Seagate’s enterprise Exos-series hard drives will be launching along with consumer-friendly IronWolf drives, in the next few months. These 16TB helium-filled drives use some of Seagate’s more advanced conventional hard drive technologies, relying on TDMR (two-dimensional magnet recording), instead of HAMR, SMR, and dual-heads.
While hard drives seem dull and doomed in the age of ever decreasing prices on solid-state drives, not to mention the enormous speeds that some SSDs can reach (5GB/s being the latest craze), hard drives are still some of the most high-density storage mediums we have (excluding tapes). If you can find 16TB of storage on SSDs for under $1000, quite a few people would be interested.
The death of hard drives have been exclaimed ever since the first generation of SSDs came out, yet over a decade later, here they remain, and still cheaper than SSDs – albeit with an ever closing gap. Seagate’s latest launch of 16TB drives just confirms that there is still a demand for high storage densities, especially in the age of cloud storage. While enterprise is still the one calling the shots, consumers can still benefit from hard drives, such as with centralized backups with a NAS, or just some place to store the ever expanding collection of games we accumulate (with 100GB installers becoming more common).
These new 16TB drives make use of nine platters to reach these densities, much like the Toshiba MG08 that launched earlier this year. The Exos X16 drives have shipped to enterprise customers for a little while now, but is now being made open for others to purchase. The SATA-based drives will be $629, and the dual-port SAS drives will be $639.
The IronWolf Pro variants will be $665, and the non-pro $610. These cost slightly more due to the extra Rescue Data Recovery Service that Seagate provides under warranty. The Exos drives are rated for 550TB/yr transfers, while the IronWolf drives are rated for 300TB/yr.