Seagate IronWolf NAS 18TB HDD and 510 M.2 Review
Published: 30th December 2020 | Source: Seagate | Price: |
There is a sliding scale with gamers who demand absolute performance at one end, and creative types with critical reliability needs at the other. Most of us fit somewhere along this scale. Even those of us who consider ourselves to be primarily gamers will have a selection of saved games backed up, or some footage of our outstanding victories, and that's without considering that we've usually got photos of friends and loved ones on our systems along with a selection of music. Suddenly it's clear that even if you don't think you'd care about having to reinstall everything from scratch there are more bits of data you'd prefer not to lose.
If, like me, you live in the sticks then your power going down every time there is a slight breeze or a little bit more rain than average is just a part of daily life. Without the funding to have a UPS running all the time some data loss is just part and parcel of life. As drives get ever faster than data loss can be in the gigabytes. The IronWolf range is designed firmly at those of you who want to lose no data at all if possible. Although it can bring you data as quickly as any other PCI Express 3.0 drive we've tested, the area that helps separate it from the competition is the design that is aimed at those of you with network attached storage (NAS), part of the reason that we're testing both the IronWolf 510 M.2 alongside the 18TB HDD IronWolf Pro.
Reliability is everything, but also it's important to let many users access this storage at the same time and the 510 provides tiered cache so multiple users can access your NAS all day, every day, without having to wait around in a request queue. Alongside this reliable access there is an enterprise version of the Phison controller that delivers data quickly and has a super consistent approach to writing data. No matter how much we flooded the cache or how small we made the block sizes it returned exactly the same write speed in every scenario. Anyone who has spotted how poor a lot of 4K block size speeds are relative to even 64KB blocks will know how difficult this is to achieve, and to do it even when we're writing massive amounts of random data to it is a stunning achievement and perfectly in keeping with the aims of the Seagate IronWolf series.
If you write the full drive capacity to it every day you're still under warranty, and that warranty includes a 2 year data recovery plan, perfect for that 'oh my god the client will kill me and I'll lose my business' moments when everything goes down.
Often our Enthusiast Award is for products which are at the peak of what's possible, usually with a price tag to match, but for the Seagate IronWolf 18TB HDD and 510 NVMe it wins it as you need to be an Enthusiast to make full use of what it offers, and if you want those particular charms you'll be delighted with the results.
The 18TB IronWolf has a MSRP of $599 whilst the 510 1.92TB is $520. You can't put a price on having your arse pulled out of the fire in critical moments.