Seagate Exos X20 and IronWolf Pro 20TB Expand Retail 20TB HDD Options

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Seagate has updated their flagship capacity options for the retail HDD market with the availability announcement for two new hard drives today – the Exos X20 and IronWolf Pro 20TB. These two models join the recently-released Western Digital WD Gold 20TB and Ultrastar HC560 to round out the 20TB hard drives currently available for retail purchase.

The Exos X20 comes with SATA as well as SAS 12Gbps interface options, and includes SED (self-encrypting drive) models while the IronWolf Pro is SATA-only (similar to previous generations). The Exos X20 has a workload rating of 550 TB/yr, while the IronWolf Pro version is rated for 300 TB/yr. A detailed comparative summary of the different specifications of the two new drives and how they stack up against the Western Digital offerings is provided in the table below. Only the SATA options of the Exos X20 and the Ultrastar HC560 are being considered for this purpose. The two model numbers corresponding to these are for the SED and non-SED (standard) options.

















2021 Retail 20TB HDDs – Comparative Specifications
  Seagate

Exos X20 20TB
Seagate

IronWolf Pro 20TB
Western Digital

WD Gold 20TB
Western Digital

Ultrastar HC560
Model ST20000NM007D

ST20000NM000D (SED)
ST20000NE000 WD201KRYZ WUH722020ALE6L1 (SED)

WUH722020ALE6L4
Recording Technology Conventional Magnetic Recording

(CMR)
Conventional Magnetic Recording with Energy-Assist

(CMR / EAMR)
RPM 7200 RPM
DRAM Cache 256 MB 512 MB
Helium-Filling Yes
Sequential Data Transfer Rate

(MBps)
285 MB/s 269 MB/s
MTBF 2.5 M 1.2 M 2.5 M
Rated Annual Workload 550 TB 300 TB 550 TB
Acoustics Idle 28 dB 20 dB
Seek 30 dB 32 dB 36 dB
Power Consumption Random read/write 9.4 W / 8.9 W (100R/100W @ QD16) 9.4 W / 8.9 W (100R/100W @ QD16) 7 W

(50R/50W @ QD1)
Idle 5.5 W 5.4 W 6 W
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years

(3 years DRS)
5 Years
Pricing $670 $650 $680 $700

The IronWolf Pro model also has a 1W standby / sleep-mode power consumption rating that could prove useful in NAS units that are subject to constant 24×7 traffic. The idle acoustics are at the higher end for the Seagate models, but the seek numbers make up for it. Unfortunately, we do not have a way to compare the power consumption numbers based on the datasheets, as the workloads used for the characterization are different between the two vendors. That said, the idle numbers lean again towards the Seagate models.

It must be noted here that the list price premium for the WD models can be accounted for by the use of OptiNAND technology in the WD Gold and Ultrastar HC560. We reached out to Seagate on the use of HAMR in the new models, and surprisingly, Seagate indicated that the two new hard drives being introduced to retail today do not use heat-assisted magnetic recording.



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