Seagate claims Mach.2-enabled Exos 2X18 is the world's fastest hard disk

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 78   +40
Staff
Forward-looking: The new Exos 2X18 hard drives improve on the already impressive specs of the Exos 2X14 units. Using the Mach.2 multi-actuator solution, the 2X18 brings the humble magnetic storage technology closer to sequential data rates only seen in SATA SSD drives.

Who said traditional magnetic hard disks are dead? Certainly not Seagate, one of the few companies still trying to innovate a technology that ruled the storage world in the ages before SSDs and NAND Flash memory chips. The Fremont, California-based corporation is expanding its HDD offering for the enterprise market, introducing six new Mach.2 units. The HDDs are the fastest hard disks currently available.

Seagate describes Mach.2 as the first multi-actuator HDD tech, a solution to increase performance by "enabling parallelism of data flows in and out of a single hard drive." First seen in action with the Exos 2X14 product family, the Mach.2 technology employs two actuators with independent read/write heads that can transfer data concurrently. The dual actuators operate as if there were two distinct 8TB or 9TB drives, while the host system sees just the whole 16TB or 18TB unit.

Seagate's new Exos 2X18 line of Mach.2 hard drives improves the already impressive specifications of the Exos 2X14, bringing six new HDD models ranging from 16 to 18 terabytes of CMR, 7200RPM fast storage to the terabyte-thirsty enterprise market. The new drives are available in standard and self-encrypting (SED) models, using either a traditional Serial ATA interface or a more enterprise-oriented Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface.

Based on the same Helium Sealed drive design, all six drives include 256 MB of multisegmented cache memory. They also have the usual Seagate enterprise features such as PowerChoice (to manage idle power consumption), PowerBalance (to manage active power consumption), and Hot-Plug support.

Rated for 2,500,000 MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), Exos 2X18 drives are designed to work in busy, 24/7 enterprise environments with a 5-year limited warranty. According to Seagate's official specifications, the SATA drives can sustain a maximum transfer rate of 545 MBps. The SAS drives can go up to 554 MBps in sequential reading/writing IO operations. Average energy consumption is slightly higher than traditional HDDs, going from 7.8/8W (SATA/SAS) while idle to 13.1/13.5W under heavy load.

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human7

Posts: 124   +96
Pretty neat! Traditional HDDs can still provide better throughput than SSDs (which are better for lots of little transfers), so traditional HDDs still find use in large data streaming to/from disk jobs. Still, SSDs are better for almost everything else.
 

dacoll

Posts: 26   +15
Pretty neat! Traditional HDDs can still provide better throughput than SSDs (which are better for lots of little transfers), so traditional HDDs still find use in large data streaming to/from disk jobs. Still, SSDs are better for almost everything else.
Im still using it personally for data backup, I wish Blu Ray can reach economics value as DVD , but sadly it didnt so I have to switch to HDD for my backup
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,783   +5,962
Im still using it personally for data backup, I wish Blu Ray can reach economics value as DVD , but sadly it didnt so I have to switch to HDD for my backup
We are reaching a point where data transfer rates for long term storage are too slow for the size of drives
 

rmcrys

Posts: 289   +234
Pretty neat! Traditional HDDs can still provide better throughput than SSDs (which are better for lots of little transfers), so traditional HDDs still find use in large data streaming to/from disk jobs. Still, SSDs are better for almost everything else.

SSDs are better for everything but Price/TB.

Companies use HDDs because if you try to have 500 TB of space with SSDs it would cost 5 to 6x more...
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,326   +930
We are reaching a point where data transfer rates for long term storage are too slow for the size of drives
Not really. Modern HDD's are still fast enough to be used as a primary OS drive. SSD's are nice, but a user can and do have a good experience with HDD's.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,299   +2,076
We are reaching a point where data transfer rates for long term storage are too slow for the size of drives
I have a modern 6TB hard drive and I am getting tired of its speed when I transfer backups or videos. It's very slowwwwww. I need to get a 6 or 8 TB slot SSD but the prices are atrocious. I wonder when the prices will finally decrease.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,326   +930
I have a modern 6TB hard drive and I am getting tired of its speed when I transfer backups or videos. It's very slowwwwww. I need to get a 6 or 8 TB slot SSD but the prices are atrocious. I wonder when the prices will finally decrease.
In that situation, you don't need SSD's, you need a drive array using RAID of some sort. 4 4TB drives in a RAID5 config will give you 12GB of space at 4x the speed of one drive alone. If you use a good, fast drive model, you will have a MUCH better experience.
 
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Athlonite

Posts: 389   +154
Who will be better / more cost effective between this HDD from Seagate or the similar HDD from Western digital which was demo'd in 2019
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,299   +2,076
In that situation, you don't need SSD's, you need a drive array using RAID of some sort. 4 4TB drives in a RAID5 config with give you 12GB of space at 4x the speed of one drive alone. If you use a good, fast drive model, you will have a MUCH better experience.
Yes, I am thinking about RAID too, thanks. I have a RAID 10 for four 980 Pro delivering 25/10 GBs for sequential reading and writing. Next when I have to use the hard drive... OMG, so slow at 200 MBs.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,275   +1,096
Not really. Modern HDD's are still fast enough to be used as a primary OS drive. SSD's are nice, but a user can and do have a good experience with HDD's.
I can't think of a single person who would say their OS running on a HDD is a "good experience".

In that situation, you don't need SSD's, you need a drive array using RAID of some sort. 4 4TB drives in a RAID5 config with give you 12GB of space at 4x the speed of one drive alone. If you use a good, fast drive model, you will have a MUCH better experience.
RAID doesn't scale quite that well unfortunately, not to mention you'll just be putting the bottle neck elsewhere as having an internal RAID would defeat the purpose of said external backup as well. You would need to setup a seperate machine and create the RAID there, but now you just move the bottleneck to your NIC unless you can also upgrade your LAN to 2.5/5/10 Gbit, which sadly still isn't cost effective for most people.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,315   +849
In that situation, you don't need SSD's, you need a drive array using RAID of some sort. 4 4TB drives in a RAID5 config with give you 12GB of space at 4x the speed of one drive alone. If you use a good, fast drive model, you will have a MUCH better experience.
First RAID-5 does not scale linearly. You ain't getting 4x read speeds. Secondly you still are getting a small fraction of the sequential speed of SSDs. There is a world of difference in this very workflow ironically. Finally you are setting up 4 large drives to achieve 12TB and have to manage a RAID array in the year 2022 for speed purposes. That's just painful.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,716   +884
I have a modern 6TB hard drive and I am getting tired of its speed when I transfer backups or videos. It's very slowwwwww. I need to get a 6 or 8 TB slot SSD but the prices are atrocious. I wonder when the prices will finally decrease.
A modern HDD should not be very slow especially when copying large files like movies.
I am curious, what speed is it when you copy large files?
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,326   +930
I can't think of a single person who would say their OS running on a HDD is a "good experience".
Then you haven't tried it yourself or you are being unobjective. Lots of people are still computing on HDD's as a primary drive and they have a good experience. Too many people are "spoiled" by the speed of SSD's. I'm not saying that kind of speed is bad, only that it's not a critical is some would suggest. Whether something takes 6 seconds to load or few seconds longer is not going to be significant, let alone the end of the world.
RAID doesn't scale quite that well unfortunately
Yes, it does. Don't talk to me like I'm some inexperienced noob. I've been running computers longer than you've been alive and I know my craft well.

First RAID-5 does not scale linearly. You ain't getting 4x read speeds.
Not perfectly. I was speaking generally. The difference between actual results and the 4X I stated isn't worth debating.
Secondly you still are getting a small fraction of the sequential speed of SSDs.
I never claimed it was. The point was to get suggest a setup with good performance. a 4 drive RAID5 array with get close enough to SSD speeds that transfers will not be a serious issue like they are with a single drive.

With the speeds on offer by the Seagate drive discussed in this article, people could easily get near SSD like performance from a group of them in RAID. Context is important people, try to pay attention.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,275   +1,096
Then you haven't tried it yourself or you are being unobjective. Lots of people are still computing on HDD's as a primary drive and they have a good experience. Too many people are "spoiled" by the speed of SSD's. I'm not saying that kind of speed is bad, only that it's not a critical is some would suggest. Whether something takes 6 seconds to load or few seconds longer is not going to be significant, let alone the end of the world.
Alright, so I've been using computers since the 90s, going through all the versions of Windows, having experienced SSDs since they were first released and been using them since then as the difference is night and day. I'm currently working in an IT job where I regularly experience how slow a computer is with a mechanical drive and then seeing the instant difference simply upgrading it to a SSD makes as well as the clients reaction to their PC having been upgraded to a SSD gives me a lot to base my opinion on and allows me to be very objective.

Yes, it does. Don't talk to me like I'm some inexperienced noob. I've been running computers longer than you've been alive and I know my craft well.
Mind turning down the derogatory attitude a touch, you may have allegedly been using computers since before the 90s, but it doesn't make your opinion any more valid than mine. Also for the record I have three RAID 6 arrays running in my own home server, one comprised of 10 drives, and two comprised of 6 drives each, I can objectively state that they do not scale linearly performance wise. I'd like to know where you're getting your misinformation, I'll post bellow the performance my arrays achieve, just for comparison sake I've included a budget M.2 SSD and a SATA SSD:

Server Drives.png

Not perfectly. I was speaking generally. The difference between actual results and the 4X I stated isn't worth debating.
So wait, do they scale perfectly or don't they? You argue with my comment they do scale and now you don't want to debate how well they scale?...

I never claimed it was. The point was to get suggest a setup with good performance. a 4 drive RAID5 array with get close enough to SSD speeds that transfers will not be a serious issue like they are with a single drive.

With the speeds on offer by the Seagate drive discussed in this article, people could easily get near SSD like performance from a group of them in RAID. Context is important people, try to pay attention.
Raw data throughput isn't everything, especially in any modern operating system where there could be 100s of active processes, this is where SSDs far outpace any number of HDDs in a RAID configuration, and even then, M.2 SSDs will still provide faster throughput than a large RAID array, for it to even get close you'd need dozens of drives in RAID and then you'll still have a fraction of the access time the SSD will provide you.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,326   +930
I'll post bellow the performance my arrays achieve, just for comparison sake I've included a budget M.2 SSD and a SATA SSD:
Thank you for proving my point. Those HDD numbers are perfectly acceptable.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,315   +849
Then you haven't tried it yourself or you are being unobjective. Lots of people are still computing on HDD's as a primary drive and they have a good experience. Too many people are "spoiled" by the speed of SSD's. I'm not saying that kind of speed is bad, only that it's not a critical is some would suggest. Whether something takes 6 seconds to load or few seconds longer is not going to be significant, let alone the end of the world.

Yes, it does. Don't talk to me like I'm some inexperienced noob. I've been running computers longer than you've been alive and I know my craft well.


Not perfectly. I was speaking generally. The difference between actual results and the 4X I stated isn't worth debating.

I never claimed it was. The point was to get suggest a setup with good performance. a 4 drive RAID5 array with get close enough to SSD speeds that transfers will not be a serious issue like they are with a single drive.

With the speeds on offer by the Seagate drive discussed in this article, people could easily get near SSD like performance from a group of them in RAID. Context is important people, try to pay attention.
Here's the thing. A computer is a productivity tool. "End of the world" and "productivity tool" are two completely different scenarios. I too have been using computers and RAID for a very long time. And RAID for performance is nowhere near as good as NVMe. Not remotely close.

I tune my OS to remove lag in my workflow as much as reasonably possible. A SSD removes lag from many many aspects of computing. Improving perf to reduce waiting on a computer to perform IO tasks is a very simple thing to greatly improve productivity. As a database programmer and a modern gamer, there are HUGE random IO benefits available. To pretend otherwise is burying your head in the sand. Random 4KB read/write is easily detectable in real world scenarios. HDDs are always rubbish in 4KB and will never be good at it.