One of the common hard drive comparison requests I get is for the Seagate Ironwolf vs. the Seagate Barracuda.
This is interesting because the Ironwolf is a NAS-focused drive and the Barracuda is an internal hard drive for PCs. Both are available in 2.5″ and 3.5″ sizes and a wide range of capacities.
Seagate Ironwolf NAS drive vs. Barracuda Internal Hard Drive Comparison
|Seagate IronWolf (6-12 TB)||Seagate IronWolf (4 TB)||Barracuda (3-12 TB)||Barracuda (500GB - 2TB)|
|Spindle speed||7200 rpm||5900 rpm||5400 rpm||5400 rpm / 7200 rpm|
|Max sustained data transfer rate||210 MB/s||180 MB/s||190 MB/s||210 MB/s|
|Cache||256 MB||64 MB||256 MB||64 MB|
|RAID support||All configurations||All configurations||All configurations||All configurations|
|Enclosure||1-8 bay||1-8 bay||Not supported||Not supported|
|Workload||180 TB/year||180 TB/year||55 TB/year||55 TB/year|
|MTBF||1 million hours||1 million hours||Not available||Not available|
|Non-recoverable Read Errors per Bits||<1 in 10^15||<1 in 10^14||<1 in 10^15||<1 in 10^14|
|Power-on hours per year (24x7)||8760||8760||2400||2400|
|Average power consumption||7.8 - 8.8 W||4.8 W||5.7 - 8.8 W||5.3 W|
|Idle power consumption||5.0 - 7.6 W||3.95 W||2.5 - 5.4 W||2.5 - 5.4 W|
|Standby power consumption||0.6 - 0.8 W||0.5 W||0.25 - 0.75 W||0.25 - 0.94 W|
|Noise levels||27-32 dB||23 - 25 dB||Not available||Not available|
|Warranty||1M hours MTBF 3-year limited warranty||1M hours MTBF 3-year limited warranty||2 years limited warranty||2 years limited warranty|
While comparing these drives, we should be mindful that these are very different drives, created for very different applications, and have different price points for the same capacity.
Comparing real-life benchmarks of the Ironwolf 4TB vs. Barracuda 4TB, overall the Ironwolf is much faster with an effective speed advantage of 30%.back to menu ↑
While we may not have specific reliability data for the Barracuda drives, one cloud storage provider regularly publishes drive failure data for all the drives it uses including the Ironwolf – Backblaze.
Looking at the latest Backblaze data, we can see that Seagate’s realibility in general is a mixed bag. At lower capacities, they seem to be more reliable than other brands but at higher capacities they have higher failure rates.
Looking at the specs, the Ironwolf has a much higher 27/7 operation workload of 180 TB/year vs the Barracuda’s 55 TB/year. So if your data requirements are within the Barracuda’s rating, you can use it instead of a NAS drive.
However be aware that the Barracuda doesn’t have rotational vibration sensors. Also worth noting is the similar Nonrecoverable Read Errors Rate of both drives.back to menu ↑
Seagate doesn’t say how loud the Barracuda’s get but as they are desktop hard drives you would expect them to be louder than the Ironwolf drives.back to menu ↑
If you are looking for hard drives to use in a NAS, my advice is to stick with the NAS-specific models such as Ironwolf.
These have a much higher workload cycle and have features such as rotational vibration sensors to prolong the drive’s life. They also have a higher quality warranty if things do go wrong.back to menu ↑