In the summer of last year we finally went into the double digits in terms of storage capacity of 3.5"-hard disks. At the last moment of 2017 Seagate takes the next step, because the manufacturer sent us the first hard drive with a storage capacity of 12TB. It is certainly big, but is it also fast, this Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB?
The Barracuda Pro-series is the most high-end series that Seagate has for desktop use. The drives in this series are available in the highest capacities - the regular Barracuda only goes up to 4 TB at the moment - and they also have a long warranty of five years.
The new 12TB-model that we take a look at today consists of eight platters of 1.5 TB each, that operate at a speed of 7200 rpm. In order to fit this many platters in a 3.5"-case, Seagate used helium to fill the drive. This means that the drive is completely airtight which makes it look more massive when compared with regular models. The used storage technology is 'just' PMR. In other words, the downsides of SMR do not apply to this drive.
To support the mechanical storage the drive also has 256 MB of DRAM-cache, which is able to process short writes a lot faster than the hard disk itself. Worth mentioning is that the capacity of the drive only shows up as 11,176 GB in Windows. This is because of the fact that operating systems calculate with powers of 1024, while hard disk manufacturers take 1000 as base number. For drives that have an enormous storage capacity, like the drive that we discuss today, this makes a lot of difference.
The only specification that Seagate states in terms of speed is a maximum 'throughput speed' of 248 MB/s. Our tests will have to show how fast this storage monster truly is in many different scenarios. Before we get to that, we do have to mention the average price of nearly 445 pounds / 500 euros. When looking at the price per gigabyte we end up at 3.7 / 4.1 cents per gigabyte, which is not a lot for a high-end drive. Furthermore after you purchase the drive you can utilize the data rescue department of Seagate for two years, who will try to restore your data in the case of a crash.
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