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The largest available hard disk is still a 16TB drive

A 16TB hard disk drive is on sale for far less than you'd think

Storage giant Seagate unveiled two new hard disk drives with a 16TB capacity earlier this year and, for once, the news wasn't all about data centers.

Seagate Exos X16 16TB HDD - $387.55 (around £310/AU$610)
At just over $24 per TB, this is a fantastic deal for those searching for a drive to rule them all - an SSD of the same capacity will cost you almost eight times as much. Bear in mind, 16TB is a lot of data to lose, so make sure you back it up!View Deal

Provantage is selling the Exos (ST16000NM001G) for just over $387 (roughly £310/AU$610), while the IronWolf (ST16000VN001) retails for just under $480 from Amazon (roughly £385/AU$755).

Prices have been falling steadily due to the coronavirus pandemic, with year-on-year shipments down by a whopping 13%. Consumer units have certainly been feeling the pinch, but there are signs that even data centres are hesitant to buy.

International customers

Unfortunately, neither Provantage nor Amazon will deliver outside the US, so international customers will have to use a specialist parcel forwarding service if they want to take advantage of the deal.

The Exos X16 and the IronWolf/IronWolf Pro target two different audiences: data centers and NAS users respectively. For that reason, they differ in a number of ways.

The former features SATA or SAS interfaces, while the IronWolf models are compatible with SATA only.

The Exos range boasts a MTBF (mean time before failures) of 2.5 million hours and a higher sustained transfer rate at 261MBps; the IronWolf and IronWolf Pro reach 210 and 250MBps respectively.

The cheaper Exos also has a longer warranty period, at five years compared to the IronWolf's three.

As for the similarities, both HDDs feature nine platters, use Helium technology and share the same spinning speed (7200RPM), idle power (5W), average latency (4.16ms) and cache (256MB). 

Note, the IronWolf Pro also comes with bundled Rescue Services - great for data recovery.

Found a better deal?

Have you managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new? Let us know and we'll tip our hat to you. 

In terms of competitors, Toshiba announced the 16TB MG08 series in January last year, but we're yet to see any stock in the channel. Western Digital also shipped its first 16TB hard disk drives, but based on MAMR rather than HAMR technology.

While SSD prices have been falling, they are still far more expensive than their hard disk drive counterparts. At about $3000, Micron’s 16TB 9300 Pro is nearly eight times more expensive.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology in a career spanning four decades. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.