Specifications and Feature Set Comparison

Prior to getting into the performance evaluation, we will take a look at the specifications of the 6 TB Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD and see how it compares against the other NAS-specific hard drives that we have looked at before. As mentioned in our launch coverage, the Enterprise NAS HDD takes the hardware guts from the Enterprise Capacity v4 drives and firmware features from the NAS HDD line. The hardware aspects (such as the rotational speed, cache size, URE ratings etc.) come from the Enterprise Capacity v4. The table below presents the data for the drive against the others in our evaluation database.

Comparative HDD Specifications
Aspect
Model Number ST6000VN001 ST6000VN001
Interface SATA 6 Gbps SATA 6 Gbps
Sector Size / AF 512E 512E
Rotational Speed 7200 RPM 7200 RPM
Cache 128 MB 128 MB
Rated Load / Unload Cycles 600 K 600 K
Non-Recoverable Read Errors / Bits Read < 1 in 1015 < 1 in 1015
MTBF 1.2 M 1.2 M
Rated Workload 180 TB/yr 180 TB/yr
Operating Temperature Range 5 to 60 C 5 to 60 C
Acoustics (Seek Average - dBA) 27 dBA 27 dBA
Physical Parameters 14.7 x 10.19 x 2.61 cm; 780 g 14.7 x 10.19 x 2.61 cm; 780 g
Warranty 5 years 5 years
Price (in USD, as-on-date) $TBD $TBD

A high level overview of the various supported SATA features is provided by HD Tune Pro.

We get a better idea of the supported features using FinalWire's AIDA64 system report. The table below summarizes the extra information generated by AIDA64 (that is not already provided by HD Tune Pro).

Comparative HDD Features
Aspect
DMA Setup Auto-Activate Supported; Disabled Supported; Disabled
Extended Power Conditions Supported, Enabled Supported, Enabled
Free-Fall Control Not Supported Not Supported
General Purpose Logging Supported; Enabled Supported; Enabled
In-Order Data Delivery Not Supported Not Supported
NCQ Priority Information Not Supported Not Supported
Phy Event Counters Supported Supported
Release Interrupt Not Supported Not Supported
Sense Data Reporting Supported, Disabled Supported, Disabled
Software Settings Preservation Supported; Enabled Supported; Enabled
Streaming Not Supported Not Supported
Tagged Command Queuing Not Supported Not Supported
Introduction and Testbed Setup Performance - Raw Drives
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  • hlmcompany - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    I can see that happening. I just never thought of IntelliPower as being such a thing. HDD's cannot vary their spindle speed during data access. A fixed spindle speed during operation is monitored by the drive, and if it changes, it is considered a major error. You'd actually hear the WD drive Click twice, and then read Track 0 in an attempt to re-calibrate it's position. Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    This would be really easy to verify with a oscilloscope, just watch the waveforms going into the stepper motor... (But yeah, intellipower drives run at fixed speeds, although different models can run at different speeds than other models) Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Thanks.. that sounds better than their 1st explanations. Although I'd still prefer if they said straight "it's 5.4k rpm, give or take a few". Reply
  • hlmcompany - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Marketing.... *sigh* Reply
  • hlmcompany - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Seagate lists this drive as 7200 rpm, which matches its direct competitor, the WD Red Pro. Reply
  • Oyster - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Ganesh, I'll admit I didn't read between the lines, but why exclude the WD Red Pros from the analysis? Seems a bit out of place to compare an enterprise class HD to a non-enterprise class HD (WD Reds @ 5400 RPM, with 3 year warranty, lower MTBF)? Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Because there is no 6 TB Red Pro. Using 800 GB platters it already needs 5 of them to reach 4 TB and can not even reach 5 TB yet. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Ganesh, in your conclusion you simply attribute the performance advantage of the Seagates to their larger cache. While the cache does help, it normally doesn't help a lot once you have enough of it. Otherwise we would see much larger caches already, as DRAM in the sub-GB range is really cheap, whereas we're talking about 500$ enterprise HDDs here.

    I suspect the larger platter density of the Seagates has more to do with their performance than the cache. Firmware also plays a major in real world HDD peformance.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    We observed similar performance advantages for the Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 vs. the WD Red Pro at the 4 TB capacity point.

    Both of them use the same number of platters, have the same rotational speed. The only difference was the cache size.

    That said, things are indeed different in this case - the WD Red has lower rotational speed, but does have higher platter density (1.2TB/platter) at the 6TB point. So, I should probably have not stressed the cache size differences too much (just had a hangover from the 4TB review)
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    The 4 TB Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 also uses 1 TB platters, whereas the Red Pro uses 800 GB platters. Compare the sequential write speeds in MB/s (max - average - min):

    Red Pro 4 TB: 179 - 142 - 86
    Ent. Cap. v4 4 TB: 210 - 166 - 97
    Ent. Cap. v4 6 TB: 224 - 171 - 104

    The Seagates perform almost identical, with a minor advantage for the 6 TB model. However, the Red Pro is significantly slower.
    Reply

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