Skip to main content

Seagate’s drives are improving while Western Digital’s aren’t says cloud backup firm

toshiba mn series hdds hard drive disk computer storage
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Seagate’s drives are improving, Western Digital’s are getting worse, and HGST’s are some of the most reliable drives out there.

That’s according to service records compiled by Blackblaze, a cloud backup provider, Ars Technica is reporting. Blackblaze makes a habit of regularly sharing their experience with various models of hard drives, a potentially valuable resource for anyone shopping for a drive.

If you wanted to run a scientific experiment on hard-drive lifespans, a data center with 56,224 drives would be a great place to start. This is what makes Blackblaze’s report such interesting reading: they have a lot of hard drives running constantly, and offer a lot of details about the 18 different models of hard drives in their center.

Some Western Digital Drives have worrying numbers. The 2TB WD20EFRX, for example, has a 9.92 percent failure rate in the nearly three years of record keeping. The worst HGST drive, for comparison, had a failure rate of 4.89 percent, while most were closer to one percent.

Seagate’s drives, which make up the bulk of the data center’s drives, scored generally worse than HGST’s, but better than Western Digital’s. The 4TB ST400DM00 accounts for over 29,000 of the data center’s drives, and has a failure rate of only 2.99 percent.

At the same time, some Seagate drives were so bad they needed to be pulled from the data center entirely. The 3TB ST300DM001, for example, had a catastrophic 28.34 percent failure rate before being pulled.

Toshiba drives had a failure rate of around 3 percent, but Blackblaze uses so few of them — fewer than 300 overall — that it’s hard to conclude much from that.

The complete report, which you can read here, has a bunch more interesting tidbits. For example:

  • Seagate drives seem to be better about reporting impending failures in the SMART status than drives from other manufacturers.
  • Seagate’s 4TB drives are cheaper, per gigabyte, than 6TB drives, which is why the company mostly sticks with those at this point.
  • Seagate’s 6TB drives use 60 percent more electricity than their 4TB models.

None of this is intended to be definitive: it’s just one company sharing their experience. But it makes for interesting reading nonetheless, and might be a good reference for anyone in the market for a new hard drive.

Editors' Recommendations

Justin Pot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Justin's always had a passion for trying out new software, asking questions, and explaining things – tech journalism is the…
How to find archived emails in Gmail and return them to your inbox
A smartphone sitting on a wooden table, showing the Gmail app's inbox on its screen.

If you’re looking to clean up your Gmail inbox, but you don’t want to delete anything permanently, then choosing the archive option is your best bet. Whenever you archive an email, it is removed from your inbox folder while still remaining accessible. Here’s how to access any emails you have archived previously, as well as how to move such messages back to your regular inbox for fast access.

Read more
You can use Microsoft Teams to send text messages. Here’s how
Microsoft said that Teams has received a ground-up redesign, which will “empower customers to navigate the challenges of the evolving modern workplace.”

Using Microsoft Teams to talk with your colleagues is pretty simple thanks to the built-in chat feature. You can chat with your teammates, share documents, and even initiate voice calls if and when you need them.

Its initial design focused on communicating between team members, hence the name, however, being able to talk with other businesses or clients can be limited with Microsoft Teams. Now, thanks to a recent update, you can invite people via SMS on Microsoft Teams for free. In fact, you can start an SMS conversation with participants in multiple countries, including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Great Britain, India, Mexico, and the U.S.
How to send an SMS in Teams
Starting an SMS conversation is really simple:

Read more
The most innovative monitors of 2023
The Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 was the most innovative monitor of 2023.

This year was huge for monitors. In 2023, we saw the first OLED gaming monitors, refresh rates beyond what we could have ever imagined, and unique form factors that enhance productivity and media consumption by a mile.

There's always the old guard on our list of the best monitors if you want a good, reliable display. But these monitors pushed the envelope this year in a way no other displays did.

Read more