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Seagate IronWolf and Pro 14TB NAS HDD Review

By Chris Ramseyer from Nov 3, 2018 @ 22:00 CDT

Desktop Performance Testing


Testing Notes


In this section, we test the hard disk drives in a desktop system. The tests run against a single drive mounted in an Icy Dock tool-less drive cage. These tests come straight from our SSD test suite. Later in the review, we will combine four drives in a NAS with a RAID 5 configuration.



Sequential Read Performance






Seagate claims the IronWolf delivers 210 MB/s and the Pro model achieves 250 MB/s. We smashed those numbers in our desktop system. The IronWolf actually delivers a little more sequential read performance than the IronWolf Pro 14TB. Both drives outperform the Barracuda Pro 12TB and 10TB.



Sequential Write Performance






The sequential write test shows nearly identical results (as they should be). The base model is slightly faster than the Pro. Interestingly enough, I found the same thing with the 12TB models last year.



Sustained Sequential Write Performance




With HDDs, you can't expect 250MB/s all the time. Performance varies by the location of the data on the platters. Per our testing, the larger the drive, the longer you get higher performance. The IronWolf drives deliver the highest performance of all the drives tested through the entire LBA range.



Random Read Performance






Most HDD manufacturers don't list random performance even though modern HDDs have made great progress in this area.



Random Write Performance






Random write performance has also increased over the last few years. Here we start to see some differences between the Pro and non-Pro, but not in the way you expect. The 14TB non-Pro delivers significantly higher random write performance compared to the 14TB IronWolf Pro. We tested both drives in the same system, in a controlled environment, with identical settings.




70% Read Sequential Performance






Seagate HDDs do not lead the sequential mixed workloads. This is reading and writing data to the drives at the same time with a 70% read scale. The new IronWolf 14TB series drives improve on the previous generation Barracuda Pro series (12TB and 10TB) but only by a small margin.



70% Read Random Performance






Seagate does lead the random mixed workload tests over the Western Digital drives. Again we see the base IronWolf drive outperform the Pro model at low queue depths.



Game Load Time




Moving over to real application workloads with the hard disk drives. The 14TB IronWolf Pro loads the Final Fantasy: Stormblood game faster than any other drive. It's actually faster than any other HDD we've tested and that includes older Raptor drives with 10,000 RPM platters.



PCMark 8 Total Storage Bandwidth




The PCMark 8 Stooge Bandwidth test uses nine applications to run ten different traces with software most of us use every day. Here we see an incremental throughput improvement over the Barracuda Pro drives released last year (12TB) and the year before (10TB).

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