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Although 5TB hard disk drives should be upon us by now with 6TB ones following closely behind them it seems that manufacturers feel that 4TB is still more than just enough for the majority of consumers and even though they are probably right (judging by all the people i know) I’ve said it many times and will say it many more than until 10TB drives (or more) make their appearance in the market enthusiasts and professionals alike will not be completely satisfied (when you have 20-30TB of data it's neither easy nor convenient to have twice as many drives around just for backup purposes). Still it's not like we have any other choice so at least we can do our best to follow the flow of things and test as many 4TB hard disk drives as we can get our hands on so all of you can know what to expect. Such is the latest Nearline MG03ACA400 SATA III HDD model by Toshiba which we have on our test bench today.
Toshiba Europe Storage Products Division (SPD) has remained at the forefront of the storage industry for over 40 years and is the world's only storage supplier that owns design, development, manufacturing, sales and other infrastructure functions spanning the enterprise, mobile and retail environments for both HDD and SSD products. Customers are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators and distributors within the EMEA region. As a leading provider of integrated storage solutions and as the principal inventor of NAND flash storage, Toshiba sets many of today’s industry standards for storage technology. Throughout its history, Toshiba SPD has revolutionized the design and development of storage devices and its drives can be found inside the world's leading GPS navigation systems, consumer electronics, computers and enterprise solutions. In addition, Toshiba Storage Products Division offers an extensive range of advanced technology drives such as high durability 24/7, extended temperature and SSDs for the consumer, industrial, enterprise and automotive sector.
The latest Nearline models by Toshiba are part of their mid-end enterprise class line so naturally these models come with extra features such as 24/7 operation, standard ECC (Error Correction Code), MTBF (Meantime Between Failures) of 1.2 million hours and finally their Secure Cryptographic Erase SED Function (MG03ACA400Y model). Specs-wise the MG03ACA400 is a 3.5" SATA III (backwards compatible with SATA II) hard disk drive that rotates at 7200RP and has a RAM buffer of 64MB (FIFO Ring Buffer). It goes without saying that we've seen higher MTBF numbers in the past from other enterprise class HDDs but since this is the mid-end enterprise class range by Toshiba i think it should do just fine especially if its price tag follows suit. The only thing specifications sheets don't give us (and when they do the numbers are rarely accurate) are the exact performance levels of the drive which is what we are going to give all of you in the following pages.