Seagate Exos X16 16TB Enterprise HDD Review

Seagate recently launched its new 16TB HDDs which include the Exos enterprise drives. Today I have just that drive in the office for a closer look and a series of tests.

I keep being impressed by how much capacity Seagate manages to cramp into these type of drives, allowing them to stay as vital as ever. The Exos X16 I’m looking at today isn’t the first drive in the serious that I’m looking at and I’m sure it won’t be the last time either.

Seagate Exos X Series

Seagate’s Exos X, just like the previous Exos S, series is designed for enterprise usage. That said, there is nothing holding anyone back from using the Exos X drive in other setups. Well, the price perhaps, but that’s about it. It really depends on what type of work you need the drive to do. It’s about picking the right drive for the matching usage scenario.

It isn’t that long ago that the 10TB drive was introduced and it’s very likely that these have reached the time where they’ll need to be replaced. And it is a good time to do so as you get 60% more capacity in your racks without having to purchase other hardware. You’ll also see performance improvement and relatively lower cost per TB capacity.

It isn’t just about having a lot of capacity and plenty of redundancy. It’s about having the right storage. The Exos series is tuned for large data transfers and low latency.

Seagate continues to develop their manufacturing processes which means that the Exos X16 features the latest “Next-generation helium side-sealing weld technology”. It improves the robustness of the drive and offers better leak protection. The drive also features digital environmental sensors to monitor internal drive conditions for optimal operation and performance.

An Exos X16 for Everyone

Seagate created two basic versions of the Exos X16, making sure that it’ll be viable for as many systems as possible. It is available as the 6Gbps SATA3 version which I’m testing today, but also as a 12Gbps SAS version.

While there is a huge difference in the performance of the bus, there isn’t when it comes to the drives. They have the same numbers in both performance and endurance.

Besides the standard model here in the office, there are SED and SED-FIPS models too. The SATA3 version is limited to the non-FIPS while the SAS have both SED’s available.

Performance and Endurance

The Exos X16 is a 7200RPM drive which allows it to deliver great performance figures. It is rated for a sustained max transfer rate of 261MB/s. That’s not bad at all for a mechanical drive. The random 4K 16QD performance is rated at 170/440 just as the predecessor. An average latency rating of just 4.16ms isn’t without either.

When it comes to endurance, the drive is rated for an MTBF of 2.5 million hours and it is backed by a 5-year warranty.

As far as workload rating goes, we get a 550 TB per year here. That’s easily 10 times the rating of desktop drives, just as comparison figures.

All that hardware packed together weighs a bit, but it is actually less. Despite the increase in capacity, Seagate has once again managed to lower the weight of the drive. This 16TB version comes in at just 670 grammes.

Exos X16 Features

Seagate didn’t just think of features useful while a drive is active, they also made drive retirement easy. You get both data protection and security through Seagate Secure features for safe, affordable, fast, and easy drive retirement. As mentioned earlier, you get Seagate Secure SED, Seagate Secure SED- FIPS, Common Criteria options.

The complexity is also reduced through the FastFormat function while the PowerBalance feature optimises Watts/TB.


More information can also be found on the official product page for the Exos X16. You can find it by clicking here.

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Bohs Hansen

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