One of the common hard drive comparison requests I get is for the Seagate Ironwolf vs. the Seagate Barracuda. This is quite 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|
Seagate Ironwolf vs. Barracuda Performance
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%.
Seagate Ironwolf vs. Barracuda Reliability
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.
Seagate Ironwolf vs. Barracuda Noise
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.
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.