Seagate shares data sheet for hard drives based on Mach.2 dual actuator technology

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,274   +132
Staff member
Bottom line: Seagate has finally shared more information about its Mach.2-based Exos 2X14 hard drives, which feature multi-actuator technology to significantly boost performance. By using two actuators with read / write heads attached, equipped hard drives can achieve double the IOPS performance.

As we previously learned, Seagate developed its Mach.2 technology to maximize performance across large-capacity enterprise HDD products.

Mach.2 drives also allow for 2x the performance of sequential bandwidth for streaming applications. What’s more, it’s the first HDD tech to introduce parallelism, enabling two independent streams of data (or, dual channel access).

In Seagate’s newly published data sheet, the company notes that its 14TB Helium- sealed drive spins at 7200 RPM and affords a maximum sustained transfer rate of 524 MB/s with an average latency of 4.16ms. Power consumption is rated at 7.2w average at idle and up to 13.5w under load.

The drive carries a 2.5 million-hour MTBF rating and is backed by Seagate’s five-year limited warranty.

During a February analyst meeting, Jeff Fochtman, SVP of marketing, said they started shipping Mach.2 drives in volume in 2019 and have over a dozen major customers using them. That said, Mach.2 remains in what Fochtman called a “technology-staging mode.”

Once capacities climb above 30 terabytes, however, we should start seeing the tech become a standard feature in many large data centers.

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BadThad

Posts: 572   +600
It's REALLY hard for a normal PC user to get excited about a spinner! I don't care how fast they are, they are slow as dirt compared to an SSD. I'm completely content with an old, slow spinner drive as I only use them for storage and backup.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,859   +2,047
TechSpot Elite
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VariableSpike

Posts: 54   +72
That's pretty neat, as long as it doesn't affect drive endurance, then it should be very useful, especially in NAS / archival operations where you can't really use SSD's yet due to their endurance - wonder how this affects random writes/reads as well considering you can have two data streams at once?
 

quadibloc

Posts: 298   +188
This will greatly speed up many common file operations. Making a copy of a file on a disk will no longer involve the heads moving back and forth many times; instead, it can be as fast as copying the file to another disk. Because of that, it had been tried before, but the last time it was tried, the heads were opposed to each other 180 degrees from the viewpoint of the center of the disks, and so the disk had to be smaller.
EDIT: What I'm remembering is the Chinook from Conner Peripherals, a firm that was bought up by Seagate.
 
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Wereweeb

Posts: 45   +98
It's REALLY hard for a normal PC user to get excited about a spinner! I don't care how fast they are, they are slow as dirt compared to an SSD. I'm completely content with an old, slow spinner drive as I only use them for storage and backup.

Well, nobody told you to be excited, this technology isn't for you. It's for the servers you rely on to do anything online.
 
It's REALLY hard for a normal PC user to get excited about a spinner! I don't care how fast they are, they are slow as dirt compared to an SSD. I'm completely content with an old, slow spinner drive as I only use them for storage and backup.

Unfortunately these drive's aren't directed to you every day consumer. It's directed to people that are mining cryptocurrencies with hard drives... SSD go dead rather fast but the old school spinners are slower yet have a much more reliable lifespan. This is the happy medium between the two and I'm sure there will be shortages on them just like anything else in the crypto space.

Basically there is a newer form of crypto mining (via hard drives) that these folks are catering too.
 

umbala

Posts: 368   +485
I love the uninformed and even borderline ridiculous comments every time there's an article about improving mechanical drives. The favorite seems to be to compare hard drives to SSDs. That's like comparing a dump truck to a Ferrari.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 298   +188
I see I'm mistaken; this is like that Western Digital prototype, not like the Conner Chinook, since the two actuators each only reach half the disk. That's like having two disks, but it won't allow copying between two files anywhere on the whole disk.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 766   +649
It's really hard to get excited about large capacity SSD's when the prices are still so high especially for QLC which was supposed to usher in a new era of affordable SSD storage. Instead we are still seeing stupid prices for anything over 2TB. For my huge photo collection I still use spinning disk since it cost me less than 3c/GB. Give me an 8TB QLC SSD for even $400 and I'll jump on it.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,962   +5,732
It's REALLY hard for a normal PC user to get excited about a spinner! I don't care how fast they are, they are slow as dirt compared to an SSD. I'm completely content with an old, slow spinner drive as I only use them for storage and backup.
In Seagate’s newly published data sheet, the company notes that its 14TB Helium- sealed drive spins at 7200 RPM and affords a maximum sustained transfer rate of 524 MB/s with an average latency of 4.16ms. Power consumption is rated at 7.2w average at idle and up to 13.5w under load.
Actually if Seagate's published specs are true and honest, the data transfer rate is approaching that of a SATA 3 SSD. (NVME transfer rates excluded). So, unless your board sports a half dozen drive specific PCI-E slots, Seagate wins by a huge margin in capacity, and ties in transfer rate.
 
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Wereweeb

Posts: 45   +98
Unfortunately these drive's aren't directed to you every day consumer. It's directed to people that are mining cryptocurrencies with hard drives... SSD go dead rather fast but the old school spinners are slower yet have a much more reliable lifespan. This is the happy medium between the two and I'm sure there will be shortages on them just like anything else in the crypto space.

Basically there is a newer form of crypto mining (via hard drives) that these folks are catering too.
1) This has been in development for years, and is already present in many servers. The target market is cold storage with better IOPS than traditional hard drives.

2) For "plotting", Chia miners basically NEED to use MLC or pSLC (QLC drives in SLC mode) SSD drives as they're orders of magnitude faster than any HDD

3) SSD's are much more *reliable* than spinning rust. QLC SSD's aren't as *durable* for intensive workloads. Those are different things, and non-QLC SSD's exist.

4) After "plotting", the "plots" are transferred to hard drives, but the speed of those isn't relevant. They're just glorified bingo cards at that point.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 241   +225
Actually if Seagate's published specs are true and honest, the data transfer rate is approaching that of a SATA 3 SSD. (NVME transfer rates excluded). So, unless your board sports a half dozen drive specific PCI-E slots, Seagate wins by a huge margin in capacity, and ties in transfer rate.
For storage, this may be a good alternative to SSD. But as with any spinning disk, the issue with latency still persists and thus, will not make your system as responsive as a SSD. If you do lots of photo editing as well, I think a fast NVME SSD is still a better option. Once edited, the store it into one of these spinning disk for storage.
 

Geralt

Posts: 412   +478
TechSpot Elite
For storage, this may be a good alternative to SSD. But as with any spinning disk, the issue with latency still persists and thus, will not make your system as responsive as a SSD. If you do lots of photo editing as well, I think a fast NVME SSD is still a better option. Once edited, the store it into one of these spinning disk for storage.
I use all my SATA SSD's for data and NVME for Windows.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,132   +724
3) SSD's are much more *reliable* than spinning rust. QLC SSD's aren't as *durable* for intensive workloads. Those are different things, and non-QLC SSD's exist.
Not at all. Consumer grade HDD can easily hold data for 10 years without powering up. Try same with consumer grade SSD...
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,962   +5,732
For storage, this may be a good alternative to SSD. But as with any spinning disk, the issue with latency still persists and thus, will not make your system as responsive as a SSD. If you do lots of photo editing as well, I think a fast NVME SSD is still a better option. Once edited, the store it into one of these spinning disk for storage.
Well, I always use the desktop and a SATA SSD to do photo editing.

As far a NVME goes, it's faster than you can think or respond. So, I doubt you can perceive, or benefit from the faster drive. To me, (sorry to say), I place this in the category of Hi-fi fanatics who claim they can hear 30,000 Hz, or the 44.1 Khz sampling rate of CD. I will grant you that some specific tasks, principally video encoding could well benefit from NVME speeds.

While it's true Seagate didn't quote the I/O operations stat on the new system, the pure read/ write numbers are approaching that of SATA 3 transfer limits.

That being said, is there really anyone stupid enough to use a 14 TB helium filled HDD as their C:/ drive?

BTW, IDE speeds are plenty fast enough for internet banter or word processing.
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,962   +5,732
Not at all. Consumer grade HDD can easily hold data for 10 years without powering up. Try same with consumer grade SSD...
Yes, I had a 13 YO WD SATA 1 which never lost or misread a file.
Since you can set Windows to auto defrag HDDs, you're automatically rewriting you files anyway. One assumes you could wait 9 years and 11 months, and then defrag it to the same result

They tell me you'll break your little SSD by defragmenting it. (As I've never done it, I have to define this as merely a rumor).
 

Aceseven

Posts: 40   +85
It's REALLY hard for a normal PC user to get excited about a spinner! I don't care how fast they are, they are slow as dirt compared to an SSD. I'm completely content with an old, slow spinner drive as I only use them for storage and backup.
No it isn't, as someone with a massive library of movies and other media this is great news, I dont need speed for my kodi library I need tons of storage, especially with new movies having big file sizes because of HD video and audio.