20 - 01 - 2018
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Seagate IronWolf Pro 12TB SATA III HDD Review

Article Index

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

seagate ironwolf pro 12tba

   With the first 12TB drives already available in the market by pretty much all the major players (including Seagate, WD and HGST) and 14TB models already on the way and scheduled for release by the end of the year (if all goes well that is) it's a safe bet that mechanical drives aren't going anywhere for many years to come. This of course is great news for professionals and even consumers in need of plenty of storage capacity for backup purposes (personally i hope that 20TB models are not that far away since currently we use over 80TB in the lab alone) but at the same time this also means that SSDs are nowhere near to closing the price/capacity gap they've had with HDDs since day one. Roughly three weeks ago we looked at the brand new consumer oriented IronWolf 12TB HDD for NAS model by Seagate so today we'll be checking out its enterprise grade brother the IronWolf Pro 12TB model.


   Founded in 1979, Seagate is the leading provider of hard drives and storage solutions. From the videos, music and documents we share with friends and family on social networks, to servers that form the backbone of enterprise data centers and cloud-based computing, to desktop and notebook computers that fuel our personal productivity, Seagate products help more people store, share and protect their valuable digital content. Seagate offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of hard disk drives, solid-state drives and solid-state hybrid drives. In addition, the company offers an extensive line of retail storage products for consumers and small businesses, along with data-recovery services for any brand of hard drive and digital media type. Seagate employs more than 50,000 people around the world.


   As we speak the IronWolf Pro line of hard disk drives by Seagate includes models in 2/4/6/8/10/12TB capacities and just like the regular IronWolf line it's also optimized for use with network attached storage devices (this time however with up to 16 bays instead of just 8), desktop servers and private cloud storage. Also just like the regular IronWolf model the IronWolf Pro 12TB also features Seagate's AgileArray technology (includes dual-plane balancing, RAID optimization and advanced power management), Rotational Vibration (RV) mitigation (several RV sensors help maintain high performance in multi-drive NAS enclosures) and Error Recovery Control. The IronWolf Pro 12TB drive also features a total of 8 platters (1.5TB each) which spin at 7200RPM, has a total of 256MB cache (2/4TB models have 128MB) and comes with the typical SATA III 6Gb/s interface. Last but certainly not least the IronWolf 12TB HDD for NAS features a maximum sustained data transfer speed of 250Mb/s, is rated for a workload rate of up to 300TB per year (multi-user technology), has an MTBF (mean time between failures) of 1.2 million hours and is covered by a 5 year limited warranty.

 



 

SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featspecs

 



 

THE IRONWOLF PRO 12TB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

seagate ironwolf pro 12tb 1tJust like the IronWolf 12TB drive the IronWolf Pro 12TB also arrived inside a sealed static free bag (bulk).

 

 

Nothing new in terms of appearance since the new IronWolf Pro 12TB model is identical to all the other guardian models by Seagate.

 

 

Once again a large sticker at the top of the drive contains the usual information such as the drives serial number, factory roll-out date, interface, capacity, electrical requirements and installed firmware.

 

 

Typically at the rear of the enclosure we see a small PCB with all the modules placed on the other side for increased protection.

 

 

Four pins (probably used for firmware updates) and the usual SATA power and data connectors are located at the rear of the drive.

 



 

TEST BED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cpuz3930k

 

TESTING METHODOLOGY



     Thoroughly testing hard disk drives may require time and patience but that's just about it. Of course that doesn't mean that one must take it lightly, at least not when people base their decision on your results. True some choose to only use 2 or 3 benchmarking suits in order to measure the performance of a drive or drives since quite honestly most benchmarking suites do tend to agree with each other (so it's not really wrong) but we always like to take things a step further not because we have to but because we want to be almost 100% certain of the results we get and post in our charts.


     So in this kind of reviews we will use a total of 7 different benchmarking suites in an effort to bring you the most accurate results across the board. Now the only reason why i say effort is because real-world usage is not always on par with what results one gets by running several benchmarks on a drive and that's mainly because there are many variables at work from ambient temperatures to hardware configurations and even firmware versions. The benchmarking applications we use are the AIDA64 suite (former Everest Pro), HD Tune Professional (as of October 2016 we also record seek times of 3.5” drives), HD Tach RW, ATTO, Sisoftware Sandra Pro, Crystal Disk Mark 64bit and the PCMARK 7 (secondary storage suite). These benchmarking tools are the best in what they do and as you will also see later on their results more or less agree. Each test is performed a total of 6 times and then the average is recorded into the charts. Temperatures are recorded using Hard Disk Sentinel and after 45 minutes of continuous testing in a 23 degrees Celsius temperature controlled room. Finally we also use an ExTech HD600 dBA meter on each of the drives (5cm away) in order to accurately record their noise levels (during access), although if you don't turn off all system fans when doing so it's quite possible that you will never even hear the drive. The operating system as usual is a fresh installation of Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 with every update installed up until the 26th of October 2017.

 



 

TEST RESULTS - AIDA64 / ATTO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

aida64



 

TEST RESULTS - HD TACH RW / HD TUNE PRO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hdtachrw

hdtunepro

 



 

TEST RESULTS - SISOFTWARE SANDRA PRO / CRYSTAL DISK MARK X64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sandrapro

 



 

TEST RESULTS – PCMARK 7 / TEMPERATURES / NOISE LEVELS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pcmark7

 



 

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

seagate ironwolf pro 12tbb

   When the very first SSDs made their appearance in the market the vast performance difference between them and HDDs had many people saying that it was the beginning of the end for mechanical drives. The same thing happened when the first SATA III SSDs were unveiled since they produced even higher performance numbers and thus a larger performance gap compared to regular mechanical drives. Fast forward nearly 6 years after that and mechanical drives are not only still around but their performance levels have doubled and they have literally nothing to fear from SSDs when it comes to their superior price/capacity ratio. Coming back to the IronWolf Pro 12TB hard disk drive for NAS there’s not much more we can say than what we did when we tested the regular IronWolf 12TB model. Performance wise the IronWolf 12TB sits at the top of our charts (SATA drives) while in terms of durability thanks to its MTBF of 1.2 million hours and 300TB/year workload rate it has very limited competition. Its average operating power of 7.8W (as stated by Seagate) may not be its strongest selling point but it’s just as good or better as any drive featuring a rotational speed of 7200RPM.


   The 12TB variants of the entire Guardian line of hard disk drives by Seagate was announced less than a month ago so naturally their prices are still set quite high. To be more specific the IronWolf Pro 12TB hard disk drive for NAS currently retails for USD507.55 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and for 513Euros inside the EU (Amazon.co.uk) a price tag which is indeed set quite high. Of course for that amount you’re getting one of the fastest and most durable SATA III hard disk drives in the market today that’s also covered with a 5 year warranty so once again it all comes down to your needs and requirements. That being said once again at the end of the day the IronWolf Pro 12TB Hard Disk Drive by Seagate is among the fastest and most durable models currently available in the market and that’s why it gets our Platinum Award.

PROS


- Build Quality (300WRL / 1.2 Million Hours MTBF)
- Top Of The Charts Performance (SATA)
- 256MB Cache
- 12TB's Capacity
- Temperatures / Noise Levels / Power Consumption
- Enclosure Material (Low Temperatures)
- 5 Year Limited Warranty



CONS


- Price (For Some)