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Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB Review
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Seagate Desktop HDD.15
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by Rob Williams on May 8, 2013 in Hard Drives

With our ever-increasing need for storage, 4TB models couldn’t be more tempting. On the scale of temptation, though, one drive is placed higher than all the others: Seagate’s Desktop HDD.15. There’s one good reason for that: it costs less than $200. We hear you – it sounds crazy. Let’s dig in and find out if it really is.

Final Thoughts

Putting together a “Final Thoughts” page can sometimes be difficult, but this isn’t one of those times. This is a product that lives up to what’s reported on its spec sheet; before testing, we had certain expectations, and after testing, those expectations were validated.

For multiple reasons, Seagate’s Desktop HDD.15 should be considered a “value 4TB”. It’s not just its sub-$200 pricing, but also its short 2-year warranty and 5,900 RPM speed. But a “value” it definitely is. The next-best drive costs $70 more, boosts the spindle RPM to 7,200 and bumps the warranty up to 3 years.

Warranty-wise, that $70 does make HGST’s option a very attractive one. That drive carries a 36% price premium over Seagate’s drive here, should perform a bit better, and boosts the warranty by 50%. Let’s face it: a 2-year warranty isn’t long. At all. I recently had a Seagate 1TB drive give up the ghost, and lo and behold, it hadn’t yet exhausted its five-year warranty. Those used to be common back then, but not so much anymore. And given my experiences, I’d say it’s for a reason.

Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB Hard Drive

That said, if you happen to purchase a drive like Seagate’s now with its 2-year warranty and it does die at the tail-end, you’re not exactly out any money, since HGST’s current offering scales in price pretty reasonably. Hopefully you’d be adhering my earlier recommendation of running a RAID 1 configuration, and by that time, another 4TB drive should (in theory) cost much less. It’s just the hassle of replacing a drive you’d be left to deal with.

Here’s an overview of the market’s current 4TB models for your perusal:

  Speed Cache Warranty Usage Price
Seagate Constellation ES.3
(ST4000NM0033)
7,200 RPM 128 MB 5-year Enterprise ~$400
WD RE
(WD4000FYYZ)
7,200 RPM 64 MB 5-year Enterprise ~$390
HGST Ultrastar 7K4000
(HUS724040ALE640)
7,200 RPM 64 MB 5-year Enterprise ~$350
WD Black
(WD4001FAEX)
7,200 RPM 64 MB 5-year Performance ~$285
HGST
(H3IK40003272SW)
7,200 RPM 64 MB 3-year Performance ~$260
Seagate Desktop HDD.15
(ST4000DM000)
5,900 RPM 64 MB 2-year Storage ~$189

Aside from the 2-year warranty that kind of puts me off, Seagate’s drive offers so much more that makes it excellent. It’s the best-priced 4TB model on the market right now, and by a fair margin. For those who need a single or multiple units, the best bang-for-the-buck is right here.

The drive didn’t overly impress us throughout our testing, but we never expected it to. To the drive’s favor, its 1TB platters decrease the areal bit density enough to help it match WD’s Black 2TB, which uses 500GB platters. Its latencies are a bit lacking (17ms, vs. ~12ms on a 7,200 RPM model), so I wouldn’t recommend it as an OS drive, but again, it’s unlikely that anyone plans to put an OS on a drive like this – it’s a drive for storage, through and through.

For it’s fantastic value and ample performance, Seagate’s Desktop HDD.15 4TB earns one of our Editor’s Choice awards.

Pros

  • Best-priced 4TB on the market (>$0.05/GB)
  • Offers good performance; almost on par with WD’s Black 2TB

Cons


Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB


  • danwat1234

    I wonder when 1TB/platter 7200RPM drives will come out. We’ve had 1TB platters for years now. It must be the head technology that is the limiting factor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner Rob Williams

      That’s a great question. Asking Seagate, WD or any other company would yield very little as a response, so it’s not even worth the bother. Usually the response is akin to “when it gets here”, because they can never know for certain. When they -can- utilize 1TB platters in those drives, they definitely will. I look forward to them also because those should be wicked performers.

  • Guest

    Hello.
    What benchmark setting did you set on HD Tune Pro? Full test, partial test (fast or accurate?) or the default out-of-the-installation setting?
    in any case it would’ve be interesting having the HD Tune Pro screenshots.
    Thanks.

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