We test hard drives on a system featuring an Intel Core i3 3220 CPU and a motherboard with an Intel Z77 chipset. Naturally we enabled AHCI for the tests and installed the Intel RST drivers. We used Windows 7 64-bit as our OS.
The majority of our test procedure consists of performance benchmarks. The HD Tune bechnmark shows, among other things, the average transfer rate and the average access time of the drives. The PCMark 7 and 8 tests represent a situation where the drive would be used as primary disk, or rather, for starting and using programs. Both benchmarks are based on the hard drive activity patterns of real software. PCMark 7 uses programs from the Windows 7 era and PCMark 8 uses software from the Windows 8 era. These tests use so-called traces, recordings of drive usage when performing certain tasks.
Finally, we also measure the power consumption of the drives, both when idle as well as when under load.
Aside from the Seagate you can also find its predecessor (Desktop HDD 4TB) and all other comparable 4TB hard drives in the graphs.