No one doubts that even the oldest SATA 3 SSDs are several integers faster than any mechanical hard drive. However, when you need massive storage there is no choice but to continue resorting to this type of device since the prices of SSDs above 2-4 TB capacity are still quite prohibitive. However, when you want to buy a mechanical disk, you are interested in seeing what performance it will deliver, and for that we are here, to show you below which are the best 3.5-inch disks according to their performance.
The best mechanical hard drives according to their performance
The classification that we are going to show you next is not based on the technical data of the manufacturer, since these are theoretical and in ideal conditions and then when we install them in our PCs we rarely have the same figures. On the contrary, the data is extracted from the UserBenchmark database, where the users themselves upload their benchmarks and from these the performance data is extracted, so these are not only real but are also reliable because they are not extracted of a single unit, but are the average of many units.
Western Digital Gold
WD Gold hard drives belong to their range of business products, but that does not mean that they are not accessible to the consumer market and we can certainly find them easily in stores. Its price is higher than the rest of the disks both from the brand and from other manufacturers, but its performance is also the best of all since it reaches 156 MB / s of reading and, eye to the data, 198 MB / s of writing in real tests .
In addition to this, this series of drives has an extended warranty, great durability, 128 MB cache and are designed for 24 × 7 operation in data centers, so they are also for use in NAS or in PCs that require a constant high performance from them. They are your best option in all areas … except for the price.
The WD Black family of hard drives has been around for a long time, and for a long time they were also the top performers in the performance rankings. Right now they are the second fastest disk, with up to 160 MB / s of reading and 198 MB / s of writing, but although their performance is slightly higher than that of the WD Gold we have put them later because they are still desktop disks , so they do not have as many IOPS nor are they prepared to operate during 24 × 7 or for high workloads. Of course, they are quite cheaper in general.
WD Red Pro NAS
The WD Red hard drive family is the top seller for NAS as they provide a good balance between performance, capacity and price. The WD Red Pro NAS series are the variant of these drives with CMR technology (instead of SMR), so although they share the same approximate performance they give less problems in RAID systems and their performance does not deteriorate with prolonged and demanding use.
According to UserBenchmark data, these drives go up to 171MB / s read and 176MB / s actual write, so we will have sustained and consistent performance at a fairly reasonable price. In addition, this Pro family has a 5-year warranty instead of the usual 2 years.
HGST DeskStar NAS
According to the data that BackBlaze publishes each year, HGST discs are the most reliable in the sense that they have the least damage. This DeskStar NAS series from HGST is also designed for 24 × 7 operation so its durability is more than guaranteed, as well as providing more than decent performance with up to 167 MB / s read and 173 MB / s write speed .
Hitachi (HGST) UltraStar He8
Hitachi’s Ultrastar He8 series is the brand’s enterprise range, which means increased reliability, durability, warranty and bandwidth in the form of IOPS to support high workloads. These discs are also sealed with helium, which greatly increases their longevity. These disks also provide a very stable and fast sustained performance, reaching 160 MB / s read speed and 162 MB / s write speed.
Seagate IronWolf NAS
The IronWolf family was Seagate’s alternative to the famous WD Reds, and they have been shown to have superior durability and reliability according to BackBlaze data. Mind you, they are a bit slower with speeds of 161MB / s read and 159MB / s write, but still rank among the fastest hard drives on the market.
Western Digital Velociraptor
In the past, WD Velociraptors were launched as the fastest alternative that existed before the arrival of SSDs. Interestingly, we are looking at hard drives that actually have a 2.5-inch form factor but that the manufacturer integrated them into a huge 3.5-inch passive heatsink.
They run at 10,000 RPM, they are noisy and their maximum capacity is currently 1 TB, but we cannot ignore in a performance classification that they are still among the fastest with 174 MB / s read and 159 MB / s write (yes we compared this with the disks of the time that barely reached 90 MB / s, of course they were a revolution).
In this case, we are facing one of the most reasonable discs on the market, because although they are not the fastest or the most reliable, they are the ones with the best price per GB ratio on the market and, even so, they maintain a good rate of performance with up to 158 MB / s of reading and 158 MB / s of writing, so if you are looking for a disk with good performance and good capacity spending the minimum necessary, this is your best option.
Of course, keep in mind that these mechanical disks are not designed for 24 × 7 operation or for high workloads, but are intended to serve as mass storage as secondary disk of a PC.