Seagate Constellation ES 2TB 6Gb/s SAS Hard Disk Drive
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A few weeks ago we brought you a review of the latest GSkill SSD, the Phoenix which proved to be one of the fastest solutions in the market today. Still the SSD price/capacity ratio is an issue for most people and will be for quite a few years to come. So what is there, if anything, between normal hard disk drives and solid state drives? This is a question many of you have asked in the past months and the answer is finally here. You see over a decade ago the best technology available in storage hardware was SCSI drives. To make things simple SCSI was far superior to IDE but all was not perfect so it had a couple of drawbacks such as high price and the requirement of an extra SCSI PCI card with which you needed to plug SCSI drives. A few years back the SCSI protocol was replaced with the SAS protocol featuring superior performance and data protection. Of course SAS drives do not come cheap and this is mainly why they are mostly for enterprise use but when compared with SSD drives they offer a much better price/capacity/performance ratio, at least for the time being.
Founded in 1979, Seagate is the leading provider of storage devices–in 2008, we became the first hard drive manufacturer to ship 1 billion hard drives–with the industry’s broadest product offering. Our products include 2.5–inch and 3.5–inch hard disk drives, solid state drives and hybrid drives (which incorporate both rotating media and flash memory) for compute–intensive enterprise environments that demand high performance, low–power consumption and proven reliability. In 2009, Seagate developed its first solid–state drives (SSDs) that leverage non–volatile flash memory instead of spinning magnetic media. Seagate’s first SSDs were designed for enterprise environments utilizing blade and general server applications. We followed that up in 2010 with a solid state hybrid drive for laptops–a product with a unique algorithm that enables the drive to “learn” which files are needed most often and then places them in the drive’s on–board flash memory for lightning–fast access. Seagate’s products enable high–performance desktop and laptop systems, along with ultraportable devices such as netbooks and thin laptops. We delivered the industry’s first 2TB, 7,200–RPM desktop hard drive, along with the world’s first 7mm, 2.5–inch form factor drive. These innovative storage products deliver super–sized capacities, industry–leading performance, encrypted security features and more.
Seagate was kind enough to provide us with three 2TB Constellation ES SAS hard disk drives for this review. Now although a few years back SAS drives used to rotate at 10.000RPM and more today an Constellation ES drive can achieve almost the same performance level with a rotational speed of just 7200RPM, meaning less heat, less power consumption and less noise than 10k+ models. Now the bad thing about SAS drives is that you need to pair them with a good SAS card and this is why we paired the Constellation ES drives with an MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i card by LSI one of the leading providers of innovative silicon, systems and software technologies worldwide.