Seagate NAS HDD 4TB Review

Seagate NAS HDD
by Rob Williams on August 12, 2013 in Storage

The arena for NAS-targeted hard drives has just welcomed a second combatant: Seagate’s “NAS HDD”. Like WD’s Red series, NAS HDD is designed to work well with RAID controllers, has improved vibration-reduction, and additional power profiles. Unlike WD’s Red, NAS HDD has a 4TB model. Let’s see how that one stands up.

Real-World: Transfers & Game Level Loading

One of the most common tasks that someone will tackle with a storage device is transferring data, so to see what our collection of drives are capable of, we take a collection of solid files and folders and transfer them from our super-fast SATA 6Gbit/s SSD to each hard drive. Then for good measure, we copy a file and folder on the same drive. Both our files and folders come in 4GB and 16GB sizes, with the folders holding between ~5,000 (4GB) and ~20,000 (16GB) files.

Our stopwatch starts as soon as we click the “Copy here” button in the context menu, and stops as soon as the transfer dialog disappears.

There’s a noticeable flip-flopping going on here between WD’s 2TB Red and Seagate’s 4TB NAS HDD. It’s hard to declare one a winner, but it does appear that the WD Red’s endurance is a bit better when dealing with large transfers that deal with thousands (or tens of thousands) of files.

Game Level Loading

One of the biggest benefits of faster storage is quicker load times for games, both with regards to their startup and level-loading. For testing here, we use two of the heaviest games we have on hand; Sid Meier’s Civilization V and Total War: SHOGUN 2. Our test here is simple: we see how long it takes each game to load. Our stopwatch starts as soon as we click the option to load either game..

Here, Seagate’s NAS HDD aligns itself nearly perfectly with the Desktop HDD model of the same size – it’s almost scary. In the grand scheme, performance differs very little among all the low-RPM drives.

  • ipx

    Nice review! Im in that exact position where Im ready to buy a 4-bay NAS but I dont want to use 3TB drives when the 4TB’s are just around the corner (or just arrived as I could read in your article). I would love a comparison between WD RED 3TB and this drive.

    • Rob Williams

      Will see what I can do! I’d really, really like to know if WD is planning to come out with a 4TB Red model soon. It’d be frustrating if someone were to go grab 3TB models and then a 4TB come out right afterwards.

      • Anonymous

        …and now 4TB are around, with 5TB coming soon. :)

        • Rob Williams

          Yup! We have 2 of them in the house, and in a couple of weeks will be doing a match-up against Seagate’s drives, both internal in a PC and in a high-performance NAS. Stay tuned :)