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Seagate 4TB NAS HDD ST4000VN000 Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Specification and Features
  3. Closer Look
  4. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  5. AS SSD Benchmark
  6. ATTO Benchmark
  7. AIDA64 Benchmark
  8. Anvil Benchmark
  9. CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark
  10. HDTune Pro Benchmark
  11. PCMark Vantage HDD Benchmark
  12. PCMark 7 HDD Benchmark
  13. Transfer Test
  14. Conclusion
  15. View All


NAS storage is serious business, not just for the enterprise market, but also for personal and SOHO NAS. NAS for SOHO/Personal is HUGE! There’s Synology, QNAP, Thecus, Drobo, Buffalo- even Seagate has their OWN NAS lineup.

Considering that before WD RED arrived, no1 really catered to this market, people pretty much picked 7200.xx Seagate drives and/or WD Blue/Green ruled everything. NAS usually maintains a lot smaller footprint over desktop systems and for a lot of applications and uses it was more convenient, depending on what NAS you’re choosing to vary from 1 to up to 5 NAS bay drives.  WD introduced the red series specifically catering to the NAS storage lineup. While they’re not really full-fledged enterprise drive, they had error correction and they were cooler, far more than load/unload cycle and Power-on rating, followed by error correction which seemed to make a lot of sense for personal headless server/NAS for personal or SOHO use- file sharing, back-up… list goes on.

Its just a matter of time the other hard drive manufacturers (the ones that are still around making drives under their own brand name anyways) would catch up.

…and Seagate brought in their NAS HDD with a 4TB capacity drive!

According to Seagate’s spec sheets, there are 2TB, 3TB and 4TB variant under the NAS HDD label for now:

SPEC

For a 4TB drive, this is less heavier than I imagined, especially considering that it’s a 4TB drive. It should also be noted that the operating temps are up to 70 degrees Celsius, which should be ideal spec for NAS application if one would have to wonder the amount of heat would 5 drives in a NAS enclosure with 24/7 operation.

What’s not mentioned in the specs is that these are 4K aligned drives, with 4TB having 4 platters with average areal density of 625Gb/in² followed by the 3TB variant which also has 4 platters (750GB per platter) with 536Gb/in² areal density the 2TB variant which as 2x platters with Gfc/in2. They support PIO modes 0 to 4, multiword DMA modes 0 to 2 and Ultra DMA modes 0 to 6.

Seagate comes with what they call as ‘NASWorks’ which is one part of the drive that makes it being called as a NAS drive: can be paired with up to 5 drives for NAS, advertised with vibration tolerance and dual place balance and not surprisingly error recovery support. Other than staring at the load/unload rating and Power On hours, the MTBF is 1 Million hours.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_CDI1

This is a 5900RPM drive, and on idle this drive reported 28 degrees Celsius in open air case condition. This shouldn’t be deemed as ‘accurate’ reading, but during endurance testing, it didn’t really cross 40 degrees Celsius.

Speaking of endurance, when I booted this drive, there was a very loud noise from the drive, equivalent of scratching you nails against a blackboard, followed by occasional sound. This stopped entirely after about 100-150GB Approx. of endurance writes. Weird? Yes, but HDTune pro nor S.M.A.R.T. reported any issues.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_001Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_006Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_007Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_003

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_004Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_005

As said before, this drive is pretty light considering it’s a 4TB/4 platter drive.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_011

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_012Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_013

The Seagate controller had a very strong thermal pad with a strong adhesive tape over it. I wasn’t able to make out the model number from the corners so it didn’t make sense to remove it. But it does use  SKhynix’s H5PS5162GFA 64MB Cache and SMOOTH motor controller.


It gives me great pleasure every time I put up a review. It’s always good to appreciate the support that the manufacturers give from time-to-time to review their own products and others on behalf of the readers. Thanks to companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, Kingston, WD and Coolermaster who give me hardware support by updating my test rig no strings attached. Thumbs up to these guys! I would like to thank

  • Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte 890GPA UD3H Rev 1.0 motherboard
  • Asus India for providing Asus 990FX Sabertooth motherboard
  • Kingston Taiwan for providing hardware support with memory kits and SSD drive.
  • WD India for providing WD 300GB HLFS Velociraptor Hard Drive.
  • Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
Test Setup for: Seagate 4TB NAS HDD ST4000VN000 Drive
Motherboard+ Processor Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE
Memory Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K28G HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII
Primary OS drive WD 3000HLFS Velociraptor 300GB/ WD Blue AAJS 320GB
Power Supply Corsair TX750
Chassis NA

The Benchmarks that I am using are as follows:

AS SSD– Read and Write (Pass 3)

ATTO- Test File Size= 0.5 to 8MB- Read and Write Pass 3

Aida64- Write and Read Access time File Size 64KB Pass 3

Anvil Benchmark- Compressible and Incompressible run each with 4, 16 and 32MB File Size

Boot Load Test- (Windows 7 SP1 clean installation with AMD 12.6 drivers+ AHCI drivers pre-installed with Utorrent, Avira Security Suite, Asus Xonar DX+ 7.12.8.1794 Drivers, Netgear WG111 Wireless LAN USB drive software as start-up items) Pass 1-5 (Pass 1= System start from Power Off)

Transfer Tests- 1.34GB Assorted Photos transfer Test, 11.34 ISO File Transfer Test, 1.27GB Compressed Data File Transfer Test and 98.39 Assorted Movies Folder Transfer Test with TeraCopy

CrystalDisk Mark Benchmark- with Pass 3, each with 5 re-runs 1000MB File Size

HDTune Pro- Write and Read Pass 3

PCMark 7- HDD test

PCMark Vantage- HDD Test

Anvil Benchmark- 4/16/32GB File Size in both 0% and 100% Fill test

Although this drive is used for AS SSDs, the tests in these give a good idea of Sequential, 4K Aligned, 4K Aligned with 64Bit thread test and the Access time of the hard drive using incompressible data.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_as ssd

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_asssdread

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_asssdwrite


With the file sizes from 0.5KB to 8192 KB and a total length of 256MB, ATTO measures transfer speed throughout the drive’s storage capacity for both reads and writes.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_atto

The drive is maxed out between 4KB file size onwards.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_ATTOREAD

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_ATTOWRITE

When it comes to sequential transfer with larger than 8KB file size, the 4TB NAS drive is going head-to-head against 2TB RED EFRX, which is good considering 3TB RED EFRX is slower than the 2TB counterpart.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_aidaread

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_AIDAREAD

When comparison NAS Vs. NAS drive, an average read is a little bit better than 2TB and 3TB WD Red EFRX counterpart.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_aidawrite

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_AIDAWRITE

The write however pretty much goes much higher than 2TB and 3TB Red variant.

0% Fill

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_0fill_4Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_0fill_16Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_0fill_32

100% Fill

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_100fill_4Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_100fill_16Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_100fill_32

Boot Load Test

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_bootload

Seagate’s boot test seems less ‘wavy’ in comparison with WD’s NAS drive counterparts.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_cdm

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_CDMREAD

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_CDMWRITE

Its matching sequential and 512K read and writes with WD Red counterparts.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_HDTRead

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_HDTPROREAD

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_hdtwrite

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_HDTPROWRITE

Average wise, it does perform better than WD RED 2TB.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_PCMVHDD1Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_PCMVHDD2

 

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_PCMVHDD

Seagate NAS HDD does well in the media center in comparison with WD Red.

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_benchmark_screenshot_PCM7HDD

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_PCM7HDD

Seagate_4TB_NAS_ST4000VN000_graph_TRNSTEST

Seagate NAS HDD takes significantly lesser amount of time to get a 98.39GB assorted movie folder transfer which contains different file types and file size in a non-zipped format.

The 4TB drive matches 2TB WD Red EFRX on most counts, which is great considering 3TB Red is slower than the 2TB variant. I wish it did better with 4K Random write at access time to say the least, but it’s an NAS solution that does a good job considering the capacity and the features it has. Sure, it’s a 5900RPM drive but for the purposes mentioned in the introduced, it does fine. Need anything faster? I guess that’s where Seagate’s Constellation series may step in.

India (excl. VAT) U.S. U.K.
Rs. 15,100/- $199.99 £168.27


Seagate could work on improving the access time like they always do- by slapping in a flash NAND. That’s what Seagate is doing in their hybrid lineup.

I would like to see some improvement in 4K Random to get more “V” factor from such near-enterprise class NAS drives. Still, it keeps up with 2TB WD Red in certain tests so that’s good. Not a drive to be used as a primary drive for your desktop systems, but you can keep this in mind if you’re looking for network storage drives for NAS purposes. I can’t say anything about vibration dampening that Seagate says they have however.

NAS storage is serious business, not just for the enterprise market, but also for personal and SOHO NAS. NAS for SOHO/Personal is HUGE! There's Synology, QNAP, Thecus, Drobo, Buffalo- even Seagate has their OWN NAS lineup. Considering that before WD RED arrived, no1 really catered to this market, people pretty much picked 7200.xx Seagate drives and/or WD Blue/Green ruled everything. NAS usually maintains a lot smaller footprint over desktop systems and for a lot of applications and uses it was more convenient, depending on what NAS you're choosing to vary from 1 to up to 5 NAS bay drives.  WD…

Review Overview

Performance - 7
Storage Space - 10
Overall Value - 7.5

8.2

BBQ Score

Summary : Though it doesn't perform like a standard drive suitable to be paired with an OS for your primary use, but has all the near-enterprise functionality of a NAS good enough for SOHO use. Best part is that its able to keep up with WD Red 2TB version. Not bad for a 4TB counterpart from Seagate!

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