Seagate’s new Mach.2 is the world’s fastest conventional hard drive | GeekComparison

The key to Mach.2's improved performance is a second set of actuator arms, which can be positioned independently of the first set.  Essentially this makes a Mach.2 "two drives in one chassis."

The key to Mach.2’s improved performance is a second set of actuator arms, which can be positioned independently of the first set. Essentially, this makes a Mach.2 “two drives in one chassis”.

Seagate has been working on dual actuator hard drives for several years, drives with two independently driven sets of read/write heads. The first production dual-actuator drive, the Mach.2, is now “available to select customers,” meaning companies can buy it directly from Seagate, but end users are out of luck for now.

Seagate lists the Mach.2’s sustained, sequential transfer rate at 524 MBps – easily double that of a fast “regular” rust disk and headed for the SATA SSD territory. The performance improvements extend to arbitrary I/O area too, with 304 IOPS read / 384 IOPS write and only 4.16 ms average latency. (Normal hard drives are usually 100/150 IOPS and have about the same average latency.)

The added performance requires extra power; Mach.2 drives are rated at 7.2W idle, while Seagate’s standard Ironwolf line is rated at 5W idle. It becomes more difficult to compare the power consumption under load because Seagate specifies the Mach.2 differently than the Ironwolf. The power consumption of the Mach.2 is explicitly rated for various arbitrary I/O scenarios, while the Ironwolf line is rated for useless “average operating power”, which is not defined in the datasheet.

Still, assuming – probably not unreasonably – a similar increase in power consumption under load, the Mach.2 represents an excellent choice for power efficiency, offering about 200% of the performance of competing traditional drives against about 144% of that. the energy budget. Particularly energy-conscious users can also use Seagate’s PowerBalance mode, although that feature reduces sequential performance by 50% and random performance by 10%.

This two-year-old promotional video explains the general concepts behind the Mach.2 drive.

According to Seagate Senior VP Business and Marketing Jeff Fochtman, the company has been shipping Mach.2 HDDs in volume since 2019 and supplying them to more than a dozen large enterprise customers with dual-actuator programs. Today’s wider release expands the potential customer base to include the rest of Seagate’s “selected” customers.

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