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Seagate IronWolf 12TB NAS HDD Review

  1. About the Seagate Ironwolf 12TB NAS HDD…
  2. Test Setup and Methodology
  3. AS SSD Benchmark
  4. ATTO Benchmark
  5. Futuremark Benchmark
  6. AIDA64 Disk Access Test
  7. IOMETER Benchmark
  8. Transfer Tests
  9. Conclusion
  10. Online Purchase Links
  11. View All

Disclosure: The Ironwolf 12TB NAS HDD is loaned by Seagate

This is the Ironwolf 12TB NAS mechanical hard drive, the non-pro variant of the previously reviewed NAS HDD from Seagate. I’ve already summarized the differences between the Ironwolf and Ironwolf Pro series, not much different from WD Red and RED Pro.

About the IronWolf and the IronWolf Pro series NAS HDDs…

We’ve had NAS HDDs for a while and it is a common choice for those who archive data, content creators who want large storage for RAW images and videos, folks with network storage for SOHO or small enterprise services. WD has the Red and the Red Pro series, while Seagate has its IronWolf and IronWolf Pro series.

This is the Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS HDD with 10 TB storage capacity. Seagate uses AgileArray technology these HDDs which is optimized to work in always-on and multi-user access situations on RAID-enabled NAS. The word ‘Pro’ applies to NAS drives up to 16 HDDs with higher mean time between failures and other optimization. Warranty period differs between the variants as IronWolf honours three years warranty while IronWolf Pro honours five years warranty and two-year cover for data recovery services with registration. Additionally, the IronWolf Pro have rotational vibration sensors which work by spreading the vibration throughout its casing. Therefore, any possible issue due to system vibration is reduced dramatically.


This is the 12TB Ironwolf NAS HDD ST12000VN0007 which also has another variant ST12000VN0008.

Specifications 12TB 12 TB
Standard Model Numbers ST12000VN0007 ST12000VN0008
Interface SATA 6Gb/s SATA 6Gb/s
Features and Performance
Drive Bays Supported 1-8 Bays 1 – 8 Bays
Multi-User Technology 180TB/year 180 TB/year
Rotational Vibration (RV) Sensor Yes Yes
Dual-Plane Balance Yes Yes
Error Recovery Control Yes Yes
Max. Sustained Transfer Rate OD (MB/s) 210MB/s 210MB/s
Spindle Speed (RPM) 7200 7200
Cache (MB) 256 256
Load/Unload Cycles1 600,000 600,000
Non-recoverable Read Errors Rate, Max 1 per 10E15 1 per 10E15
Power-on Hours 8,760 8,760
Workload Rate Limit (WRL) 180 180
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,000,000 1,000,000
Limited Warranty (years) 3 3
Power Management
Startup Current, Typical (12V, A) 1.8 1.8
Average Operating Power (W) 7.8W 7.8 W
Idling Average (W) 5.0W 5 W
Standby Mode/Sleep Mode, Typical (W) 0.8/0.8 0.8/0.8
Voltage Tolerance, Inc. Noise (5 V) ±5% ±5%
Voltage Tolerance, Inc. Noise (12 V) ±10% ±10%
Operating (ambient, min °C) 5 5
Operating (drive case, max °C)2 70 70
Non-operating (ambient, min °C) -40 -40
Non-operating (ambient max °C) 70 70
Halogen-free Yes Yes
Shock, Operating/Non-operating: 2 ms (max) 70Gs/250Gs 70Gs/250Gs
Idle (typical) 2.8bels 1.8 bels
Seek (typical) 3.2bels 2.8 bels
Height (mm/in) 26.11mm/1.028in 26.11 mm/1.028 in
Width (mm/in, max) 101.85mm/4.01in 101.85 mm/4.01 in
Depth (mm/in, max) 146.99mm/5.787in 146.99 mm/5.787 in
Weight (g/lb, typical) 705g/1.55lb 690 g/1.521 lb
Carton Unit Quantity 20 20
Cartons per Pallet / Cartons per Layer 40/8 40/8

The key differences is in sound level and weight as the 007 revision is on the higher side.

HDD Sub-Components

The IronWolf 12TB NAS HDD carries a three-year warranty. Nothing has changed in terms of controllers and motors on the PCB, with Seagate still using a SMOOTH motor controller and Avago controller with a 256MB Cache. We’re testing the 007 variant.

The system that I am using is to test most of the hardware. The same operating system, choice of SATA III port (SATA_1), version of the benchmark software and the testing method is maintained throughout the graph.

Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Processor+ Cooler Intel i7 4790k + Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT
RAM 8GB Kingston DDR3 HyperX
Primary Storage 240GB SanDisk Extreme II SSD
Secondary Storage 3TB WD Red WD30EFRX
Power Supply ANTEC 1200W Quattro
PC Case Lian Li A70F

The testing methods are as follows:

AS SSD and ATTO Benchmark

Futuremark Storage Benchmarks: and PCMark 8 V2 Storage Test

AIDA64 Average Read/Write Access Tests: 64KB Block Size

Sequential Data Performance Test (4K Aligned and 512 KiB)

Random Data Performance Test (4 KiB and 256 KiB)

Transfer Test

AS SSD Benchmark

Test the sequential or random read/write performance without using the cache. AS SSD Benchmark reads/writes a 1 GByte file as well as randomly chosen 4K blocks. Additionally, it performs the tests using 1 or 64 threads and it determines the SSD’s access time.

Two extra benchmark tests examine the drive’s behaviour when (1) copying a few big files, a lot of small files and a mixture of file sizes by using cached copy functions of your OS as well as (2) reading/writing data depending on the data’s compressibility.

Data Throughput


ATTO Benchmark

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

PCMark 8 Storage Test

Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.

Total IOPS

Read Test

Write Test

Average I/O Response Time

Read Test

Write Test

Performance difference…

Not surprisingly, the performance of the Seagate IronWolf 12TB is between the 10TB and 12TB Ironwolf Pro variants. The performance is good especially for large folder transfers as it performs better than both drives.

Feature sets for NAS!

The main selling points are the SOHO NAS specific features as the drive has RV sensors and its labelled Agile Array. Seagate has three 12TB variants, both the Ironwolf series and the Barracuda Pro. With mechanical HDDs showing no difference in the mass storage market, we can only hope the large storage drives eventually be mainstream choice much like the 3TB series at the time NAS HDDs were launched.

Who will buy it?

There are two types of people who will use this drive, those with fully built PC systems in mini-ITX form factor and need NAS drives are they built to be used in NAS which are usually a very small factor and stacked next to each other in tight spaces.

Naturally, large capacity drives don’t sell often. For now, this is the largest capacity NAS HDD you can buy. There are 12TB variants from Seagate Ironwolf Pro and Barracuda lineups. While the drives are recommended to be used in NAS between 1 to 8 HDDs, it is very rare to see SOHO-purpose NAS units going anywhere beyond four HDD bays at best. Still, once upon a time, a 3TB HDD carried a premium but it took some time to get accepted by mass storage users. Still, one of these HDDs carries a premium of a decent mid-end system without a mid-range performance graphics card.

India US UK
INR 33,235.90 $410.44 £357.96

You can buy the Seagate IronWolf 12TB via Overclockers UK from here.

  • Large storage
  • Large multiple file transfer speed
  • 7200RPM 256MB Cache for SOHO NAS
  • Price is very steep

Seagate IronWolf 12TB NAS HDD Review from hardware

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United States

United Kingdom

You can buy the Seagate IronWolf 12TB via Overclockers UK from here.


One comment

  1. ST12000VN0008 – 18dB, yet no review bother to check that.

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