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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]
The Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) hard disk drive. Let’s compare it to its competitor and see how fast it is. Check it out!
The IronWolf Pro family has models with 2 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, and 10 TB capacity, all of them with 7,200 rpm, using 3.5” format, SATA-600 interface and 26.1 mm tall. The 6 TB, 8 TB, and 10 TB models have 256 MiB cache memory, while the 2 TB and 4 TB models have 128 Mib of cache RAM.
Being focused to the enterprise network enviroment, the IronWolf Pro aim on performance, but also on data protection. They are recommended to NAS units with up to 16 drives and, according to the manufacturer, come with vibration sensors that help to protect data even under mechanical vibration.
We tested the 6 TB model, code number ST6000NE0021. As the other models of the same series, it has a five-year warranty and comes with a data rescue service free for two years.
Figures 1 and 2 present the Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB hard disk drive.

Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TBFigure 1: the Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB

Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TBFigure 2: the Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB

In our tests, we will be comparing the IronWolf Pro 6 TB to the WD Red Pro 5 TB, which is also a high-performance NAS model with similar characteristics. In the table below, we will compare the basic specifications of these products.

Manufacturer
Model
Model #
Rotational Speed
Interface
Buffer
Capacity
Price*
Seagate
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
ST6000NW021
7,200 rpm
SATA-600
256 MiB
6 TB
USD 270
Western Digital
WD Red Pro 5 TB
7,200 rpm
SATA-600
128 MiB
5 TB
USD 253

* All prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
We tested the Seagate Desktop SSHD using HD Tune Pro and CrystalDiskMark programs. The drives were connected, one at a time, to an internal SATA-600 port. The only variable component between each benchmarking session was the HDD being tested.
Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration                      

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Benchmarking Software

Error Margin
We adopted a 3% error margin in our tests, meaning performance differences of less than 3% cannot be considered meaningful. Therefore, when the performance difference between two products is less than 3%, we consider them to have similar performance.
[nextpage title=”CrystalDiskMark”]
We used CrystalDiskMark’s default configuration for our tests, which benchmarked each hard drive using a file size of 1,000 MB with five test runs.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the sequential read test, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 15% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
The results in the sequential write test were pretty much the same; the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 14% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the random read test using 512 kiB blocks, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB performed similarly to the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
Moving on to the random write test using 512 kiB blocks, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 16% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 8% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the random write test using 4 kiB blocks, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 164% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the random read test using 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 15% slower than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the random write test using 4 kiB blocks and queue depth of 32, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 178% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
[nextpage title=”HD Tune”]
Now we will look at the results recorded using HD Tune.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the burst speed test, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 46% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In the average read speed, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 38% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
Access time is another important measurement. It measures the time the storage device delays to start delivering data after the computer has asked for given data. It is measured in the order of milliseconds (ms, which are equal to 0.001 s); the lower this value, the better.
Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB
In this test, the IronWolf Pro 6 TB was 36% faster than the WD Red Pro 5 TB.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Hard disk drives made for network storage are supposed to be used in specific devices, that hold from one single drive (like the WD My Cloud) to a large amount of drives. The Seagate IronWolf Pro drives are aimed on entrerprise environments, in NAS units with up to 16 drives. Usually, enterprise network drives have more endurance and reliability than common desktop HDDs.
Because of this, some people prefer to use this kind of hard disk in small servers or even workstations, even considering they are usually more expensive than the desktop hard disk drives.
Comparing the Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB to one of its competitors, the WD Red Pro 5 TB  (which have been proved to be faster than a high-end desktop HDD), we see that the IronWolf Pro is faster in most benchmarks. It is probably due to its bigger cache and its smaller access time (which depends on mechanical characteristics of the drive).
In short, the Seagate IronWolf Pro 6 TB is a high performance hard disk drive, for NAS applications, small servers, and even for desktop computers, deserving our Golden Award.