Seagate Releases Massive BarraCuda Pro 12TB Hard Drives

Seagate recently announced new 12TB 3.5-inch hard drives for desktop and NAS use aimed that those that need massive amounts of storage space. Those that have large data storage needs know that hard drives are still relevant due to their reliability and low price points. The new Seagate 12TB drives that were released this month make up the BarraCuda Pro, IronWolf, and IronWolf Pro product families. Today, we'll be taking a closer look at the Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB drive that is a successor to last years 10TB drive that we were impressed by when we reviewed it. The new model packs 2TB of additional storage capacity in the same enclosure. Seagate didn't change technologies to make a 12TB disk, so they are still using Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) in a helium filled enclosure for the 7200 RPM disks to have less drag. They managed to hit this new capacity milestone by switching to eight 1.5 TB platters rather than seven 1.43 TB platters.  The reliability on the new 12TB 3.5-inch SATA III 6Gbps hard drive remains close to the same as well, so Seagate kept the five-year warranty on this model. Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB Hard Drive   When it comes to performance numbers the new Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB drive is going to be faster than last years 10TB model that topped out 220 MB/s with a peak power draw 7.8 Watts. The new 12TB model is capable of hitting sustained transfer rates of up to 250 MB/s at the same 7.8W typical operating power, so that is great news. More performance with no additional power draw in operating mode. What will this helium filled 12TB drive cost you? You are looking at $524.99 shipped from Amazon and it looks like it will be in stock and available for purchase on October 15th, 2017. That means you are looking at around $0.04 per GB! If that price is a little too much for you can go with a smaller capacity if you don't need that much space. Just keep in mind that the maximum sustained transfer speeds and amount of cache decrease as you get smaller. You also get two years of data recovery included with Seagate Rescue for added peace of mind if something should fail. This 2-year hard drive single-service plan is generally $9.99, so it's a nice little value adder with the purchase of one of these drives. It would be nice to see Seagate offer this service plan for the entire 5-year warranty period on these models, but they want you to sign up after the 'free' trial is over. Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB SATA Hard Drive The drive has decent endurance rating for a consumer hard drive at 300TB per year or 820GB per day workload rate with 24x7 usage. The one interesting thing to note is that they show the power-on hours per year being 8,760 and that would be 24 hours a day, so this drive is ready to be left on 24/7 for constant use! Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB specifications: seagate barracuda pro 12tb sata headers The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB drive (model number ST12000DM0007) uses a standard connection interface, so you have the SATA power connector on the left and data port on the right. This drive is 26.11mm thick and needs to be as there are 8 platters and 16 heads inside! Most Seagate hard drives that are 1TB or smaller are just 19.99mm thick, so this is over 6mm thicker than a 'traditional' hard drive that you might be accustomed to. Let's take a look at the test system and move along to testing!

Our Intel Z370 Platform Used For Benchmarking

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro v1703 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. This means windows defender, windows update, disk fragmentation and everything else that would interfere with testing was disabled. Windows 10 also had the power option set to high performance. We also disabled c-states on the Intel Core i5-8400 to ensure our numbers are spot on and repeatable. ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F GAMING The Intel Z370 platform that we used to test the storage drives was based around the ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F Gaming motherboard with BIOS 0410 that came out on 09/21/2017. We used Intel RST storage drivers, the exact version was The Corsair Vengenace DDR4 16GB 3200MHz memory kit was run at 3200MHz with CL14 1T memory timings.  SATA drives were tested on the ports that were connected to the Intel Platform Controller Hub and not a third party controller.

Intel Z370 Test Bench

Intel Z370 Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing


Intel Core i5-8400




Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200MHz

OS Drive

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i

Operating System

Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

CrystalDiskInfo 7.1.1 Readout:

The readout on CrystalDiskInfo 7.1.1 shows that the Seagate BarraCuda 12TB drive S.M.A.R.T. and NCQ. The drive we received had firmware version DN01 installed and that is the version that we used for general testing and benchmarking as there was no newer version available. Let's have a look at the performance!

Performance w/ CrystalDiskMark and ATTO

CrystalDiskMark v5.2.2 CrystalDiskMark is a small benchmark utility for drives and enables rapid measurement of sequential and random read/write speeds. Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB versus 10TB CrystaDiskMark On our test system we found that the Seagate BarraCuda Pro 10TB hard drive was able to top out at 244 MB/s read and 232 MB/s write in the sequential test whereas the new BarraCuda Pro 12TB hard drive topped out at 250 MB/s read and 248 MB/s write! These are some pretty decent performance gains seeing how both are 7,200 RPM desktop hard drives with the same amount of cache (256MB multisegmented). The 4K random read and write scores are no where near that of a a modern SSD, but these large drives will likely be used as secondary storage drives rather than a boot drive with an OS on it. ATTO Disk Benchmark v3.05 ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The benchmark test was run with file sizes from 0.5kb through 64MB with the total length being 256mb. Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB versus 10TB ATTO Disk Benchmark Benchmark Results: The Seagate Barracuda Pro 10TB HDD drive hit 245 MB/s read and 235 MB/s write and the new BarraCuda Pro 12TB peaked at 253 MB/s read and 247 MB/s write. These are some solid gains on ATTO Disk Benchmark, which is one of the go to benchmarks in the storage industry. Who thought that we'd be getting around 250 MB/s read and write speeds from a hard drive? 

HD Tune Pro 5.70 Benchmarking

HD Tune Pro 5.70 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

Read Performance Testing

Benchmark Results: The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB hard drive had an average read speed of 194.2MB/s with a burst speed of 421.1MB/s and an access time of 14.3ms. The read performance has the expected downward curve staying out at 252.5 MB/s on the outer edges of the platters before slowing to 112.6 MB/s on the inner sectors.

Benchmark Results: The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB drives random access read benchmark comes in with some pretty solid results with the average read access time being under 20.5 ms for all the transfer sizes.

Write Performance Testing

Benchmark Results: The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB had an average write speed of 194.3 MB/s with a burst speed of 234.1MB/s and an access time of 7.00ms. The minimum speed was found to be 113.2 MB/s. 

Benchmark Results: The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB random write access write benchmark shows under 10ms access times for the set transfer sizes and just over 18ms for a random transfer block. 

File Testing

Benchmark Results: The file benchmark results look good with greater than 200 MB/s read and writes for most file sizes over 16KB. The drive felt warm to the touch during use, but never got much hotter than 41C during these benchmark tests  on our open air test bench.

Free Space and Final Thoughts

Taking a look at the capacity of the empty Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB hard drive properties in Windows 10 we see that there is 10.9TB available to the user as reported by Windows. Plenty of space for professional photographers, video editors and the like. Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB Hard Drive Final Thoughts:  If you have a ton of data that you need to store the Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB pushes the boundaries of what can be held on a disk drive. By moving up to a new 8 platter design, Seagate was able to increase the capacity of of the Barracuda Pro family to 12TB and they were able to get a performance boost. Hitting speeds of up to 253 MB/s read and 247 MB/s write in ATTO's sequential file benchmark was impressive! Sure that might only be an extra 11 MB/s on the sequential write side over last years 10TB model that we compared it against, but when you are moving around this much data that speed boost will quickly be appreciated. Since some folks will be filling these 12TB drives with valuable data we always suggest safeguarding your data by backing it up. We highly suggest looking into different backup options as no one will want to lose this much data if something should fail. Buying another 12TB drive to mirror this one would be pricey and if you are going to setup a RAID array you would be better off going with a Seagate IronWolf HDD that was designed for use in NAS devices. When it comes to pricing you are looking at $524.99 shipped from Amazon for the Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB with a 5-year warranty. That puts you right around $0.044 per GB or $43.75 per TB. Not bad considering a Samsung 850 EVO 4TB 2.5-inch SATA III SSD will run you $1,697 shipped. You can get triple the storage space for less than a third of that price with the Seagate Barracuda Pro 12TB hard drive! If you don't need that much storage capacity you can always step down to the next capacity as it will save you roughly $100 for every 2TB you step down until you read the 6TB model. Also, don't get confused by the non-Pro models as those are 5400 RPM drives that have just a 2-year warranty. If you are looking for a new ultra-capacity hard drive the Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB looks like a solid product and earns our recommended award just like the 10TB model did last year. We should also note that this is the largest 3.5-inch consumer hard drive that you can buy this very second. Another company has announced a 14TB drive, but it is only available for enterprise customers and can't be found in the retail market where someone can buy it. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line: The Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB is the largest desktop hard drive that you can buy today and the performance is solid!