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High capacity hard drive round-up (5TB+6TB)

Toshiba Nearline Enterprise 5TB

Product page here. KitGuru covered the Toshiba launch here.

Toshiba 5TB 1
Toshiba 5TB 2
Toshiba 5TB 3
Toshiba 5TB 4

Oh look, another Nearline drive, which means the Toshiba 5TB might be expected to go head-to-head with the Seagate Enterprise v4. It might be worth noting that Seagate claims its drive is the ‘fastest 6TB Nearline drive’ while Toshiba basically says nothing at all.

In essence the Toshiba and Seagate drives have a great deal in common. They both use 1TB per platter technology and spin at 7,200rpm, however Toshiba has stopped at five platters and 5TB while Seagate has crammed in a sixth platter. This restraint on Toshiba’s part means that the mounting holes in the body of the drive are to be found in the usual positions. That’s four mounts on the bottom and three on each side, as you can see in the photos.

Toshiba has also chosen to use 128MB of cache memory and the interface is SATA 6GB/sec, although SAS versions are available.

This 5TB version has a claimed maximum data transfer speed of 205MB/sec, with slower speeds for lower capacity versions. That is 185MB/sec for the 3TB and 4TB versions and 175MB/sec for the baby 2TB drive.

Toshiba 5TB CrystalToshiba 5TB Enterprise CrystalDiskInfo
Toshiba 5TB HD Tach
toshiba 8-10The results from HD Tach and CrystalDiskMark show the 5TB Toshiba zips along at very nearly the same speed as the Seagate Enterprise v4. The read speeds are slightly lower in HD Tach (206.4MB/sec rather than 219.6MB/sec) while the write speeds are higher (67.9MB/sec against 61.1MB/sec).

In CrystalDiskMark the Toshiba was slightly slower than the Seagate to the tune of four or five percent. The gap in performance widens as the tests move from sequential to 512K and then 4K but the Toshiba continued to impress.Throughout these tests the Toshiba was only drawing 10.5W compared to 12.3W for the Seagate so there is a measurable saving, but clearly it is a very small amount.

One test that showed the 5TB Toshiba in a poor light is IOMETER where the drive had about half the performance of the 6TB Seagate. In the read test the Toshiba had 82.1 IOPS compared to the 184.6 for Seagate. In the write test the figure was 75.7 IOPS compared to 121.3 for Seagate.

Those are big differences and while they look bad for Toshiba they suggest to me the firmware has been written to equalise read and write performance and that someone has got things a bit wrong. Or possibly the controller in the Toshiba isn’t especially good.

I would have thought Toshiba should be able to produce firmware that hits at least 100 IOPS read and write, provided they aren’t trying to save every last fraction of a watt of power.

Those tests were run with a bare drive using a SATA connection but when the drive was installed in a Synology NAS it behaved perfectly well and there was no sign of the dubious Iometer performance.

Incidentally the 5TB Toshiba doesn’t appear on Synology’s compatibility list however it worked perfectly OK.

Discuss on our Facebook page, over HERE.


  • Good performance (but cannot quite match the 6TB Seagate).
  • Low power draw.
  • The price is a reasonable 5.8p per Gigabyte.
  • 5TB capacity should be adequate for most people.


  • Iometer performance leaves something to be desired.
  • 5TB good, 6TB better!

KitGuru says: Toshiba has produced a decent 5TB drive that offers good value for money along with very acceptable performance.


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