Seagate Exos X18 benchmark – 18TB enterprise hard drive

A new round of evolution

Recently, our blog has published articles on double drive technology MACH.2 and thermomagnetic recording HAMR… HAMR drives are currently only available to a limited number of customers and are available through Seagate Enterprise Data Systems and Lyve programs. We decided to descend from heaven to earth and talk about what you can touch with your hands today. The hero of our review will be the flagship enterprise-class HDD Exos X18 by 18 TB, which is available in retail at a very reasonable price from 35 thousand rubles.

Seagate Introduces 18TB HDD in September 2020 Ironwolf pro for SMB / SME NAS, followed by the flagship enterprise version Exos X18… Together with the drives has been updated and converged server platform – presented 2U model with 12 3.5 “bays Exos AP 2U12… The server supports two 10GBASE-T ports and two 1Gbps LAN ports. As a processor, models from the Xeon v5 v4 line with a TDP of up to 85 watts are used.

Meet the corporate flagship!

Seagate Exos X18Like the IronWolf Pro 18TB, it is a 7,200 rpm traditional magnetic CMR / PMR hard drive with a 256MB cache. It contains additional reliability and firmware optimization features for data centers and large disk arrays. Adapted cache allows large amounts of data to be transferred with minimal latency, while PowerBalance ensures optimal power consumption per terabyte of data under different workloads. MTBF MTBF for Exos X18 drives has been increased to 2.5 million hours compared to 1.2 million hours for the IronWolf Pro. The maximum data transfer rate has increased to 270 MB / s… But the 16TB Exos X18 has a lower speed of 261MB / s. Compared to the previous generation, both X18 models have an interesting 25% increase in IOPS in 4K QD 16 write operations. Seagate specifies a maximum power consumption of 9.4W under load and 5.3W when idle.

Seagate has managed to increase the recording density to 1.146 GB / in², and without the use of thermomagnetic recording HAMR. There are nine platters installed in the HDD case. We are getting the fifth generation of Seagate helium-filled hard drives. The Exos X18 is available in SATA and SAS versions. With a five-year warranty and an estimated annual write load of 550 TB, the drives can be used in 24/7 systems. Which is quite expected from an enterprise-class drive.

New 18TB model ST18000NM000J predictably belongs to the Exos X18 line, since there was no such capacity before. However, 16TB HDD Exos is available in both the old X16 line and the new X18. It is easy to distinguish them: the old 16 TB Exos X16 has the letter “G” in the model number ST16000NM001G, the new one has the letter “J” in the number ST16000NM001J








18 TB

Number of NAS bays


Fatal read errors per bit, max.

1 sector for 1015

Forecasted Annual Failure (AFR)


Hot plug support


KTPI / GB / in²

482 / 1.146

Maximum recording load per year

550 TB


256 MB

Spindle speed

7.200 rpm

Baud rate

270 MB / s

4K random read / write, QD16, write cache off

170 IOPS / 550 IOPS



Power consumption load / idle

9.4W / 5.3W

Noise level (sleep) idle / load

2.8 / 3.2

Mean time between failures (MTBF)

2,500,000 h


5 years



For detailed specifications, visit the Seagate website (PDF).

Seagate Exos X hard drives are still geared towards server environments. They are not optimized for noise level during HDD startup or in operating mode. What to consider if you plan to use the drive at home.


The Seagate Exos X18 case is quite traditional for the latest generations of helium HDDs. There are three side mounting holes on each side, so the hard drives fit into any bay. Except that there are four holes on the bottom, not six. But this is unlikely to cause trouble in practice.


We carried out tests in conjunction with the Hardwareluxx test laboratory, the details of the method can be found in Review Seagate Exos X18 ST18000NM000J… Here we will focus on the results.

power usage

We first measured power consumption at disk start… Here the spindle spins up to the working speed, so this level is maximum. Seagate Exos X18 18 TB showed 38.8 watts, which is quite expected for an enterprise-class drive. For this reason, in racks, for example, hard drives do not start all at once, but in turn. The 16TB Exos X16 had a higher power consumption of 39.6W, while the 14TB Exos X14 had 39.0W, so the fifth generation of helium HDDs really turned out to be better in this regard.

The second test was carried out in idle mode… After spinning up the spindle, we waited 10 minutes without loading or accessing the HDD. Seagate PowerChoice-enabled hard drives go into standby after 15 minutes of inactivity, so the 10-minute pause was specially selected. Exos X18 18 TB disc with rotating blades consumed only 3.37W… Which is significantly less than the 16TB Exos X16 (5.06W) and the 14TB Exos X14 (4.77W). Despite nine platters, Seagate has managed to make a pretty good head start in power consumption.

The third test was carried out under sequential write load… The hard drive contained 50 GB of Windows images. Here the energy consumption was 6.92W… What’s above the 16TB Exos X16 (6.41W) and the 14TB Exos X14 (6.7W). The results in this scenario are closer to the very “gluttonous” SkyHawk Ai of 14 TB. However, capacious air-filled disks still consume more.

The fourth test is HD Tune Pro Random Access Read load… Exos X18 result for 18 TB 12.58W turned out to be slightly above the Exos X14 14 TB with eight platters (12.1 W). However, the 16 TB Exos X16 consumed more – 12.86 watts.


By performance Crystal disk mark 6 we got the result above the Seagate specifications, namely 275.2 MB / s on sequential reading and 275.8 MB / s by sequential write. Compared to its predecessors, there is an increase, but it is only a few megabytes per second.

In the test HD Tune The 18 TB Exos X18 also remains below the 280 MB / s bar, not approaching the magic 300 MB / s level. We expected a bigger increase compared to the fourth generation of helium HDDs, but, apparently, we should wait for drives with new technologies.

We limited ourselves to the most popular tests, additional results can be found in Hardwareluxx review

Seagate Storage in EMEA

Hard disks Exos and solid state drives Nytro Designed specifically for enterprise-class workloads and workloads, they deliver high performance, capacity and reliability, and provide maximum data security and instant access to data. Seagate’s portfolio, as we mentioned, includes not only storage, but also disk, hybrid and flash storage for SANs, JBOD systems for server connectivity and easy capacity scaling, and converged computing platforms for high storage density. data

Seagate signed with ASBIS a distribution agreement that will allow the supply of corporate solutions Seagate Storage Systems and Solutions in the markets of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and a number of other countries.

“We are delighted that our strategic partnership with ASBIS, which began in 1992, will be expanded to include the Seagate Systems and Solutions corporate line. For over 40 years we have been producing innovative storage systems. Expanding cooperation with ASBIS is an important step in positioning Seagate as a comprehensive storage provider in EMEA markets, ”commented Alexander Malinin, Head of Seagate Technology in Russia.

Seagate Storage systems will be used for a wide variety of tasks, including primary storage for mission-critical applications, server virtualization tasks, various storage tiers in private and hybrid clouds, video surveillance, high performance computing, data backup and recovery systems, data analytics, media and entertainment applications and more.


Seagate’s new Exos X18 range is a success. It continues the traditions of its predecessors well, providing high level of performance… Less than a few years later, helium hard drives made it to the fifth generation. Of course, power consumption at the start-up stage exceeds consumer HDDs, but for enterprise-class drives this is quite expected. Moreover, in many scenarios, Seagate has managed to reduce power consumption compared to previous generations of Exos.

You shouldn’t expect any revolutionary changes from the new line, here you should still wait for drives with MACH.2 dual drive technologies and HAMR thermal magnetic recording.

Exos X18 is a new evolution of the popular line for data centers and servers. Performance up to 276 MB / s allows drives to be among the leaders of modern HDD. The advantages include a 5-year warranty and an annual estimated write load of 550 TB. The price of about 35 thousand rubles is also pleasing. Unless for home use, you should remember about the noise level and high starting current.

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