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Seagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 Review

By: Paul Alcorn | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: May 7, 2014 8:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Seagate

Seagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 Internals




The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 comes in the familiar 3.5-inch form factor. The breather hole to the upper left of the Seagate logo reminds us of the v4's standard drive architecture. The HGST He6 is a sealed drive and does not require the use of a breather hole, enabling use in immersed and high-humidity environments. The Seagate v4 has a humidity sensor that detects when the drive is above spec and alerts the user. The v4 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. The remaining fastener mounts line up with the same mounts on the He6. Both drives feature a modified position on the bottom rear fasteners. Users need to 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 a sheer plastic cover over three rows of capacitors on the right edge of the PCB.




There are no discernible 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.




Idle power consumption is a pain point in the datacenter. The Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 utilizes PowerChoice Technology. PowerChoice is 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. In a typical implementation, the feature is enabled with a SAS Mode Page or SATA Set Feature command. 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. Each consecutive sleep mode requires more time to resume. We test idle power consumption without PowerChoice activated, so there is an option for even lower idle power consumption. We tested idle power and measured the Seagate v4 at 9.1 watts, and the He6 measured in at 7 watts and 5.4-5.5 watts during deeper sleep intervals.



HGST Ultrastar He6 Specifications


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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