Consumer HDD Reviews
Consumer hard drive reviews include 2.5" HDDs with 5mm, 7mm or 9.5mm z-heights and 3.5" form factor hard drives. The consumer hard drive review category also includes solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) reviews which focus on hard drives united with flash storage for caching and better overall performance.
by Lyle Smith

Seagate Desktop SSHD 4TB Review

Designed for desktop PCs, workstations, and high-performance DAS devices, the Seagate Desktop SSHD is the company’s latest foray into the hybrid solid-state drive market. Its SSD-like qualities, coupled with the capacity benefits of hard disk drives, allows the Seagate Desktop SSHD to offer consumers unique features and capabilities over traditional HDDs, including the ability to achieve faster transfer speeds as well as quicker system boot ups. Though proper solid-state drives are continuing to lower their prices and increase in maximum capacity, hybrid drives still have a role to play in the storage market due to their cost effectiveness. The Seagate Desktop is certainly no exception in this regard.

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by Lyle Smith

WD Blue SSHD 4TB Review

The WD Blue SSHD drives are the company’s newest hybrid offering that is designed for power-consumers such as gamers and content creators looking to increase the overall performance of their higher-end workstation. WD quotes the Blue SSHDs to boast sustained speeds of 150MB/s for the 4TB model and 100MB/s for the 1TB, which falls more in the range of HDD technology performance. Because of its size, the 4TB model was built with the 3.5inch form factor, limiting its use cases to desktop computers only. The 1TB model, on the other hand, uses a 2.5 inch form factor, allowing it to be used for use cases where size is an issue.

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by Adam Armstrong

WD Blue SSHD 1TB Review

The WD Blue SSHD is a new hybrid drive in a 2.5” form factor. Being a hybrid drive it strives for the best of both worlds. The HDD aspect gives it the high capacity of 1TB, with the performance that falls closer in line to an SSD, with claims of speeds to and from the host of 100MB/s it doesn’t quite reach SSD performance. The WD Blue SSHD has a SATA interface and is compatible with both PC and Mac.

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by Tucker Mindrum

WD Red Review (6TB, NASware 3.0)

WD was first to market with a duty-specific NAS drive when they launched the Red family over two years ago. They're now onto the third iteration of the 3.5" drive (we previously review the WD Red Pro), which includes an updated firmware, NASware 3.0, and new larger 5TB and 6TB capacities. The top end 6TB drive of course offers a 50% bump over the previous largest Red and is now the largest NAS HDD on the market as of this review. As part of this release, WD is also supporting 8-bay NAS units with the Reds, up from a recommended 5-bays in the prior generation, creating a grand total of up to 48TB raw within a single NAS unit. That's a massive amount of data and thus good news for small offices or those with ever-expanding media collections that need to be able to keep up with their data growth. 

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by Josh Linden

HGST 4TB Deskstar NAS HDD Review

The HGST Deskstar NAS is built on HGST’s 3.5-inch 7,200RPM Deskstar consumer drive platform and is intended for consumer and small business NAS appliances which are typically sold diskless. While the NAS designation implies a priority on reliability and capacity over performance, HGST has used a 7,200RPM platform rather than the typical 5,400RPM for drives in this class and reports seek times of less than 12ms in manufacturer benchmarks. The 7,200 RPM spindle speed is primarily employed in order to reduce the amount of time the drive must remain active in order to complete I/O operations, potentially giving small NAS users a higher-performance alternative to the standard 5K NAS drives or much more expensive enterprise-class HDDs.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Samsung Spinpoint M9T Hard Drive Review

The Samsung Spinpoint M9T hard drive for portable and space constrained devices provides a massive 2TB of storage in a standard 9.5mm, 2.5” form factor. This innovative drive, which provides the largest storage available in a standard drive height, is ideal for the consumer wishing to greatly supplement the storage of their notebook, game system or other unique application.

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by Kevin OBrien

WD Black2 SSD/HDD Review

The WD Blackis a combination drive for portable users that presents both a 1TB HDD and 120GB SSD to the host system leveraging only a single SATA port. Rather than only enhance their hybrid HDD portfolio, WD Labs came up with the idea to essentially sandwich two drives together. The architecture is both novel and pretty impressive. Each drive is managed by a controller that plays traffic cop, directing the IO to each drive from the single SATA port. The drive comes in just the single 1TB/120GB capacity point and has a 9.5mm 2.5" form factor. 

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by Lyle Smith

WD Black 4TB Desktop Hard Drive Review (WD4003FZEX)

The WD Black 4TB desktop hard drive is the latest high-capacity, high-performance drive from WD. The 4TB Black isn't entirely new of course, WD has been shipping a drive in this configuration for over a year. The prior 4TB model, WD4001FAEX, was a big step up at the time as it doubled the capacity of the 2TB Caviar Black and topped throughput by 12%. This time around, the WD4003FZEX doesn't get WD any higher capacity, but it does boast some aggressive performance claims. WD figures performance gains of anywhere between 26%-48% depending on the capacity thanks to an improved dual-core processor and other controller and firmware improvements.

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by Adam Armstrong

Seagate Desktop SSHD Review

The Seagate Desktop SSHD hybrid is the first desktop 3.5" form factor, 6Gb/s SATA interface drive. The SSHD hybrid is Seagate's marriage of solid state performance with hard disk drive capacity at an affordable price. Using NAND flash to increase system performance, Seagate claims the SSHD hybrid will increase system performance by up to 4x faster than standard 7,200 RPM HDD by using adaptive memory technology that learns the data users access most frequently and adds it to the solid-state memory for instant access.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Seagate Desktop HDD.15 Review (ST4000DM000)

The Seagate Desktop HDD.15 is a 3.5" form factor, 6Gb/s SATA interface drive with a unique spindle speed of 5,900RPM that hits the 4TB capacity mark and is explicitly designed for desktop implementation. Building on their 3TB Barracuda drive (now rebranded HDD.14), the Desktop HDD.15 uses Seagate's 1TB platters inside. Thanks to the slower spindle speed, Seagate has been able to drive down power consumption on the Desktop HDD.15 to an average of 7.5W, an idle rating of 5W, and standup and sleep mode ratings of just 0.75W.

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