Seagate Enterprise Capacity Constellation ES.3 Enterprise HDD Review (Page 10)

| Aug 14, 2013 at 9:02 am CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Seagate

Final Thoughts


The need for more storage is intensifying every year. It took Seagate 29 years to ship the first billion HDD's, but less than five years later they had delivered the second billion HDDs. With the current staggering pace of 684,462 HDDs daily, it will only be a short time before they ship out their three billionth HDD.

Increases in areal density and the number of platters are helping to increase density and deliver more storage in a power conscious manner, and the T-10 compliant Power Choice technology allows users to tailor systems for optimal performance and power usage. In our power testing, the Constellation ES.3 performed very well, delivering an economical solution that held up well to newer offerings from Seagate's competition.

In performance testing, the Constellation ES.3 performed remarkably well in random workloads, especially in light of its intention for bulk storage. The ES.3 excelled in our 4K and 8K random testing, especially with random read activity. The random read speed of the Constellation ES.3 led the charts by a large margin in the majority of tests.

This excellent read speed also carried through to our workload testing, with the ES.3 dominating the charts for all workloads, with the exception of the Fileserver emulation. This great speed carries over well to the latency under heavy workloads, where the Constellation ES.3 also scored well ahead of its competitors in the majority of tests. The only weakness we observed was the speed of sequential mixed read/write workloads, where the Constellation ES.3 fell behind the other competitors.

The solid behavior in latency and speed metrics provides very consistent performance. This consistency is likely tied to the doubling of DDR2 cache over the previous generation of capacity HDDs. This extra staging area for write activity can help to smooth out performance when data is written down to the platters.

The Constellation ES.3 is available in both SAS and SATA flavors, which allows users to tailor the solution to the needs of their environment. Encryption, and the extra FIPS layer for SAS versions of the HDD, provides users with a means of securing their data. The Seagate Instant Secure Erase functionality rounds out the data security features.

With the HDD market finally returning to pre-flood price levels, pricing is again becoming competitive between the large HDD manufacturers. The Constellation ES.3 is available for a lower price than the Toshiba MGASCAxxx series of HDDs, but is priced higher than the Western Digital SE. The extra bump in speed from the ES.3 will lead many to choose it for their storage solution in demanding environments. The option for a SAS interface is also a welcome addition, and surprisingly commands only a small premium (around $10) for the enhanced functionality of the SAS interface.

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The quest for benchmark world records led Paul further and further down the overclocking rabbit hole. SSDs and RAID controllers were a big part of that equation, allowing him to push performance to the bleeding edge. Finding the fastest and most extreme storage solutions led to experience with a myriad of high-end enterprise devices. Soon testing SSDs and Enterprise RAID controllers at the limits of their performance became Paul's real passion, one that is carried out through writing articles and reviews.

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