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.
I love tackling our “Final Thoughts” section for products like Seagate’s NAS HDD because it’s just so straight-forward. Plus, it helps when products prove to be quite good, such as this one has.
When choosing between hard drives for your NAS, I wholeheartedly recommend targeting models that are built for that use. Prior to the release of WD’s Red and Seagate’s new NAS HDD, the best options were much more expensive, and we can see what can arise from using low-powered drives not designed for use behind a RAID controller. Personally, I’d feel a lot safer using one of these drives in my NAS than a WD Green or Seagate Desktop HDD.
That said, error correction isn’t the only tweak made to these drives that make them more suitable for NAS use. Each contains their own flavor of things to improve on things. On Seagate’s side, the highlight feature is called NASware, and perks there include vibration reduction (could be important given NASes tend to be 24/7 appliances) and improved power profiles. We’re sure there’s even more to the formula than what we’re being told, because hard drive vendors are notorious for keeping specifics a secret (and it’s hard to blame them).
The battle worth paying attention to in our testing was WD Red 2TB vs. Seagate NAS HDD 4TB, but because of the density differences, it’s not a match-up I’m too comfortable focusing on too much. A 3TB match-up would be a little more interesting, and if there’s demand for that, we’ll consider tackling it.
From what we did see, though, even compared to other 4TB models, Seagate’s NAS HDD performed very well. It delivered some of the best IOPS performance in our HD Tune tests, and more often than not, surpassed the performance of WD’s 2TB Red. Nothing stood out as a problem with the NAS HDD, and that’s what’s important.
Given what both Seagate and WD offer with their respective drives, it’s impossible to say that one is better than the other, but because of some of their choices, a decision on your part can be easier made. For example, if you want a 4TB NAS option, you have exactly one choice if affordability is your goal (enterprise drives are nice, but expensive). For 2TB and 3TB options, WD’s Red tends to be a bit cheaper at this point in time ($10 cheaper for 3TB, $20 for 2TB). And, if you happen to be one of the few that wants to put a 1TB drive to their NAS work, WD is the only one offering that solution.
Depending on what you’re looking for, both companies offer great products here. Tackling the Seagate NAS HDD 4TB specifically, I’d be hard-pressed to not award it an Editor’s Choice given all that it offers. It’s a bit more expensive than the standard Desktop HDD variant which offers similar speeds, but its NAS perks and the additional year warranty more than makes up for it.
Fantastic performance for a ~5,900 RPM hard drive.
Only 4TB option for NAS-specific models (your move, WD).
A bit more expensive than WD’s Red (2TB and 3TB). Seagate’s drives are newer; pricing will go down.