Seagate Desktop HDD 5TB ST5000DX000 Consumer Review

Today Tyler provides us with an exclusive review of Seagate's Desktop HDD 5TB ST5000DX000 hard disk drive. Read on for his full thoughts and opinion.

@TylerBernath
Published Fri, Jul 18 2014 11:42 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:59 PM CST
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Seagate

Introduction & Specifications, Pricing and Availability

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About a month ago, we were able to get our hands-on one of the very first Seagate Desktop 6TB drives meant for the average consumer by harvesting it from the LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt 2. Today, we harvest yet another drive from Seagate in the form of the 5TB Desktop HDD. This time around, we were able to gather this drive from a NAS appliance sent to us for review.

Like the 6TB model we reviewed last month, this 5TB drive houses 1TB platters inside with an areal density of 633Gbits/in2, and while the model we have in the lab today is not available at retail, in the coming months they should start appearing on store shelves, albeit with a new model number.

Let's dive in and take a close look now.

Specifications, Pricing and Availability

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Again, we have to look over at the Enterprise Capacity V4 to get an idea of what the specification of the 5TB Desktop HDD will emulate. As we know, the Desktop variant will not carry many of the features found in the Enterprise Capacity V4, but the basics should be very similar. However, things do get a bit tricky in Seagate's portfolio as SMR enabled drives are just around the corner, and if you so happened to look at marketing materials on the product webpage, you will find a similar drive with model number ST5000DM000 that is in fact SMR enabled. The drive we have in house does not use SMR technology.

With that said, looking at the specifications above from the performance section on down, we fully expect this drive to carry those features. Of course we start with the 7200 RPM spindle speed with a max sustained transfer rate of 216 MB/s. Average latency is listed at 4ms, while idle and typical power are listed at 6.9 and 11.27 watts respectively.

MSRP for the Seagate Desktop HDD 5TB is a bit tricky. We found that Seagate's website is offering the SMR powered ST5000DM000 for $225.99 at CDW, but if we monitor other online retailers, we know the 6TB Desktop HDD lands at $299.99, while the 4TB sits at $179.99. This leaves Seagate with roughly $120 to play with so we would assume this drive will land somewhere around $249.99 if it ever comes to retail in its five platter variant.

Drive Details

Seagate Desktop HDD 5TB

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Looking at the drive itself, we again find the drive without a capacity designation, though the model number hides no secrets.

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The drives SATA power and data connectors are lined up correctly so no issues with hot swap racks.

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Above, we have the PCB removed from the drive where we get a look at the LSI controller in the center, followed by 128MB of SKHynix DRAM for the cache and Smooth motor driver.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup and ATTO Benchmarks

Desktop Test System

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ATTO - Baseline Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34

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In ATTO read testing, the Desktop HDD 5TB was right with the 6TB model reaching 220 MB/s.

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Write performance for the 5TB followed a path similar to the 6TB touching 220 MB/s at peak, but falling off afterwards.

Benchmarks - 4K Random Performance & Latency

IOMeter - 4K Random Performance with QD

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In random read, we watched, as the 5TB was able to match the 6TB drive through the QD scale eventually peaking at 619 IOPS.

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Moving to random write, we found the performance of the 5TB drive to be quite a bit lower than both the 4 and 6TB models.

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Read latency for the 5TB drive was very respectable, matching the 6TB across the scale.

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Write latency on the other hand was quite a bit higher than the 4TB and 6TB models.

Benchmarks - Sequential Performance & Latency

IOMeter - Sequential Performance with QD

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Sequential read for the 5TB was quite impressive, showing a peak speed of 233 MB/s at QD32.

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Moving over to sequential write, we found the performance of the 5TB to drop off. Here we reached a maximum of 198 MB/s.

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Read latency for the 5TB drive was very respectable, matching the 6TB across the scale.

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Write latency was just above the 6TB model in sequential at 20ms at QD32.

Benchmarks - Workloads & Workload Latency

IOMeter - Workload Performance with QD

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Moving on to our workloads, we found the 5TB drive to offer a significant increase in performance over the 4TB model in OLTP.

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File Server proved to offer a similar performance increase, with the 5TB staying right with the 6TB model.

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Email server furthered the experience with the 5TB doing quite well through QD4, after the drive performance seems flatten out.

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Web Server was one of the better performing tests for the 5TB. Here we have the drive neck and neck with the 6TB model.

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Workstation allowed the 5TB to outperform the previous Desktop HDD 4TB by a fair margin.

IOMeter - Workload Latency with QD

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OLTP latency for the 5TB came in at 136ms at QD32 about 30% quicker than the Desktop 4TB.

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File Server latency for the 5TB landed at 103ms, just above the 90ms produced by the 6TB.

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Email server grouped the five and 6TB drives a little closer, where we have the 5TB at 145ms and 6TB at 131ms, respectively.

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Web Server once again had the 5TB and 6TB models right with each other through the QD scale.

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Workstation enabled the 5TB to enjoy a nearly 40% performance advantage over the previous 4TB Desktop HDD.

Power Consumption

Our custom power testing samples each drive for a period of three minutes, across each workload. In order to offer more granularity, we sample the power in one-second intervals.

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Looking at our consumer workload, we found the 5TB to average near 7.5 watts. At peak, we measured just over 9 watts during sequential read.

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Our workload testing shows the Desktop HDD 5TB with a relatively linear power model throughout testing.

We measured a low of 7.17 watts during the Email Server test, followed up by a peak of 7.77 watts during Web Server testing.

Final Thoughts

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With this Desktop HDD from Seagate being a possible OEM variant of their Enterprise Capacity v4, of course lacking many of the high-end features, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the drive performed when compared to the 6TB model.

While in most cases the extra platter and subsequent heads allowed the 6TB to keep its advantage, the 5TB model was right there with it and able to top it in some workloads.

Power consumption of the 5TB model allowed it to slide right between the 4TB and 6TB models in our chart. At the drives lowest point, we measured 7.5 watts and at peak nine watts, and while this is substantially more than the 4TB model reviewed late last year, performance has increased due to the 7200-RPM spindle speed.

In workstation power testing, we found all drives to be linear in their power consumption. The 5TB model had a low of 7.17 watts and a peak of 7.77 watts.

As I stated in the introduction, MSRP for the ST5000DX000 is mostly a guess at this point, where I predicted a price point somewhere around $249.99. However, that could change as Seagate tests the market for SMR drives in the future.

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Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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