Seagate Constellation.2 1TB ST91000640NS SATA3 2.5" HDD Review

The introduction ...

SSDs are currently the first choice for a high performance at very small dimensions.
The SSD prices are getting lower, so that now even 256 GB or 512 GB are getting affordable.
But those who would like to equip their notebooks with a bigger drive like e.g. 1 TB, will probably buy a conventional hard drive.
And even for desktop PCs or servers a 2.5-inch hard drive can make sense, which Seagate is showing us with their fast Seagate Constellation.2 1TB 7200 U/Min Enterprise hard drive.
Today, we take a look at the Seagate ST91000640NS and tested it with the latest firmware SN02.
Unfortunately we could not test, if this hard drive is really running 1.4 million hours without a failure, but the MTBF reliability is approx. 160 years at 24/7 operating.
But let us test the performance of the Seagate Constellation.2 1TB SATA3 hard drive and compare the results with the previously tested solid state drives and hard drives.

 

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks to Seagate for the support with the Seagate Constellation.2 1TB 2.5" HDD.

The Seagate Constellation.2 1TB SATA3 2.5" HDD ST91000640NS has at present a price of approx. 190 Euro (02/2013).

The Seagate Constellation.2 2.5-inch HDD series contains at present the following types:
ST91000640SS, ST9500620SS, ST91000640NS, ST9500620NS, ST9250610NS, ST91000641SS, ST9500621SS, ST91000641NS, ST9500621NS, ST9250611NS, ST91000642SS, ST9500622SS, ST91000642NS, ST9500622NS and ST9250612NS.
For these types not only the size is different, but there is a differentiation between 6 GB/s SAS and 6 GB/s SATA and SED or SED (AES-256) FIPS 140-2 hard drives with built-in encryption.

Here you can buy the Seagate Constellation.2 HDD.

 

 

The supply of the Seagate constellation 7200.2 1 TB SATA3 HDD ...

We received the hard disk in a neutral box and this plastic packaging:

 

 

That is contained in the delivery ...

The Seagate 2.5" Enterprise HDD ST91000640NS was delivered without additional accessories.

The following image shows the front of the 2.5" Seagate Constellation.2 1 TB HDD:

 

On the flipside you can see the circuit board and the SATA3 connectors for data and power.
These connectors are identical to conventional SATA2 hard drives, so the hard disk can easily operate at a SATA2 interface:

 

 

The technical data ...

Manufacturer Seagate
Article number ST91000640NS
Capacity 1TB
Interface SATA3 6GB/s
Cache 64MB
Rotation speed 7200 rpm
Flash Type -
Size 2.5" (100.45 x 70.10 x 15.00mm)
Weight 200 gramm
Speed Read up to 115 MB/s
Seek Time 4.16ms
Power Consumption 2.95 Watt idle / 3.84 Watt average in operation
MTBF 1.4 million hours
Other

SeaTools for DOS Diagnostic, SeaTools for Windows Diagnostic, DiscWizard for Windows, Product Manual as download available, designed for 24x7 operation, depending on the type with AES-256 SED (Self-Encrypting Drive) Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology - SMART, Worldwide Name - WWN for unique drive identification

 

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskInfo 4.3.0 HDD and SDD information software:

 

 

HDD firmware update ...

At the review date, the company Seagate provided the firmware version SN02 for the constellation has. 2 hard drives, which has been updated before the test.
The update of Seagate firmware can be done quite simply, because the firmware download is an ISO file with a tool for creating an USB boot stick.
However, when you get an "undefined video mode number: 310" error message during upgrade, confirm it with space, then select firmware download (!?!) and then automatically starts the update for all possible drives.
In the current review, we have updated the latest firmware SN02 to the drive, which was delivered with the firmware SN01.

 

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

Let us continue with the benchmark results.
SATA3 drives are currently tested with an ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard.
At present, Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition is used as the operating system.

The HDD drive speed was examined and compared with the following benchmark software:

AS HDD Benchmark 1.4.3704.27281 - Download
ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46 - Download
CrystalDiskMark 3.00 - Download
HD Tach 3.040 - Download
SiSoftware Sandra 2011 - Download

 

AS SSD benchmark result ...

The HDD benchmark values offers a very good reference point of the maximal possible reading and writing performance, the speed with smaller files and the respective access time.
Because ASSSD however is not intended for platter hard drives, we have skipped this test.

 

ATTO Disk benchmark result ...

The ATTO disk benchmark values gives a very good overview about the write and read rate on different file sizes.
Here you can see the very constant read and write speeds with approximately 108 MB/s at a small size of about 8 KB.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the ATTO Disk benchmark values (SATA3):

 

The ATTO disk benchmark values are compared with a small transfer size of 32KB and a large transfer size of 8192KB.
The bar chart already includes a comparison to a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB hard drive and some Crucial, OCZ, Mach Extreme and ADATA SSDs, with the Seagate Constellation.2 at 8192K transfer size well below the most SSDs.

Here is a comparison of the ATTO disk benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

CrystalDiskMark result

With CrystalDiskMark one receives a balanced measurement of the performance with different transfer sizes.

The CrystalDiskMark values show similar results as with ATTO and underline the almost-identical sequential read and write speeds of approximately 107-108 MB/s.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the CrystalDiskMark values (SATA3):

 

The following diagram shows the CrystalDiskMark results once again compared with other HDDs and platter drives, which are extended step by step.
In the CrystalDiskMark comparison one can see significant differences between the to-date tested of the Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives, where the tested Seagate Constellation.2 1TB HDD is below most SSDs with the read performance, but the write performance is even significantly above some SSDs.

Here is a comparison of the CrystalDiskMark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

HD Tach result

With HD Tach one can measure the gradient of the performance, but the HDD transfer is not comparable with a conventional HDD.
Here, you get among other things a very good comparison to a SSD, which has nearly constant results.
For technical reasons hard drives results falls from the beginning to the end of the drive.
The Seagate Constellation.2 1TB HDD shows with the HD tach benchmark tool very few performance drops and offers even at the slowest part 55 MB/s read and write speed.
For the burst speed helps the SATA3 interface to get these high transmission rates of approx. 342 MB/s.
The average access time is with 12.2ms, below the 14.6ms value of a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive, with significantly improved write values as we soon see in the SiSoftware Sandra Benchmark.
To compare these results you can move the mouse over the following drives to see their respective benchmark results:
Seagate Constellation.2 1TB 2,5" HDD at SATA3, 2x Crucial m4 128GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 RAID, Crucial m4 128GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 128GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 000F at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 0309 at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 0002 at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial m4 256GB SSD FW 0309 at SATA3 IDE, Crucial m4 256GB 2.5" SSD FW 0002 at SATA3, ADATA S511 120GB SSD at SATA3 AHCI, ADATA S511 120GB SSD at SATA3 AHCI, Crucial C300 64GB 1.8" SSD at SATA3, Crucial RealSSD 256GB 2.5" SSD at SATA3, Crucial RealSSD 256GB 2.5" SSD at SATA2, MX-DS Fusion 60GB SSD SATA3 IDE, MX-DS Fusion 60GB SSD SATA3 IDE, MX-DS Turbo 120GB SSD at SATA3 AHCI, OCZ Agility 128GB SSD, Samsung Series470 128GB SSD AHCI, Samsung Series470 128GB SSD Legacy IDE, Hitachi 7K1000.C 1TB disk drive and Toshiba MK8007GAH 1.8" disk drive.

Here is a Snipping screenhot of the HD Tach benchmark values:

 

The comparison of HD Tach benchmark results shows in reading speed that the Seagate Constellation.2 1TB HDD of course can not keep up with the fast SSDs.

Here is an impressive comparison of the HD Tach benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

SiSoftware Sandra benchmark result

Of course, SiSoftware Sandra benchmark should not be missing in this test series.
SiSoftware offers with their SiSoft Sandra program a very comprehensive tool, which contains a lot of tools to get very reliable test results of all hardware components.

The average access time of the Seagate Constellation.2 1TB HDD measured also in SiSoftware Sandra approx. 12ms and the drive index reached 86.14 MB/s.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark read performance (SATA3):

 

The average access time of the Seagate Constellation.2 1 TB HDD has with the SiSoftware Sandra writing measurement a surprisingly low value of 5.84ms and the drive index reached 85.55 MB/s.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark write performance (SATA3):

 

Here is a comparison of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark values, which are getting updated with soon coming drives:

 

 

Result and general impression ...

The Seagate Constellation.2 1TB SATA3 2.5" hard disk drive ST91000640NS reached exceptionally high performance values for a 2.5" HDD, which did not reach the high read performance of fast SSD, but even some write speeds of SSDs were exceed in our tests.

Especially the price per gigabyte ratio is significantly better when compared to a SSD and additionally also the power consumption is lower than some 3.5" hard disks.
Seagate adjusted the reliability on this enterprise HDD for 24/7 operation.
For some laptops, this 2.5" hard disk is not insertable since this HDD is 15 mm thick.
Additionally we noticed in our tests that after some benchmarks, the temperature has grown internally to 46°C and with an external temperature measurement it reached even up to 54°C.
With good cooling, this should be certainly no problem, so this drive can be optimally used in a server or in an active cooled NAS, or even in a conventional PC or HTPC, but may be the incidental chirping could disturb in a HTPC.

A Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate boot procedure took only 16 seconds with the Seagate Constellation.2 1TB hard drive and the total boot time with BIOS post and Windows 7 start was about approx. 31 seconds.
This is approximately 9 seconds slower than the boot process with a Crucial m4 256GB SSD and 8 seconds faster than the boot process with a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB 3.5" HDD.

All in all the Seagate Constellation.2 1TB HDD is despite lower 2.5" dimensions and high reliability available for a reasonable price and additionally delivers a good performance at a relatively low power consumption.

 

Discuss in our forum and exchange experiences ...

Here you can buy the Seagate Constellation.2 HDD ...

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