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 Tucker Mindrum

Seagate Mobile HDD Review

Seagate’s new Mobile HDD provides 2TB of storage in a 7mm form factor. During a time when SSD innovation leads the market for this form factor, this drive holds unique appeal for users who want to upgrade their laptop storage without switching over. Although SSDs indisputably outperform HDDs, the Mobile HDD allows users to load up to 2TB of storage into their laptop at a fraction of the cost of an SSD.

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by Tucker Mindrum

Seagate NAS HDD 8TB Review

Seagate's new NAS 8TB HDD expands their NAS line of drives that is intended to more efficiently serve multi-drive use cases while maintaining the performance and price-point desired by SOHO users. The Seagate NAS HDD utilizes NASWorks firmware, which specifically hones drives for server functionality. In addition to enhancing host compatibility, NASWorks reduces HDD power consumption, which also reduces heat production. NAS environments, in which multiple drives may be operating simultaneously, greatly benefit from the energy efficiency of duty-specific drives. Seagate also constructed this line of HDDs with dual-plane balanced motors, which work to control the vibrations that disk drives produce. Reduced heat production paired with vibration control maximize drive performance and improve server reliability, which helps to maintain the 24/7 operability that is essential for remote access and virtualization.

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by Tucker Mindrum

WD Red 8TB Review

Western Digital has expanded their Red line to include an 8TB model, increasing the maximum capacity of 8-bay NAS units to 64TB so that SOHO users can get even more out of their initial server investment. WD is using their HelioSeal helium-technology to get the higher capacity much like the HGST Ultrastar Helium Drives. WD Reds still make use of NASware 3.0, which Western Digital originally released alongside the 6TB model to expand drive compatibility, allowing users to load Red drives into 8-bay servers (they were previously only recommended up to 5 bays). NASware 3.0 also improved the reliability and performance of Red drives, optimizing them for NAS environments in which downtime can be devastating.

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by Lyle Smith

WD Black 6TB HDD Review

WD Black has launched a 6TB version (as well as a 5TB model) of the performance-driven family of consumer-grade hard disk drives, which is a 2TB increase in storage compared to the previous 4TB model that we reviewed a few years back. Like its predecessors, the WD Black 6TB is designed to give an overall boost for heavier computing tasks, while offering a good cost per TB. It is an ideal internal storage solution for power consumers looking for the highest possible performance from the market’s current hard disk drive technology as well as those looking for an alternative to the more expensive hybrid drives.

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by Lyle Smith

Seagate Laptop SSHD 1TB Review

Seagate has updated their 2.5 inch laptop SSHD line with potential for improved performance as well as a slight increase in capacity from 750GB to 1TB. The Seagate 2.5" SSHD is equipped with a SATA interface and a 5400-RPM spindle speed, is compatible with PC, Mac, and even certain gaming consoles. Like its predecessor, the HDD part of the hybrid drive allows for the extra storage all the while offering performance close to that of an SSD due their use of NAND flash, though Seagate doesn’t offer any quoted performance numbers. 

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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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