Back in January, Seagate said it would release a hard disk drive unit (HDD) with a capacity of 6 TB in the second quarter. Q2 is now here and, sure enough, the corporation has launched the latest and greatest of its magnetic storage devices.
It is rather unfortunate that we, the people, won't get to enjoy the fruits of Seagate's labor. At least not in a direct fashion.
You see, the latest HDD is not made for consumers, but for cloud servers, data centers, etc. In other words, only enterprise customers will have access to it. No wonder it is called Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v.4.
The capacity is just one of its assets though. Performance is another, as Seagate says its drive is 25% faster than the competition.
Considering that the only “competition” we know of is HGST's helium-filled Ultrastar He6, that is a truly bold claim.
Interestingly enough, Seagate's product page doesn't provide the read/write speed. At least not yet. Thus, an actual comparison cannot be made. HGST's 6 TB drive, though, reaches 177 MB/s, while the seek time is of 8.5 ms.
And since Seagate's Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v.4 is almost identical in many ways (7,200 RPM speed, SATA 6.0 Gbps interface), that means the cache (128 MB versus HGST's 64 MB) is supposed to enable the extra 25% speed.
Or maybe Seagate meant that performance is 25% better on the 12 Gbps SAS interface, which is an alternative to SATA 6.0 Gbps. More to the point, the company intends to sell both 12 Gbps SAS and 6 Gbps SATA units, not drives with both connectors.
That being said, the Seagate 6 TB HDDs are also self-encrypting, and also possess the Instant Secure Erase technology.
All in all, in addition to cloud servers and data centers, the 6 TB Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v.4 should do well in surveillance applications and enterprise backup and restore roles.
You don't even have to go for the full 6 TB if you don't want to. The storage company is also shipping 5 TB, 4 TB and 2 TB units.
Finally, since there doesn't seem to be mention of helium or some other esoteric design element, we can risk hoping that the price will be lower than that of HGST's unit. That's not exactly a very precise price point though, since the Ultrastar HE6 seems to sell form everything between $725 / €725 to $1,500 / €1,500, depending on which online retailer you visit.