A Versatile 4TB HDD From Seagate

On this review, we are taking a deep look at one of Seagate’s reinvigorated storage line, the BarraCuda series. What we’ve got is the 4TB model (ST4000DM005) in the 3.5″ form factor spinning at a rate of 5900 RPM. The HDD also features a cache of 64MB, which is the standard in today’s high capacity mechanical drives.

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The Seagate BarraCuda has two main models. The first one is the classic BarraCuda available in both 2.5 and 3.5 inches, with 500GB to 5TB of capacity. The second one is the BarraCuda Pro that features upto 10TB of capacity. There’s also the FireCuda, that actually sits at the series of Seagate’s latest drives. Learn more about it the official product page.

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Seagate pretty much had everything cleared up for the majority of consumers when it comes to their desktop drives. The BarraCuda and FireCuda for example, are  for the gamers and the general consumers. The IronWolf line is for network attached storage, while the SkyHawk is catered for surveillance.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Product Name 4TB BarraCuda 7200 RPM 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive with 64MB Cache
Product Line Barracuda
Product Model ST4000DM005
Product Type Hard Drive
Storage Capacity 4 TB
Drive Interface SATA
Drive Interface Standard SATA/600
Buffer 64 MB
Limited Warranty 2 Year

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The Seagate BarraCuda 4TB is undoubtedly a standard 3.5 inch drive at any angle. It’s not as fancy as a Western Digital Raptor but it sure looks proper like any other consumer HDDs we’ve tested in the past. The last thing you’d want is a pretty drive that couldn’t perform so there’s that.

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The drive features an exposed PCB with 32MB of cache buried somewhere within the PCB. This is a sealed drive with 3 platters inside so that’s 1.33GB per plate give or take. Track density per platter is at 811Gb/in2.

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The Seagate BarraCuda features an average of  161MB/s data rate for both read and write. It comes with a workload rating of <55 TB/year which is kinda small. This is no typo but make sure to use Seagate’s SeaTools to keep track of the HDD’s workload rate limit.

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TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:

Our storage device reviews revolves around the use of various storage benchmark tools and real world benchmarks. Our setup fills up the test drive to at least 50% of its capacity. This is done so to negate the FOB (Fresh Out the Box) performance of the drive; ensuring that we are testing the drive near its expected usage. The drive is formatted under NTFS and is attached to its natively supported interface. This is to ensure the system is at its optimal testing state.

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-6600K
MOTHERBOARD ASUS Z170-A
CPU COOLER Cryorig C1 Top Flow
MEMORY KIT Crucial Ballistix Tactical @ 2666MHz 4x4GB Kit
GRAPHICS CARD ASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB
INTERNAL STORAGE  Crucial BX200 480GB
POWER SUPPLY CORSAIR RM850X 850W
DISPLAY 27″ DELL U2715H + LG 43UF680T 4K UHD TV
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

This review has been made possible with Banggood‘s photography equipment. Learn more from this link.

THROUGHPUT PERFORMANCE:

Throughput performance measured in MB/s is measured with CrystalDiskMark. First up on the test is the Sequential read and write performance, measured with a block size of 1MB and a 1GB transfer size. This test is more in line with large file transfers; similar to watching a movie.

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The second one is the Random 4K read and write performance, measured with a random block size of 4KB and a 1GB transfer size. This test is more in line with small file transfers; similar to transferring installation files and reading game data.

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Sequential transfers rate is pretty good for both read and write – able to go at 189.6 MB/s for the read and 185.8 MB/s for the write, respectively. Random 4K performance however is still lack luster; an expected performance from a mechanical drive.

IOPS PERFORMANCE:

Input/Output Operations per Second is is measured with AS SSD. The Random 4K-64Thrd read and write benchmark is used for this test. Performance is measured with a random block size of 4KB, a 1GB transfer size and 64-thread IO requests. This tests the storage medium’s ability to use Native Command Queuing (NCQ) at higher Queue Depth. A Useful metric for server side applications.

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While the drive supports NCQ, IOPS performance is still within the realms of mechanical drives. It is significantly faster compared to our 5400RPM drive with a 263% read and 93% write performance gains.

ACCESS TIME PERFORMANCE:

The read and write latency is measured with AS SSD using a 512KB block size. Access Time is just as important as the throughput and IOPS performance of the drive; allowing us to peak into how fast or slow a storage medium can access a given data. Latency is measured in milliseconds.

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Read latency is recorded at 19.9ms, while the write latency is at 9ms. Typical read performance here with a very much appreciated write access time.

REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE:

Our real world performance test consists of 3 file folders containing 6GB worth of text files, images and videos each. The files are copied within the drive using TeraCopy to evaluate the storage medium’s performance. File copy performance is measured in seconds.

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If you’re looking for a fast mechanical storage drive to copy a bunch of files, then the Seagate BarraCuda is up for the task.

WRAPPING IT UP:

The Seagate BarraCuda 4TB is an excellent drive for a 5900 RPM spinner. Sequential performance is excellent, rated above 180 MB/s for both read and write. This ensures an excellent transfer speed for large media and similar files.

While we advocate SSDs for faster game loading times, the BarraCuda 4TB is actually a good secondary option on its own. With NAND prices sky rocketing high, an HDD with excellent throughput and manageable access times will do good as a substitute.

Now if you’re looking for a more value oriented approach, then an Intel Optane kit will do good. Just make sure to buy an Intel 200 series motherboard with an M.2 slot. If you already own one, then consider maximizing the chipset’s potential. This is a much desirable upgrade path if you’ve already considered the BarraCuda as your initial storage option.

Valued at $114.95 or at around 5800 Pesos, the Seagate BarraCuda 4TB may not be as fast as an SSD, but it is a true versatile drive with a capacity to match the price point.

  • SEQUENTIAL READ AND WRITE PERFORMANCE
  • MANAGEABLE RANDOM 4K PERFORMANCE
  • LOW POWER AND NOISE OUTPUT
  • EXCELLENT VALUE FOR THE MONEY
  • READ ACCESS TIME

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