The new Exos 2X16 and 2X18 HDDs can match SATA solid-state drives in terms of sequential read and write speeds while offering capacities of 16TB and 18TB (up from 14TB).
The new Seagate Exos 2X18 family comprises six models. There are two 18TB HDDs with a SATA 6 Gbps and SAS 12 Gbps interface and two 16TB SKUs. SAS drives are always offered with an encryption option.
Seagate says that the Exos 2X18/2X16 SATA versions boast a maximum sustained transfer rate of 554 MBps, whereas SAS models are rated for a maximum sustained transfer rate of 545 MBps.
All four drives also feature an average latency of 4.16 ms and 304/560 random read/write IOPS (4K QD16).
The dual-actuator drives use conventional magnetic recording, feature a 7,200 RPM spindle speed, a 256MB multisegmented cache, and fully support Seagate's technologies for data centers, including PowerChoice (to manage idle power consumption), PowerBalance (to manage active power consumption), and hot-plug support.
Seagate's hermetically sealed and helium-filled Mach.2 hard drives with two actuators are essentially two logical HDDs (or 9TB or 8TB capacity) that are independently addressable and therefore need some software tweaks on the host side.
Seagate has been experimenting with dual-actuator HDDs with Microsoft since late 2017, but expanded availability to select other partners. With its Exos 2X16 and Exos 2X18 families, Seagate probably further expands availability of its Mach.2 HDDs as now it makes them available with a widespread SATA interface. Whether or not such products will be available in retail to those who want an ultra-fast HDD is something that remains to be seen, but at least these SATA drives can be used with a wider range of systems than their predecessors.