|Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS Hard Drive ST3600057SS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 27 October 2009|
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First Look: Seagate Cheetah 15K.7
The Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive is offered with either a 6 GBps Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface, or a 4 GBps (20GFC) Fibre Channel (FC) interface. Benchmark Reviews has received the Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive for testing, model ST3600057SS. The 15K.7 series is the successor to Seagate's 15K.6 SAS hard drive, and there's a lot more that separates these two products than a version number.
PowerTrim is a feature available on the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 series. What it does is quite unique: depending on the particular demand, the disk can shut-down sections of the control board based on processing-power demands. So if a sequential file transfer only requires one or two logic components, the 15K.7 Cheetah can place all other logic components in a low-power standby state.
At first glance the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive looks a lot like most desktop SATA disks. While the outer chassis is very similar, the internal components operate at a much faster RPM, and the Cheetah 15K.7-series generates a tremendous amount of heat as a by-product. During our tests, the surface of the 15K.7 reached temperatures that were very hot to the touch.
Kept at a modest 20°C ambient room temperature, the 15K.7 SAS drive idled at 62°C and later reached 65°C under full load. The older 15K.6 model wasn't much better, however, and warmed up to 60°C at idle and 63°C under load. These were not the internal temperatures, mind you, but rather the external chassis temps when recorded by a non-contact IR thermometer. The point here is simple: these aren't suitable as desktop drives, and require the cool environment only a corporate Enterprise server facility can provide (although Seagate has intentionally designed the Cheetah series to work fine in much higher temperatures, all the way up to scorching 55°C ambient environment).
The primary purpose behind the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive is to deliver full-time service without failure. Designed to operate at full rotation for every second of every day, the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 series offers a 5-year product warranty and promises a 1,600,000-hour Mean-Time Between Failure (MTBF). Considering that there are 8,760-hours in a year, the Seagate ST3600057SS could continuously operate full-time for nearly 183 year before expected failure. Considering that flash-based NAND found in Solid State Drive (SSD) products has roughly ten-years of organic shelf life, it would not be realistic to expect any SSD to outlast the Seagate Cheetah series.