Seagate Exos 2X14 has a continuous transfer rate of 524 MB / s.

Seagate has announced official specifications on the first dual actuator hard disk drive (HDD) Mach.2 Exos 2X14. Although SSDs are now the standard for business laptops and workstations, HDDs still have a place in data centers as they can store large amounts of data relatively cheaply. On the other hand, Seagate’s Mach.2 multi-actuator technology aims to increase the data transfer rate without sacrificing the storage capacity of HDDs.

While traditional HDDs have an actuator with read / write heads, Seagate’s Mach.2 drives have two actuators to double both sequential and random read / write speeds. Seagate has been working with Microsoft to develop multi-actuator technology since the end of 2017, and their efforts have paid off.

The company’s first Mach.2 drive has a continuous transfer rate of 524MB / s, even faster than the Exos 15E900. This makes it the fastest HDD in the world right now. The Exos 2X14 has a capacity of 14 TB, but the drive consists essentially of two 7 TB HDDs fused together in a hermetically sealed 3.5-inch chassis with helium filling. Other features include 7200 RPM, 256 MB multi-partition cache, and a single-port SAS 12 GB / s interface.

When connected to a server in a data center, the host system will see the Exos 2X14 as two logical drives that can be addressed independently. The sequential read / write speeds of Seagate’s new HDD are so fast that the drive can even compete with some cheap SATA / SAS SSDs at a much lower cost per TB.

Of course the drive’s performance increase means higher power consumption. The Exos 2X14 consumes up to 7.2W in idle mode and 13.5W under heavy load. This amount of power is higher than the 12W typically recommended for 3.5-inch HDDs. Data centers can reduce power consumption by taking advantage of the Seagate PowerBalance feature, but this means 50 percent lower sequential read / write speeds and 5 to 10 percent lower random read / write.

The disc will only be available to certain customers and will not be available to the open market anytime soon. Fortunately, the company’s multi-actuator technology is eventually likely to be found in other HDDs.

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