For the longest time I ran a set of four Seagate Barracuda 7200.12's in my NAS here in the lab. These drives served me very well up until last year, when they were replaced by the purpose built WD Red NASWare drives. Now though Seagate has entered the purpose built drive market with the NAS HDD.
When you are in the market for a shiny new HDD, it's of utmost importance to take a few things into consideration including the purpose of the drive, the capacity you're looking for, and the most important, what environment the drive will be subjected to. I say the environment as the most important because drives like the NAS HDD are purpose built to run 24/7 in hot environments like that of a 1 to 5 bay NAS appliance. Drives like the previously reviewed Desktop HDD .15 are made for just that, your desktop PC, where there is a bit more airflow.
Now you may be saying to yourself, "this NAS HDD is just the Desktop HDD .15 with fancy firmware", and to an extent that could be true. Both drives utilize the same four platter design, with areal density at 625GB/ sq. in and the same 1*10^14 BER, but Seagate has added a few more improvements to the NAS HDD as well. Technology like Dual Plane Balance and Seagate's patented NASWorks Error Recovery Control increase the drives durability and vibration tolerance for the 24/7 environment of small NAS appliances. It's not just some fancy marketing talk.
If this isn't enough for you, the Load/Unload cycles for the NAS HDD have been doubled to 600,000 over the 300,000 found in the Desktop HDD .15, and adding to this the Power-On Hours, which sit at 8760, four times more than the Desktop HDD. Power consumption figures have also taken a dive with typical operating power going from 7.5 watts to 4.8 watts in the NAS HDD. The same is true for the idle and standby power as well where the Desktop HDD consumed five watts at idle and 0.75 watts in standby, the NAS HDD uses just 3.95 at idle and 0.5 in standby.
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Taking a look at the specifications for the NAS HDD by Seagate, we find the cache listed as 64MB. Closely following this is the Max Sustained Transfer Rate of 180MB/s with the Power On to Ready at