Seagate IronWolf 10TB HDD Review
Seagate recently announced a new high-capacity HDD in their line-up. With storage capacities of 10TB, this is the biggest drives that are commercially available right now.
Frankly speaking, 10TB is already a lot of storage for regular needs. Normally, one would be satisfied with 1TB or 2TB but if you’re working on something more extensive, like video editing or archiving, then 10TB should be the best choice.
It’s also pretty interesting how Seagate was able to cram that much amount of storage in a single 3.5” drive that usually carries just 1TB or 2TB. This was made possible by stacking 7 discs (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) on top of each other and using an inert gas (Helium) to closely but efficiently separate the platters.
If you got two of these drives housed in a 2-bay NAS, that’s a total of 20TB at your disposal. This is the setup we have right now – a couple of 10TB Seagate IronWolf HDD and a two-bay NAS from Synology.
Similarly, these drives could also be perfect for desktop PC with RAID set-up or multimedia server storage. That means you can also use this as a file and media server for your home network and play all 4K movies and lossless music right from any TV or media player in the house connected to that network.
Seagate has different types class of HDDs for different kinds of use — the BarraCuda Class, FireCuda, SkyHawk and IronWolf.
BarraCuda – this is the most common or popular class of drives from Seagate. The BarraCuda drives are optimized for regular PC and gaming desktop computers. They’re fast, versatile and durable and comes in either 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch form factor, 7,200 RPM spinspeeds, with storage capacities from 500GB to 5TB although the BarraCuda Pro can go up to 10TB with a 5-year warranty.
FireCuda – These drives are the hybrid type that combines NAND storage on top of the regular mechanical drive storage. This means you get the best speeds at high capacities. Best for high-performance desktop or gaming rigs. It’s available in 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch form factors and starts from 500GB to 2TB capacity.
SkyHawk – optimized for recording and storing streaming videos from surveillance cameras, the SkyHawk drives are smart with very long endurance in order to be able to operate on a continuous 24/7 workload. They come in 3.5-inch drives with storage capacities from 1TB up to 10TB.
IronWolf – Like the SkyHawk class, these class of drives are optimized for round-the-clock operations. However, the IronWolf class comes with special features that makes it more appealing to run on a NAS environment or with RAID systems in mind, thanks to its AgileArray technology for optimal performance and system agility. They come sin 3.5-inch form factors and storage capacities form 1TB all the way up to 10TB.
As you can see the differences between the classes of drives, the IronWolf is generally focused on network-attached storage. As such, the features that came with it are focused on optimizing network performance especially for large volume of file transfers and 24/7 operations. Though you can still slap this drive into your desktop PC and will work just as well, it would be a shame that specific features will not be used in that environment.
IronWolf is optimized for RAID setup and features Seagate’s technology called AgileArray. It comes with rotational vibration sensors that helps reduce vibrations in multi-bay NAS setup.
Seagate also claims the IronWolf can handle workloads up to 180TB of file transfers a year which is quite generous if you’re just using this at home or a small office network. That’s roughly about 500GB of data transfers per day.
Here’s the entire line-up of IronWolf drives and their specifications and compatibility:
While cannot test the actual endurance and longevity of these drives at this moment, we ran it thru several benchmark tests to see how it performs.
Here are the results:
PCMark 7 Score: 3,011
AIDA64 Test: 223MB/s (average)
CrystalDiskMark 3.0: 238MB/s (Read), 219MB/s (Write)
In some of the tests, we ran them 3 separate times and took the maximum possible scores for each test.
Results of the tests showed impressive scores for both read and write tasks.
We also used the Synology 2-bay NAS to set up these drives in our local network. You can check out the video below to see how easy it is to do this at home:
The Seagate IronWolf drives focus on very specific uses and as such, it comes with features that enables it to perform better in those conditions compared to the regular drives. The IronWolf class provides for a lot of storage options between 1TB all the way up to 10TB, which means you can pick the capacity that you really need or settle for the one that actually fits your budget.
If you are keen on building a small-scale NAS solution in your home or office, the Seagate IronWolf is something to consider. Just don’t pick any type of HDD and think it will perform or behave the same way. It’s an option we didn’t have before but something to look into now that they’re here. Of course, if you’re really eyeing for the 10TB drives, it will cost you a bit more.
These Seagate drives are definitely impressive — very fast, packed with a lot of safety features and affordable, all in an extra-large capacities previously unheard of.
Seagate Ironwolf 10TB specs:
Usable Capacities: 10TB
Spindle Speed: 7,200rpm
No. of Heads: 14
No. of Platters (discs) 7
Recording Method: Perpendicular
Areal density (Gb/in2 avg): 867
Interface: Serial ATA (SATA) 6Gb/s (SATA III)
Form Factor: 3.5in
Dimensions: 26.11 x 101.85 x 146.99mm
Drive Weight: 650g
What we liked about it:
* Biggest storage options
* Anti-vibration features
* Cheaper compared to SSD options
* 3-year warranty offer
What we did not like:
* A bit more expensive on a per TB compared to similar class Seagate drives