as well as the price of the WD Red 6 TB is hard to ignore. The HGST Ultrastar He6 is based on upcoming technological advancements, and hence, carries a premium. However, the TCO aspect turns out to be in its favour, particularly when multiple drives running 24x7 are needed. It offers the best balance of power consumption, price and performance. Users looking for absolute performance and those who need multiple iSCSI LUNs for virtual machines and other such applications in an enterprise environment are best served by the Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4. However, if the equivalent performance is desired in a 4 - 16-bay NAS enclosure, the initial cost advantages provided by the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD is hard to ignore. Both drives use a larger cache and the positive effect on performance can be seen in a number of workloads.

The 4 TB variant of the Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD seems to be priced around $236 and the 6 TB variant around $420. These prices don't have DRS included. The 4 TB variant costs the same as the equivalent WD Red Pro, but comes with extra cache capacity. This makes it perform better in a number of workloads, making it easier to recommend. The 6 TB variant really doesn't have any competitor in its price-to-performance ratio range. While the WD Red retails for less than $300, the Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 retails north of $500. At the $420 price point, the Enterprise NAS HDD strikes a nice balance.

RAID-5 Benchmarking - Miscellaneous Aspects
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  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    What's the status of this drive's APM setting? Do the heads park frequently and make a lot of clicking noises? Can you enable/disable it using the driver or something like HDParm? Lately I've been less trusting of Seagate's HDDs because they don't allow user-controlled APM settings on many of their models. I have sufficient cooling in my rack, but half the drives I have are firmware locked with aggressive APM. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    After reading the review, I'd probably go for the Hitachi HE6 if these drives were priced close together. The feature set and more advanced nature of the Hitachi make it more attractive. I get that whole "not tried and true" helium technology argument, but the warranty is the same. Reply
  • cm2187 - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    I've read somewhere that the HGST Deskstars 6TB will be released soon. If they live by their predecessors, it's probably a more reliable substitute for the WD Red without the cost of the Seagate drives. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    I agree. Hitachi drives are excellent. If price isn't a factor (they're all the same price) then it's a no brainer. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    Oh yea, after seeing the prices $420 for the seagate nas is only $30 cheaper and you'll make the 30 dollars back in power savings over the life of the drive. And the enterprise seagate is $50 more! They also consistently fail to mention that the He6 has less turbulence and friction from the platters spinning in a less dense environment. Less turbulence = less vibration and less vibration = less acoustic output. Also because of the helium environment the motor that spins the drive is slightly less powerful than standard motors since it uses less energy to spin platters inside helium versus air. Less powerful motor also means less vibrations from the motor. It's the quietest 7200 rpm 6TB HDD without a doubt. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Yeah like I've said before in 20+ years of using a PC I still do not have 1 dead hitachi drive in my possession. I've probably bought 8 or so hitachi drives in my life and they are flawless. I've had 5 Seagates break and 3 were from the same rma process like the drive that replaced the broken one broke then broke again thats how bad they are. Western Digital isn't that bad I've only had 1 of those ever break on me. Haven't had much experience with Toshiba tho. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Yeah so forgot, I totally recommend the He6. I have a hard time believing the listed acoustics for the 2 drives. Seagate says their drive is 27db and the He6 is 29db. I rly highly doubt the seagate is quieter the Helium environment produces less friction and less turbulence because helium is less dense than air. Friction and turbulence causes vibration and is a huge source of HDD noise. The He6 should be the quietest 6TB 7200 rpm drive. Also tho the He6 lacks maximum transfer speed it makes up for it with the lowest latency by a good 2-3 milliseconds. So the He6 ends up feeling more snappy even tho its lower max transfer speed. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Just some data to backup my claim backblaze is a cloud storage company that tracks it's hard drive failures.

    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-reliabil...

    What you will see there is exactly my same experience. Hitachi has barely any failures, Seagate has a huge amount of failures way beyond every 1 else and western digital is a little worse than hitachi but better than seagate.
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    And another thing. You can almost guarantee Hitachi has at the very least an 8TB He8 to compete against Seagates new 8TB drive waiting in the wings going through its last QA testing. If Hitachi can blend the extra platter density from helium and the extra density per platter in shingled recording being used in Seagate then they could easily blow past 8TB and make 10TB and 12TB drives as well. The helium Hitachi drive is without a doubt the most advanced hard drive platform on the market.

    And for massive deployments like a cloud storage service would need, the energy savings from the He6 can end up saving a lot of kWh on your power bill. But even for a home user it's nice to shave off as many watts as possible from your system without affecting performance, thats why 80+ platinum sells even tho it's only microscopically better than 80+ gold.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Too bad you cannot put in a review the one thing that truly matters - reliability... Reply

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