Toshiba this week launched its new lineup of high-reliability hard drives for NAS units. The drives offer up to 8 TB of capacity and are based on enterprise-grade platforms. According to Toshiba's specifications, these and are among the highest-performing 3.5” HDDs on the planet.

The Toshiba N300 family of hard drives consists of three models with 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB capacities, a SATA 6 Gb/s interface, a 7200 RPM spindle speed and a 128 MB buffer. All three HDDs are based on a high-reliability platform that attaches a spindle to both sides of a drive (to curb system-induced vibration), has rotational vibration (RV) sensors, shock sensors and temperature sensors as well as supporting error recovery features. The new HDDs are designed for 24/7 availability, 1 million hours MTBF and have a 180 TB/year workload rating, which is in line with other hard drives for NAS devices with 8 bays and is considerably higher than the workload rating of typical desktop HDDs.

Toshiba’s N300 HDDs resemble the company’s MN05-series drives introduced in February (which are also designed for enterprise-class NASes) and are likely based on the same PMR platters (perpendicular magnetic recording) with up to 1.33 TB capacity per platter (the 8 TB version features six of such discs). In addition to the same platters, the N300 drives also have the same power consumption as the MN05 HDDs, but offer slightly different performance, according to the specifications.

Toshiba N300-Series HDDs
Capacity 8 TB 6 TB 4 TB
RPM 7200 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
DRAM Cache 128 MB
Data Transfer Speed
240 MB/s 210 MB/s 200 MB/s
MTBF 1 million hours
Rated Annual Workload (read and write) 180 TB/year
Acoustics (Seek) 35 dB 34 dB
Power Operating 9.2 W 10.1 W 9.6 W
Active Idle 6.2 W 6.7 W 5.2 W
Warranty 3 years

As for performance, Toshiba claims up to a 240 MB/s sustained data transfer rate as well as a 4.17 ms average latency time for the N300 8 TB model, which is slower compared to the MN05 8 TB. Meanwhile, since the 6 TB and 4 TB N300 HDDs use different platters, their performance is a bit lower (due to the lower areal density).

Toshiba is already shipping its N300 HDDs to partners and the drives are expected to be available in stores this month. Exact prices will depend on the retailer, but keep in mind that although the N300 are aimed at consumers, they are based on advanced platforms and support numerous enterprise-grade features.

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Source: Toshiba

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  • nathanddrews - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    Awesome, I'm just running out of space...
  • Thisguysaneckbeard - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    You're not pretentious
  • lord_anselhelm - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    Just launched? That's odd: I've seen them freely available online for about a month, possibly longer. I'd be tempted by the 8TB model, as I'm a fan of how reliable Toshiba drives are, but it's just not enough of an upgrade for me. (I currently use 2x 3TB Toshiba drives which I'm looking to replace with a single, high capacity drive. Right now, the only realistic contender in terms of reliability is the HGST He10 10TB series as the He12 12TB series of drives aren't yet available and likely will come with a ridiculous launch price per gigabyte.)
  • Thisguysaneckbeard - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    You're pretentious
  • lord_anselhelm - Saturday, April 22, 2017 - link

    O...kay. I'm not sure how my comment was pretentious or how your insult was justified, but based on the quality of your other comment, I'll just bid you adieu and genuinely wish you a nice day.
  • Hul8 - Saturday, April 22, 2017 - link

    It's not a good idea to use NAS/RAID-optimized drives standalone.

    NAS drives have a firmware that gives up early when it encounters read errors. It assumes there's RAID (or ZFS) redundancy available, that can recover the information from another drive.

    It's also not a good idea to use non-NAS/RAID drives in redundant arrays. Regular desktop drives will continue to try to read for a long time (since they assume it's the only way to recover the data), resulting in the read operation stalling, which may result in a RAID controller dropping the drive from the array.
  • Infy2 - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    7200RPM drive fastest on the planet? Whatever happened to the 10k or 15k RPM drives of the old?
  • CaedenV - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    fastest at sequential read... which I really don't get. I mean, if this is a network drive then it is going to be ganged with a bunch of drives, which means you really don't need much sequential performance. Your average 1gbps network connection can only sustain ~105MB/s, and if you happen to have a 10gbps then you are looking at 1GB/s of throughput. If these are meant for RAID then it means on a 1gbps conneciton a single drive taps it out, and on a bigger server 5 drives in a RAID 5 will tap it out easily. But the random IO (which is important for network drives) probably sucks, so there is no real point.

    Personally, I would love to see them abandon the speed race entirely. If people are paying for HDDs they are not shopping for performance. You are shoping for bulk and reliability. Lets see some average speed drives that have a 5-7 year warranty on them! That will turn some heads!
  • Runiteshark - Friday, April 21, 2017 - link

    So you are thinking a bit too simplistically. First and foremost, you're never going to see those speeds, ever other than in a synthetic workload. Next, obviously they are capitalizing on the tradeoff of the PMR drives, increased sequential performance but they obviously are not showcasing the random performance of these drives which is significantly more important.

    The reality is, you'd need 4 of these with ZFS or RAID to really saturate a gig nic, and if you buy more of them you aren't going to be just running gig.

    As for the speed race being abandoned no thank you. I care about the performance characteristics of these drives for data warehousing purposes and MTBF. Everything I store has more than one copy so why do I care if one drive dies?
  • DominionSeraph - Saturday, April 22, 2017 - link

    5400RPMs aren't some paragons of reliability. The only differences are slower bearing wear and lower power usage due to less drag. Drives can last 10 years without an issue, and the bearings giving out are usually not what does them in.
    The speed is basically free and it does make a significant difference to a lot of use cases. I throw around Blu-rays all day long and trust me, it's a lot nicer working between 200MB/s drives than from my 100 or 65MB ones.

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