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It is good that we can have new HDDs optimized specifically for entry-level NASes. NAS applications have their peculiarities indeed whereas users have been getting more interested in entry-level NASes due to the transition from desktop PCs, which can accommodate several HDDs, to compact notebooks and tablets.

Seagate’s NAS-optimized HDD series may come in handy for such applications. Although the company’s other products may be used in NASes as well, the new series would be a better choice. The STx000VN000 models are already on the compatibility lists of the major NAS manufacturers. Many of their specs coincide with those of Western Digital’s Red series, but Seagate offers maximum storage capacity. If you want a NAS-optimized 4-terabyte drive, there is no other option available today.

When it comes to performance, it is the platform rather than the hard disks that determine the speed of an entry-level NAS. We have tested one of the fastest x86-based 4-bay NASes with Seagate’s new HDDs and its performance is limited by the Gigabit Ethernet interface. Seagate’s HDDs have proved to be generally superior to their WD Red opponents. The differences between them are especially conspicuous at random operations where the Seagate drives were better at reading and worse at writing. The new HDDs are also better in RAID6 configurations when doing sequential reading. Having newer components, they are superior in such parameters as power consumption and temperature, too.

Reliability is one of the most important parameters for any HDD, but we can’t evaluate it in our tests. Judging by the specified MTBF and the warranty period, the new series should be at least as reliable as the older drives.

As for the price factor, the NAS-optimized products from Seagate are considerably more expensive than their regular desktop counterparts and a little more expensive than their WD opponents. It must be due to their being new products rather than to any technical issues.

Thus, if you need fast, cool and quiet large-capacity HDDs for an entry-level NAS, the Seagate NAS series is going to be the perfect option.

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