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12Gb/s SAS Seagate 6TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 Review

By: Paul Alcorn | HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jun 28, 2014 10:50 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Seagate

Final Thoughts




Nearline SAS has gained wide acceptance for capacity deployments due to its enhanced feature set and comparative pricing with SATA equivalents. Dual-port connections provide HA (High Availability) and a speedier interface. Seagate and HGST took different approaches in this respect. HGST went with the 6Gb/s SAS connection for the He6, while Seagate embedded the faster 12Gb/s SAS connection into the SAS Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4.


The faster speed of the 12Gb/s SAS connection seems to make sense given Seagate's obvious design preparations for an SSHD variant. The SATA Enterprise Capacity v4 does not include the same provisions for flash addition, leading us to speculate the SSHD version will be a high-powered SAS-only implementation.


The SAS v4 delivers tremendous performance, even without flash onboard, making it the fastest 6TB drive on the market. In random workloads, the SAS v4 exhibited a decrease of a few IOPS in high-load situations, but some of these results fall within expected performance variance. The difference might lie in the nearline nature of the 12Gb/s SAS connection.


The He6 features a native SAS connection that nets a big improvement in random workloads over its SATA equivalent. The increase of 37 IOPS in the OLTP workload over the SATA He6 is not small by any means, and we find the SAS-equipped HGST He6 to be more competitive than its SATA counterpart. This increase in performance did not result in any significant increase in power consumption, and actually increased the He6 power efficiency advantage.


The Seagate v4 retains the performance crown in spite of the increased random workload performance of the SAS He6. With sustained sequential workloads, we observed faster performance over long test periods in comparison to the SATA variant. The 10MB/s advantage was not present in shorter duration workloads. The Seagate v4 provides unmatched performance in mixed sequential workloads.


Overall, the Seagate v4 is the fastest 7,200 RPM drive available today, even with the big jump in random workloads from the SAS HGST He6. The He6 brings power advantages to the table, and for those optimizing for power-conscious environments the SAS He6 makes a much more compelling competitor than its SATA equivalent.


While the He6 provides the lowest possible power consumption, at the expense of some performance, the Seagate v4's power consumption is impressive as well. Power requirements per TB are important, and the V4 consumes only 1.98W per TB, a decrease from 2.96W per TB for previous generation ES.3 SAS drives. Administrators can effectively add 50% more capacity within the same power budget. Enabling PowerChoice idle power modes also supplies an advantage that can reduce idle power by 32% per TB.


The v4 also brings improvements in power-per-TB efficiency that easily beats any 4TB offering. Seagate has provided an entire family of drives instead of a single capacity point. This brings the same advantages, such as untouchable sequential speed, to a wider range of drives.


The SAS-powered Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 brings enhanced functionality and a big jump in density. The impressive performance gains, and even increased power efficiency, in tandem with its five-year warranty, earns the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.



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