st4000dm004The 17 generation Seagate ST4000DM004 is a standard 4 TB hard disk for desktop personal computers. The ST4000DM004-2CV104 is the model reviewed.

  • ST8000DM004
  • ST6000DM003
  • ST4000DM004
  • ST3000DM007
  • ST2000DM005

The 17 generation disks all feature 1 TB per platter.  500 GB on a head. The 3T TB disk has 3 heads as one side has a bad platter. The rest are 1-4 plates in the packaging.

The ST4000DM004 has 7,814,037,168 guaranteed sectors. This disk needs to be partitioned with GPT to be able to use the larger capacity as a single volume. GPT support 64-bit tables which can handle the larger number of sectors on a particular disk.

The areal density is 1203 Gb/in² using perpendicular recording technology. Seagate also uses the giant magneto recording head which works with the perpendicular design idea. This type of disk has been on the market for several years and it has been very successful.

The disk can provide about 190 MB/s of sustained data transfer.  The generous 256 MB of cache can help saturate the SATA III port with bursts of speed when data is prefetched.

st4000dm004-benchmarkWe copied some files from a SSD and we were surprised at how fast the ST4000SM004 could handle smaller files. The faster CPU and large cache seem to be able to handle the media well.

• Compliant with RoHS requirements in China and Europe.
• High instantaneous (burst) data-transfer rates (up to 600MB per second).
• Native Command Queuing with command ordering to increase performance in demanding applications.
• Quiet operation.
• SeaTools diagnostic software performs a drive self-test that eliminates unnecessary drive returns.
• State-of-the-art cache and on-the-fly error-correction algorithms.
• Support for S.M.A.R.T. drive monitoring and reporting.
• Supports latching SATA cables and connectors.
• TGMR recording technology provides the drives with increased areal density.
• Worldwide Name (WWN) capability uniquely identifies the drive.

All disks now use the 4096 sector track format which makes it easier to improve the error rates. Now hard disks are 1 error in 1017 bits which 2 orders of magnitude better. The more advanced error correction codes make it possible for hard disks to be extremely reliable. Windows 10 has full support for the advanced format 4096 byte sectors so emulation is not needed.

Hard disks still use 12V and 5V so that molex adapters can be used. Disks originally never had 3.3V which was added when PCI Express and SATA was introduced. Regulators can handle the actual voltage needed.