Somewhat shockingly for ourselves, this is going to be our first comparative review of hard disk drives with Serial Attached SCSI interface. As far back as 2004 we published an article on SAS technology and have kept silent on the issue since then. Our recent series of SAS RAID controller reviews does not count in because we compared arrays and controllers rather than individual HDDs. As a matter of fact, we indeed thought that our readers were more interested in ordinary HDDs for desktop computers and focused on them in our reviews.
But the computing world has changed. Applications and operating systems have become heavier and put forth higher disk subsystem requirements. At the same time, SAS drives have come to cost reasonable money and SAS controllers are now integrated into nearly-mainstream mainboards. On the other hand, a fundamentally new type of storage media has entered the market in the way of solid state drives. Having a fantastically high speed of reading, SSDs are less good at writing. Moreover, their service life is limited by the number of flash memory rewrite cycles (magnetic storage media are not subject to this problem). SSDs also have a very high cost of storage as yet.
Can SAS drives serve as a reasonable compromise in the three-coordinate system (speed, reliability and price)? This sounds like an interesting topic for an upcoming review. Today, we will just get together SAS drives that have been produced in the last four years to provide you with a complete picture of this market sector.