Seagate Exos X20 and IronWolf Pro 20TB expand 20TB HDD retail options

Seagate has updated its leading capacity options for the HDD retail market with the announcement of availability for two new hard drives today – the Exos X20 and IronWolf Pro 20TB. These two models join the recently released Western Digital WD Gold 20TB and Ultrastar HC560 to round out the 20TB hard drives currently available for retail.

The Exos X20 comes with SATA as well as SAS 12Gbps interface options, and includes SED (self-encrypting drive) models, while the IronWolf Pro is only SATA (similar to previous generations). The Exos X20 has a workload rating of 550 TB / year, while the IronWolf Pro version is rated at 300 TB / year. A detailed comparative summary of the different specifications of the two new plants and their relationship to Western Digital’s offer is given in the table below. For this purpose, only the SATA options Exos X20 and Ultrastar HC560 are considered. The two model numbers that correspond to them are for SED and non-SED (standard) options.

2021 20TB Retail HDDs – Comparative Specifications
Exos X20 20TB
IronWolf Pro 20TB
Western Digital
WD Gold 20TB
Western Digital
Ultrastar HC560
Model ST20000NM007D
ST20000NM000D (SED)
ST20000NE000 WD201 CRISIS WUH722020ALE6L1 (SED)
Recording technology Conventional magnetic recording
Conventional magnetic recording with Energy-Assist
RPM 7200 RPM
DRAM Cache 256 MB 512 MB
Helium filling Yes
Sequential data rate
285 MB / s 269 ​​MB / s
MTBF 2.5 M 1.2 M 2.5 M
Estimated annual workload 550 TB 300 TB 550 TB
Acoustics Idle 28 dB 20 dB
Search 30 dB 32 dB 36 dB
Energy consumption Random reading / writing 9.4 W / 8.9 W (100R / 100W @ QD16) 9.4 W / 8.9 W (100R / 100W @ QD16) 7 W
(50R / 50W @ QD1)
Idle 5.5 W 5.4 W 6 W
Guarantee 5 years 5 years
(3 years DRS)
5 years
Prices $ 670 $ 650 $ 680 $ 700

The IronWolf Pro model also has a standby / standby power consumption rating of 1 W which could prove useful in NAS units that are subject to constant 24×7 traffic. Standby acoustics are at a higher level for Seagate models, but search numbers make up for that. Unfortunately, we do not have a way to compare energy consumption figures based on technical data sheets, as the workloads used for characterization differ between the two suppliers. Still, the idle numbers are leaning towards Seagate models again.

It should be noted here that the premium price for WD models can be explained by the use of OptiNAND technology in the WD Gold and Ultrastar HC560. We’ve come to Seagate regarding the use of HAMR in new models, and surprisingly, Seagate has indicated that the two new hard drives introduced in retail today do not use heat-assisted magnetic recording.

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Naveen Kumar

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