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Seagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 RAID Analysis

By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 26, 2014 1:10 am

Seagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 Internals




The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 comes in the familiar 3.5" form factor. The Seagate v4 has a humidity sensor that detects when the drive is above spec, and alerts the user. It also features ramp load technology, and a top-cover attached motor.




The v4 has a different hole-spacing layout than typical HDDs, lacking two of the typical middle screw emplacements on the side of the drive. Users should be aware and plan accordingly, but a slight modification of most side-mount trays will suffice. The foam covering rests between the PCB and the drive to absorb vibration. Thermal pads cover the controller and motor controller to shed heat into the case of the drive. There is also a sheer plastic cover over three rows of capacitors on the right edge of the PCB.




There are no discernable manufacturer markings to identify the drive controller. The SK Hynix memory chip offers 128MB of multi-segmented cache. The SMOOTH drive motor controller resides to the bottom right of the PCB. Two accelerometers occupy opposing corners of the PCB, and help counteract drive movement and vibration. The Seagate v4 touts industry-leading rotational vibration tolerance.




Our samples feature the 6Gb/s SATA connection.



Seagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 Specifications


Idle power consumption is a point of discomfort in the datacenter. The Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 utilizes PowerChoice Technology, Seagate's proprietary implementation of the T10/T13 Approved Standard. PowerChoice provides four enhanced idle modes that place the drive into deeper quasi-sleep cycles to conserve power.


The feature is enabled with a SAS Mode Page, or SATA Set Feature command in a typical implementation. Once enabled, PowerChoice places the drive into successively deeper idle states triggered by the length of drive inactivity. There is also the option for immediate host-initiated power transitions with SAS/SATA commands, but each consecutive sleep mode requires more time for resumption.


The Seagate v4 offers SED models (AES-256) with ISE (Instant Secure Erase). ISE eases drive retirement and repurposing by eliminating the need for physical destruction. Seagate SED drives are typically the same price as standard drives. There is also an SED-FIPS 140-2 model available. The SED-FIPS version is only available at the 6TB capacity point. Seagate is the only drive manufacturer that offers SED-FIPS drives with tamper-evident coverings.



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