64 3.5 inch hard drive round-up: storage wars?

Seagate, Toshiba and WD desktop hard drives compared

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Ultimate storage: 10 TB… and more!

The 10TB drives have now been on the market for a year and are starting to stabilise in price. Seagate in particular shows that a 10TB drive doesn't have to be expensive at all. It offers both SkyHawk and IronWolf for about 310 pounds. Of these two, the SkyHawk is a little quieter, while the IronWolf performs better.

If you especially want a silent 10 terabyte disk, then you must be at WD. With an average price of 345 pounds, the WD Red is a bit expensive, but compared to the other disks it is quiet and for some people this is worth paying extra for.

Some time ago we received from Seagate the first hard drives with a storage capacity of 12 TB. A model from the Barracuda Pro series, aimed at the semi-professional market and covered by a five-year warranty, was first released. The cheaper Ironwolf variant is now also available. Internally, the drive consists of eight 1500GB platters to enable this enormous capacity. A helium filling has been used to fit so many platters.

Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB
The Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB is not only the largest, but also the fastest drive we've ever tested.

In theory, larger disks are by definition faster. The closer the bits are on top of each other, the more bits pass under the read and write heads in the same time, so the faster it can be read and written. In practice, this works out nicely: the Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB reads and writes with an average of 204 MB/s, which in both cases is good for a record. The top speed even exceeds 250 MB/s. The PCMark tests also confirm that this is the fastest hard disk drive we have ever tested.

All that speed comes at a price, and we are not only talking about its MSRP; it is not exactly the quietest disk in the test either. At the same time, we have regularly seen worse and what's more, the power consumption is very low. The Ironwolf 12TB costs less and is almost as fast, but has a shorter warranty period of 3 years instead of 5 years.

Meanwhile, the WD Gold 12TB has also been launched. This drive is somewhat more expensive than the Seagate Barracuda Pro and depending on the benchmark, sometimes even faster. Although the Seagate's weren't particularly quiet, the WD Gold 12TB produces a whole racket with no less than 43 dB (A). Frankly, we would have preferred to have seen a somewhat slower disc that generates an acceptable sound level.


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