Seagate demos industry's first NVMe hard drive

Daniel Sims

Posts: 448   +18
Staff
What just happened? Seagate showed off a hard disk drive that connects through NVMe at the Open Computing Project (OCP) global summit this week. Limiting a faster PCIe connection to the speeds of a spinning disk drive might be counterintuitive, but it could still have benefits outside of consumer desktop use.

Seagate has detailed the project on its blog, including how it works and the possible benefits. There's also a separate document that goes into more depth about the specifications. Seagate plans to make it available to customers in the coming years.

Diagrams show the hard drive connected through PCIe3 and PCIe4, using proof-of-concept enclosures. The HDD uses native NVMe ports, but Seagate says it has "Tri-Mode" SAS, SATA, and NVMe receivers.

Seagate plans to make it available to "key customers" in September 2022, with broader availability for single and dual-port models in the middle of 2024.

The idea of an NVMe HDD may seem odd on its face. Consumers have been moving from HDDs to SSDs because solid state technology can read and move data faster. The move towards connecting storage to motherboards through NVMe instead of SATA increased speeds even more. Using an NVMe connection for an HDD may not provide any speed benefits in comparison, and indeed Seagate's explanation doesn't mention the drive's performance at all.

Instead, Seagate claims the main benefits are cost and simplicity, particularly for servers and workstations, which may still use HDDs a lot because they're cheaper per gigabyte than SSDs. Going from SATA to NVMe means fewer moving parts, making the drives more affordable and less prone to failure. Seagate also says these drives may scale more easily and consume less energy.

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VitalyT

Posts: 6,223   +6,751
A desperate attempt at slowing down the inevitable obsolescence.

For those still considering buying HDD-s for a new PC, it might be of help to know that there are still a number of 12Gbit SAS HDD-s out there, and 12Gbit SAS cards. Not many PC buyers know about it, because those are not mainstream.

Here's a couple of relevant items currently on Amazon US:

cards.png
 
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yRaz

Posts: 4,400   +5,119
Considering how "cheap" PCIe lanes have become on commercial processors, this isn't a bad idea. There aren't bandwidth advantages, but it's nice to see. Let's see how long it takes to see m.2 extension cables go main stream.
 

Fastturtle

Posts: 68   +38
A desperate attempt at slowing down the inevitable obsolescence.

For those still considering buying HDD-s for a new PC, it might be of help to know that there are still a number of 12Gbit SAS HDD-s out there, and 12Gbit SAS cards. Not many PC buyers know about it, because those are not in the mainstream.

Here's a couple of relevant items currently on Amazon US:

cards.png
The main problem is that most people buying consumer boards do not have the knowledge of the cards and the needed cables to connect them, nor do the boards have the needed x8 PCIe slot to actually take advantage of them. I have a B550 board with 2x x16 pcie slots and the second one is only x4 electrically so the 9300-8i will never see the throughput it supports, thus not worth the money. You can easily go with old new models in the 4TB range such as https://www.newegg.com/toshiba-mg03sca400-4tb/p/N82E16822149492?Item=9SIAAEE8H71486 which offers a decent amount of space and no SMR. Check out this HGST SATA based 4TB https://www.newegg.com/hgst-ultrast...a640-4tb/p/1Z4-001J-00336?Item=9SIAY4BF3M7625 and the advantage is that the SATA based drive can be connected to the motherboard if the LSI card dies.
 
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Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
A desperate attempt at slowing down the inevitable obsolescence.

For those still considering buying HDD-s for a new PC, it might be of help to know that there are still a number of 12Gbit SAS HDD-s out there, and 12Gbit SAS cards. Not many PC buyers know about it, because those are not mainstream.

Here's a couple of relevant items currently on Amazon US:

cards.png
Can you explain how to install all that?
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
The same as any other PC components. You buy the card and the drives, connect those drives to the card, using SAS cables, and then configure it for RAID and whatnot.
Ah, I got it now. I will buy that when I can get some extra money. Thanks.
 

bviktor

Posts: 841   +1,260
A desperate attempt at slowing down the inevitable obsolescence.

For those still considering buying HDD-s for a new PC, it might be of help to know that there are still a number of 12Gbit SAS HDD-s out there, and 12Gbit SAS cards. Not many PC buyers know about it, because those are not mainstream.

Here's a couple of relevant items currently on Amazon US:

cards.png
Mostly because SAS drives are an *diotic way to waste your money in a consumer PC.

If you really wanna overcomplicate and overbudget things, why not add an external JBOD to the mix as well? Sigh...
 

hwertz

Posts: 140   +78
Sounds OK to me. I mean, I have SATA ports in my existing kit (and USB3 ports for some external drive action..), but I know there's systems now (including desktops) that have few to no SATA ports but plenty of nvme. I'd prefer to have a fairly small SSD to put Ubuntu on so my software loads nice and fast, and HDD for bulk storage so I'm not paying those huge per-GB SSD prices, an nvme hard drive will surely not take advantage of nvme speeds but is convenient for systems like this.