Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Review

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Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri May 10, 2013 6:59 am

Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Review

A 4TB hard drive offers a ton of storage space and is rather affordable ($180-$300) despite the fact that only HGST, Seagate and Western Digital (WD) make 4TB drives. We managed to get our hands on 4TB drives from WD and Seagate and will be comparing them against each other to see which has the best bang for the buck. The WD Black and Seagate Desktop HDD.15 are both 4TB drives with 64MB of cache, but we are going to put them to the test to see which one is right for you.

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The WD Black and Seagate Desktop HDD.15 are both 4TB drives with 64MB of cache, but they differ internally on how they reach this large capacity. WD uses five 800GB platters and Seagate uses four 1TB platters to reach 4TB. Seagate informed us that the new 1TB per platter design significantly increases the hard drive’s performance over the competition. It also consumes 35 percent less power than comparable drives on the market with 4TB capacities, so this will be an interesting matchup...



Article Title: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2182/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $183.57 for the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB Drive
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby sgkean » Fri May 10, 2013 7:15 am

Nice, I keep waiting for the price to drop more, hard to justify replacing a couple of 2TB drives when I just need to clean up the data LOL
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby Kaos Kid » Fri May 10, 2013 7:27 am

With the price and the lower energy consumption/cooler temps, the Seagate looks like a slam-dunk for an HTPC for sure. You could store a heckuva lot of "memories" on 4TBs ;)
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby stereo55 » Fri May 10, 2013 8:59 am

Nice informative review . Iam abit surprised at the end result of the Seagate .
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby egloeckle » Fri May 10, 2013 9:41 am

Personally I would avoid the seagate. This is very anecdotal but we have had far more Seagate drives die on us lately than WD ones at work. Granted its probably a small sample of <5000 drives but there has been a significant increase of seagate failures on drives < 3 years old over the past few years. I used to only use seagate drives for many years but it seems lately that their reliability has taken a nose dive. Again this is just from my relatively small sampling of drives so YMMV.
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby Apoptosis » Fri May 10, 2013 10:01 am

I think it really just comes to luck and the specific drive in question. We all know that a company might have a bad product or design from time to time. I've had my fair share of all brands die, but like you pointing out my sample range is too small to make any brand conclusions. Before doing this article I asked WD and Seagate for failure or return rates on the 3TB and 4TB drives and both declined to provide that confidential information.
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby egloeckle » Fri May 10, 2013 10:30 am

Apoptosis wrote:I think it really just comes to luck and the specific drive in question. We all know that a company might have a bad product or design from time to time. I've had my fair share of all brands die, but like you pointing out my sample range is too small to make any brand conclusions. Before doing this article I asked WD and Seagate for failure or return rates on the 3TB and 4TB drives and both declined to provide that confidential information.


Agree with pretty much all of this, though our issues havent been product design. I have had to replace/RMA pretty much every type of drive possible from SAS to IDE, in both 2.5" and 3.5" formats. There are bad designs out there (deathstar anyone) but my experience as of the last few years is just to widespread to be design issues.
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby sbohdan » Sat May 11, 2013 2:54 am

Apoptosis wrote:... Before doing this article I asked WD and Seagate for failure or return rates on the 3TB and 4TB drives and both declined to provide that confidential information.


This just shows how Honest these companies are but sometimes silence says more than words and it is obvious they aren't too proud of their failure rate, otherwise they would have been more than willing to share this information with us, consumers [-X
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby Calamar » Sat May 11, 2013 3:54 am

2,5 Things.

First and a half:
y. The Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB runs cooler, uses less power and costs 58% less. When it comes to pricing the WD Black 4TB can be found for $290.63 shipped on Amazon and the Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB is $183.57 shipped on Amazon. This breaks down to $0.047 per TB on the Seagate drive and $0.073 per TB on the WD drive. Being $110 less expensive alone makes the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB stand out from the cr..


Its price per GB not TB, its just a typo. But this brings me the oportunity to ask you to start talking about GiB and TiB instead of GB and TB in the reviews. Many people complains about the fact that 3TB disk have a rought 2,72 "TB" free when are formatted. Thats because the base 10/base 2 conversion, but nobody cares to explain that HD builders don't count in 2-base but in 10-base because of historical reasons.


Second:
I would also like to see ( [-o< ), in hard drives reviews, some kind of stress test to translate that into "real durability". My experience with .ES / RE series of Seagate an WDs its "dont buy YY brand if you want the disk last for more than XX under ZZ conditions".
Make the disks work under heavy read/write conditions, force them to park/start several times, some temp cycles, to see how long they last. I've yet to see that in a review and would be a very useful once you have sampled several models.
(Before someone jumps, yes I know the proper way should be do it with X disks of different lots)
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby Apoptosis » Mon May 13, 2013 9:30 am

Typo fixed...

And for the stress test... Like you said so many variables and you'd have to have machines running 24/7 for weeks/months before anything fails. Then like you said is it a bad batch or what as you just tested 1 drive. On top of that issue you'd have to have the ability to write a script and all that on your own.
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby egloeckle » Mon May 13, 2013 11:48 am

Calamar wrote:Its price per GB not TB, its just a typo. But this brings me the oportunity to ask you to start talking about GiB and TiB instead of GB and TB in the reviews. Many people complains about the fact that 3TB disk have a rought 2,72 "TB" free when are formatted. Thats because the base 10/base 2 conversion, but nobody cares to explain that HD builders don't count in 2-base but in 10-base because of historical reasons.


I disagree with this. Adding even more confusion to an already confusing issue is not the way to go. That also opens another can of worms, do we then explain how your 3 TB hard drive that is roughly 2.72TiB wont actually hold anywhere near 2.72TiB due to block/cluster sizes? At some point we just need to stick with what is the generally accepted method of this type of thing and put some expectation on the reader/user. These are a somewhat technical review of a product, expecting some level of reader knowledge is a fair expectation I would think considering how a reader without some knowledge really has no use for this type of review anyway.

Calamar wrote:Second:
I would also like to see ( [-o< ), in hard drives reviews, some kind of stress test to translate that into "real durability". My experience with .ES / RE series of Seagate an WDs its "dont buy YY brand if you want the disk last for more than XX under ZZ conditions".
Make the disks work under heavy read/write conditions, force them to park/start several times, some temp cycles, to see how long they last. I've yet to see that in a review and would be a very useful once you have sampled several models.
(Before someone jumps, yes I know the proper way should be do it with X disks of different lots)


Not sure if you realize how this type of thing works at all. This type of stress test is pretty much completely useless for real world applications, much like many of the results from HD benchmarks in the article are. The benchmarks are based on the drive being a secondary drive (can happen) in a perfectly pristine state with only a single process generating IO on the drive (never happen outside of this type of benchmark). A stress test like this to be at all remotely possible would have to be done over the course of a week or two at most.

Simulating anywhere near the amount of load on this drive in this short timeframe is not actually a good test as maybe the drive only fails when put under a load that will raise the internal drive temp to a certain point after even a day or two of this load. In real world applications will this type of load ever be seen? Maybe, but if it is then the drive failed because it was not the appropriate drive for the workload (in this case you would want an enterprise level drive, something with a much higher mtbf and designed for 24x7 load). You just cant base the reliability of a desktop level drive by putting it in a stress test that simulates an enterprise level workload which is effectively what you are asking for. This is why you have never seen a review do this, it is a pointless benchmark that is a huge time investment for the reviewer.
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby egloeckle » Mon May 13, 2013 12:21 pm

sbohdan wrote:
Apoptosis wrote:... Before doing this article I asked WD and Seagate for failure or return rates on the 3TB and 4TB drives and both declined to provide that confidential information.


This just shows how Honest these companies are but sometimes silence says more than words and it is obvious they aren't too proud of their failure rate, otherwise they would have been more than willing to share this information with us, consumers [-X


Actually this is most likely because they dont have accurate numbers, or realize that the failure rate is a horrible metric for reliability overall. Bad batches do happen, in hard drives as in every other computer component. Excluding bad batches, even non-perfect batches happen; see how cpu's are made as a perfect example. Failure rates also take into account poor usage of drives, an example is someone trying to use a desktop drive in a 24x7 or even non 24x7 but heavier business environment. I have walked into places where the person that did their IT setup (typically a relative or friend who "knows computers") that was using desktop level drives in "servers" (quoted because a desktop level PC with a server OS does not a server make). The drives in this type of workload will fail much faster as the drive isnt designed for that workload. These things and a ton more all work into that 'failure rate' that they refuse to release.

A better thing to look for is a good warranty and support that will RMA drives without much hassle. Drives fail, not much anyone can do about this. Getting it replaced easily/quickly is a much better option. If the data on that drive is that important to you, you will have a backup of it anyway (external USB, etc). Not having a backup is basically playing russian roulette as any drive can fail at any time. Hoping you are buying a drive in a good batch of a 'reliable' model and having a 'reliable' controller, memory and everything else in the machine that can cause data errors is kind of a bad idea.
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Re: Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB vs WD Black 4TB Hard Drive Re

Postby bubba » Mon May 13, 2013 1:11 pm

Yup. Drives fail. I had a batch of drives (bought 10 at one time) had 5 DOA, the other 5 didn't make it passed initial RAID build.

I have used Seagates, WD, Hitachi.. some work, some don't, some fail out the gate, some take a while... no matter the brand. Its not a matter of if, but when a drive dies.

I have bought off the shelf and over the net. Found how the drive is shipped has a lot to do with its life span. Example, I needed drive didn't have a spare in house so drove over to Best Buy. Spent 15 minutes trying to find a boxed drive that its box didn't have some form of damage to it, one had a whole big enough to put two fingers through and touch the drive. Manager asked me why I was pulling all the drives off the shelf and I showed him. His look was priceless. Out of the 15 on the shelf he pulled 12, I took one.

Rebuilt the system I needed to and immediately imaged the system. Its a 250GB WD Blue, so hoping that it will be ok. This is also why we have backups.
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