Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB Review (Page 2 of 11)

Page 2 - A Closer Look, Test System

As always, with our storage reviews, before we move on to the benchmark results, let us briefly discuss the physical attributes of this hard disk drive first. The IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB is your quintessential 3.5" hard drive from Seagate; the top of the drive is bare metal with a dull silver finish and a large label placed across the middle. The label features Seagate's latest product branding scheme with color graphics to make everything all the better. It is always nice to see unique names, including IronWolf for NAS HDDs, FireCuda for SSHDs, BarraCuda for desktop HDDs, and SkyHawk for surveillance applications. The IronWolf we are reviewing today weighs in at 690g each, or about 1.52lbs. This is exactly the same as the IronWolf Pro ST12000NE0007 12TB and IronWolf ST10000VN0004 10TB according to the latest specifications sheet, both of which are equipped with relatively thin platters. I am not exactly why the weight specification changes every year. On the label, you will spot information like its 14TB drive capacity, model name, serial number, model number, part number, firmware revision, manufacturing date, bunch of regulatory logos, and that it is a product of Thailand. The Seagate IronWolf Pro series come with a five-year limited warranty.

Turning the Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB around and you will see a green printed circuit board that interfaces between its SATA 6Gb/s interface and the physical mechanical components. Mechanically, the Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB is a 7,200RPM drive with eight high density platters inside. The drive is helium filled for reduced resistance, which means more platters can be stacked in the same amount of space along with reduced power consumption. With these high-density platters using traditional perpendicular magnetic recording technology as opposed to performance-penalizing technologies like shingled magnetic recording, this should translate to great performance in our benchmarks. You will see 12.7TB in Windows. The rated power consumption is 0.8W standby, 5.3W idle, and 7.9W active operating power, which is really good. It is only marginally higher than its 12TB and 10TB counterparts.

As far as electronic components are concerned, the Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB features a Marvell drive controller labeled I1262 804ALTE. To control the motor, a SMOOTH branded chip labeled Viking AAADP V5 gets the job done. A massive Winbond W632GG6MB DDR3-1600 256MB IC acts as part of the multi-segmented cache for the drive, as shown in our photo above.

Before we delve into the benchmarking, I would like to spend a little bit of time discussing the unique characteristics of the Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB drive. What makes a NAS drive a NAS drive? From a hardware perspective, usually, it will feature optimized power consumption. Since file servers are designed to be turned on 24/7, reduced power consumption can make a significant difference on your power bill, especially if you have many drives. Reliability enhancements are also made with what Seagate calls AgileArray. AgileArray dual-plane balancing refers to the disk being physically balanced properly to reduce excessive vibration and noise in a multi-drive configuration, such as your network attached storage system. The IronWolf Pro 14TB also comes with rotational vibration sensors to mitigate vibrations from other hard drives in a network attached storage environment. Thanks to its improved vibration tolerance, the ST14000NE0008 will play nice even if you have up to 24 drives running concurrently in the same system. Its mean time before failure (MTBF) is rated at 1,200,000 hours with a 300TB per year workload rate limit. Compared to the vanilla IronWolf, the non-Pro version only supports up to eight concurrent drives, MTBF rated at 1,000,000 hours, and 180TB per year workload rate limit.

As with all NAS drives, the Seagate IronWolf Pro is ERC enabled. If a drive is not ERC enabled, it may be dropped out of a RAID array unexpectedly down the road. ERC stands for 'Error Recovery Control', which is Seagate's name for a feature that limits a hard drive's error recovery time to seven seconds (Western Digital calls it TLER; HGST calls it CCTL). According to Seagate, desktop hard drives may enter deep recovery mode, and could take twenty seconds or longer to deal with a bad sector. During this time, the hard drive will not respond. Because of this, RAID controllers may mark the drive as unreliable, because it has failed to respond within a set period of time.

For small NAS environments, most people probably will not need hardcore enterprise grade drives, which are usually quite expensive. TLER and related RAID array configuration problems are more crucial with demanding business environments than a home or SOHO NAS setup with just two or three drives. Linux software RAID that your network attached storage system implements is much more lenient with consumer desktop drives. Personally, I have run RAID 5 arrays in my QNAP systems from 2010 to 2014 using regular disks with absolutely no problems at all. However, drives like the Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 are specifically tested for compatibility, designed for reliability in this operating environment, and comes ERC enabled from the factory to ensure you will not experience related issues down the road. With a price comparable to desktop drives, the Seagate IronWolf Pro series is simply a no-brainer if you are looking to fill up your file server.

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.6GHz
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Low Profile PC3-17000 4x8GB
Graphics: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 960 4GB
Chassis: Fractal Design Define R6 Blackout TG
Storage: OCZ Vector 180 240GB; Crucial MX200 500GB
Power: Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium 850W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
Optical Drive: LiteOn iHAS224-06 24X DVD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared Hardware:
- Seagate IronWolf Pro ST14000NE0008 14TB
- HGST Deskstar NAS 4TB
- Seagate BarraCuda Pro ST10000DM0004 10TB
- Seagate BarraCuda Pro ST10000DM0004 12TB
- Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD V.5 ST8000NM0055 8TB
- Seagate IronWolf ST10000VN0004 10TB
- Seagate IronWolf ST12000VN0007 12TB
- Seagate IronWolf Pro ST12000NE0007 12TB
- Seagate NAS HDD ST4000VN000 4TB
- Seagate NAS HDD ST8000VN0002 8TB
- Western Digital Black WD6001FZWX 6TB
- Western Digital Red WD100EFAX 10TB
- Western Digital Red WD40EFRX 4TB
- Western Digital Red WD60EFRX 6TB
- Western Digital Red WD80EFZX 8TB
- Western Digital Red Pro WD4001FFSX 4TB
- Western Digital Red Pro WD6001FFWX 6TB

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Test System
3. Benchmark: AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
4. Benchmark: ATTO Disk Benchmark
5. Benchmark: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
6. Benchmark: HD Tach
7. Benchmark: HD Tune Pro 5.70
8. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 9.0
9. Benchmark: PCMark 7
10. NAS Performance, Power Consumption
11. Conclusion