Seagate NAS HDD 4TB

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Seagate NAS HDD 4TB

December 31, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

Seagate NAS HDD 4TB ST4000VN000
3.5" Hard Drive
Street Price

The global hard drive market has seen a high level of consolidation in recent years. Hitachi (previously, IBM) and Samsung's hard drive divisions were swallowed up by Western Digital and Seagate, respectively, so chances are if you have a hard disk in one of your machines, it probably bears the label of one of these behemoths.

On the consumer front, WD's most noteworthy recent addition to their line has been the Red line, a version of the quiet, low power Caviar Green series optimized for the growing NAS and SOHO server market. Seagate's answer is the "NAS HDD" family that offers many of the same advantages.


Label. The date code indicates the drive rolled off the assembly line in September.


The Seagate drives have specialized firmware dubbed NASWorks (as opposed to WD's NASware) that offers improved error recovery and other tweaks and fine-tuning to better suit NAS environments. Seagate's solution, like WD's, has undergone similar compatibility testing with many popular NAS systems made by manufacturers like D-Link, Drobo, QNAP, and Synology. And like the WD Red, a three year warranty is currently being offered... though this isn't stated in any of Seagate's literature, suggesting it may not be written in stone.

WD Red on the left, Seagate NAS HDD on the right.

Also not mentioned in the documentation is the drive's rotational speed, which according to various sources is 5,900 RPM, giving it a potential performance advantage over the Red's 5,400 RPM, though in the past we've never noticed much of a difference. The 4TB variants from both lines have 1TB platters though the Red is heavier by about 60 grams, possibly the result of a more substantial casing.

Seagate NAS HDD 4TB ST4000VN000 Specifications
(from the product data sheet)
Capacity 4TB
Form Factor 3.5"
Interface Options SATA 6Gb/s
Cache 64 MB
Power-on or Standby to Ready (typical) < 17 seconds
Max. Sustained Data Transfer Rate OD 180 MB/s
Power Management Startup Current (12V): 2.0 A
Operating Average: 4.8 W
Idle Average: 3.95 W
Standby/Sleep Mode (typical): 0.5 W
Acoustics (typical) Idle: 2.3 bels
Operational: 2.5 bels
Nonrecoverable Read Errors per Bits Read, Max. 1 per 10E14
Load/Unload Cycles 600,000
Mean Time Between Failures 1M hours

According to the datasheet, the NAS HDD 4TB is a good performer, capable of 180 MB/s maximum sustained transfer rate, a claim of which we're highly skeptical. Power consumption and noise, always important factors in our analysis, are modest, at least on paper. The rated load/unload cycles and MTBF are identical to the WD Red 4TB, so the two companies' reliability claims are equivalent.

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