Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB HDD Review: Massive Storage for Desktopsby Ganesh T S on September 10, 2018 8:01 AM EST
The exponential increase in data storage requirements over the last decade or so has been handled by regular increases in hard drive capacities. Multiple HDD vendors supply them to cloud providers (who get the main benefits from advancements in hard drive technologies), but, Seagate is the only one to also focus on the home consumer / prosumer market. In the last three generations, we have seen that Seagate has been the first to target the desktop storage market with their highest capacity drives. The 10 TB BarraCuda Pro was released in Q3 2016, and the 12 TB version in Q4 2017. Seagate is launching the 14 TB version today.
The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB is a 7200RPM SATAIII (6 Gbps) hard drive with a 256MB multi-segmented DRAM cache. It features eight PMR platters with a 1077 Gb/in2 areal density in a sealed enclosure filled with helium. The main change compared to the 12TB version introduced last year is the usage of Seagate's second-generation two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) heads, allowing for higher areal density (1077 Gb/in2 vs. 923 Gb/in2 without TDMR). If you are curious about how TDMR enables this, we have a brief explanation towards the end of this review.
According to Seagate, the 14TB BarraCuda Pro typically draws around 6.9W, making it one of the most power efficient high-capacity 3.5" hard drives in the market. It targets creative professionals with high-performance desktops, home servers and/or direct-attached storage units. It is meant for 24x7 usage (unlike traditional desktop-class hard drives) and carries a workload rating of 300TB/year, backed by a 5-year warranty. The drive also comes with a bundled data-recovery service (available for 2 years from date of purchase). The various aspects of the drive are summarized in the table below.
|Seagate BarraCuda Pro 14TB Specifications|
|Interface||SATA 6 Gbps|
|Sector Size / AF||512 (Emulated) / 4K Native|
|Rotational Speed||7200 RPM|
|Cache||256 MB (Multi-segmented)|
|Rated Load / Unload Cycles||300 K|
|Non-Recoverable Read Errors / Bits Read||< 1 in 1015|
|Rated Workload||~ 300 TB/yr|
|Operating Temperature Range||0 to 60 C|
|Physical Parameters||14.7 x 10.19 x 2.61 cm; 690 g|
|MSRP (in USD, at launch)||$580|
With the launch of the 14TB BarraCuda Pro, Seagate has also updated the model numbers for the other capacities in the series. While performance numbers remain relatively unchanged, capacities 10TB and up come in at 690g, while the 8TB is at 650g. The 6TB, however, is at 780g, pointing to different number of platters for different capacities, and even non-helium technology for the smaller ones.
A high-level overview of the various supported SATA features is provided by HD Tune Pro.
The main focus of our evaluation is the performance of the HDD as an internal disk drive in a PC. The other suggested use-case for the BarraCuda Pro is in direct-attached storage devices. The evaluation in these two modes was done with the help of our direct-attached storage testbed.
The internal drive scenario was tested by connecting the drive to one of the SATA ports off the PCH, while the Akitio Thunder3 Duo Pro was used for evaluating the performance in a DAS. The Thunder3 Duo Pro was connected to one of our testbed's Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port. The controller itself connects to the Z170 PCH via a PCIe 3.0 x4 link.
|AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH ATX|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|Memory||G.Skill Ripjaws 4 F4-2133C15-8GRR
32 GB ( 4x 8GB)
DDR4-2133 @ 15-15-15-35
|OS Drive||Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 NVMe 256 GB|
|SATA Devices||Corsair Neutron XT SSD 480 GB
Intel SSD 730 Series 480 GB
|Chassis||Cooler Master HAF XB EVO|
|PSU||Cooler Master V750 750 W|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro x64|
|Thanks to Cooler Master, GIGABYTE, G.Skill and Intel for the build components|
The full details of the reasoning behind choosing the above build components can be found here.
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close - Monday, September 10, 2018 - linkIt's not related to cost. Someone just knows RAID used to be a buzzword and he has to slip into the conversation to add weight to some dubious opinions.
Seagate stands a lot better now reliability wise than it used to. Backblaze data seems to back this up. Drives don't "come" in RAID. You build it. Pretty sure he also goes for RAID 5 because it's "better", ""best performance/safety ratio".
bcronce - Monday, September 10, 2018 - linkRAID 5 and 6 don't protect from data corruption, just dataloss. ZFS has an custom implementation of RAID 5 and 6 that can detect corruption and figure out which source has an uncorrupted version.
There are many other reasons than passive data corruption that can mess up your RAID 5/6.
wumpus - Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - linkSomehow I don't think I'm building a >40TB array with anything but ZFS (plus its own RAID).
RAID is overblown and I'd expect more failures from things other than drives self-bricking. RAID's best feature is probably for yanking a drive due to SMART failures or aging out of an array. You'd have to take down a JBOD array to image a new drive from the one aged out. I wouldn't expect you to want to use the data from a drive yanked due to SMART failures. If you are just going to "build and forget" the array, RAID isn't buying you much.
If your network is up to it (it probably isn't), a good RAID should be able to handle the bandwidth of a large chunk of files being copied from an SSD (and easily should handle it if they are on the same computer, but that seriously limits your filesystem choices. Don't do that).
MrSpadge - Monday, September 10, 2018 - linkThe value of data on a drive does not strictly depend on its size. Backup if it's important, don't if it's just temp storage or can easily be regenerated.
Beaver M. - Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - linkIm running 2 12 TB not in RAID. Just using one of them as backup. Much safer than a RAID.
No idea what youre talking about.
mapesdhs - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - linkAre both drives in the same system? Hope you don't get a lightning strike. :}
Just curious though, what's "safer" about doing it manually than simply using RAID1?
close - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - linkRAID 1 is the perfect way to ensure that any fcukup with the data on one drive is promptly replicated on the second one. In most normal cases performing a sync later is a much better option. A little more resistant to errors.
eastcoast_pete - Monday, September 10, 2018 - linkAgree with others here that the list price is (way) too high, even for 14 TB. They need to bring that way down to be competitive on the price per Gb storage ratio.
@Ganesh: Did you have a chance to ask Seagate about the reliability of these (very large) 'Cuda drives? Seagates Baracuda HDDs have had a, let's call it, "spotty" reliability over the last several years, also borne out in the survival stats at Backblaze. I would feel a lot more comfortable recommending these drives to customers if Seagate would be open about how they made sure that their drives are once again competitive with WD, Toshiba and, especially, HGST when it comes to reliability. A 5 year warranty is nice, but that means little if you end up spending days restoring > 7 TB from backups, which I hope you made frequently/daily. Remember, there are only two types of storage, regardless of technology: the one that failed, and the one that hasn't failed yet.
cjl - Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - linkHave you looked at any of the backblaze data in the past 2 years? The 6TB and up Seagates are doing excellently, as are the HGSTs, and WD is now the one trailing the pack. Obviously this one is too new to have any data yet, but the Seagate 6, 8, and 12TB drives are sitting around 1% AFR and the 10TB are down at 0.32% (though admittedly from a much smaller sample size - it looks like they pretty much skipped right over the 10TB generation and went straight for 12s, so the 10TB data is from only around a thousand drives).
imaheadcase - Monday, September 10, 2018 - linkKinda silly to run these in RAID for home use, especially since these sizes most likely be on a server and network will limit it anyways.