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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  • Communism - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    Seagate 1TB per platter drives have been the fastest (per RPM) ever since their introduction.

    Compare to WD Blacks with 1TB per platter or HGST 1TB per platter drives and in every single sequential benchmark they have been faster.

    The cache size differential between the competing drives has little to do with the sequential results.
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    The seagate did have like 20-30MB/sec faster sequential transfers but the He6 has 2-3 milliseconds faster latency on the access times. Personally I'd rather have the 2-3 milliseconds lower in access time over 20-30MB/sec higher sequential transfers. Not too mention the lower power use, less heat, less noise and hitachis unrivaled reliability. If you are building a dense NAS setup the lower heat per drive really helps out. I feel like you would notice the lower latency more than like 160MB/sec vs 130MB/sec Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    "The cache size differential between the competing drives has little to do with the sequential results."

    I know. That's exactly why I replied this to Ganesh's

    "... 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."
    Reply
  • romrunning - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    All of the performance test charts shown MB/sec generally in the hundreds. However, the "Real Life 60% Random 65% Reads" test shows only single digits in MB/s. Is this a chart labeling problem? If not, why isn't there any explanation about the huge difference? Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    HDDs are very fast for sequential reads/writes because as soon as it finishes reading/writing one sector, the next is underneath the read heads. They're horribly slow for random IO because most of the time is spent moving the read/write heads into place not doing data reads. This has been the case with every HDD for decades. (Possibly all the way to the beginning; but I'm not familiar with very old designs limitations.) The main advantage of SDDs is that because they don't have to move drive heads around they can be many times faster in random IO than a magnetic HDD. (They're still faster in sequential IO; read the intro to SSD articles on this site from a few years ago for details about their architecture.) Reply
  • romrunning - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    I agree with you, but that is a serious drop-off. Shouldn't an intelligent NAS be able to have different drives look for different parts of those reads with some type of large LUT? Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - link

    You've just invented Raid 0 / 5 / whatever :)

    For small files the typical transfer rates of HDDs are in the low single-digit range. Even if you have 4 of them and performance scales perfectly, that's still very slow. That's why a good SSD on SATA 2 get still be 10 to 100 times faster than an HDD, depending on the actual usage case, even though their maximum transfer rates are comparable.
    Reply
  • romrunning - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    That's what I was thinking - the test was performed on a 3-drive RAID-5 array in the QNAP, right? So why isn't it's RAID controller more intelligent? Reply
  • Supercell99 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    Honestly, most serious enterprises do not use SATA HDD drives for production servers. The queue depth is only 32 vs 256 for SAS drives. SATA drives are fine for backups, the just can't provide the IOPS an Enterprise server running multiple VM's or DB's. Will still need to demand SAS for better IOPS in the HDD storage arena. VSphere VSAN will choke on SATA based disk system if a hosts dies. Reply
  • cm2187 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    Most clouds use SATA drives. Reply

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