Toshiba has started to sell a new, 8 TB version of its X300 3.5” desktop hard drive. The new X300 8 TB hard drive relies on a specially developed platform with enterprise features that promises to enable extended reliability and has two performance-optimizing technologies. However what is especially noteworthy is that the price of this 7200 rpm-class HDD is considerably lower than the price of competing 7200 rpm-class 8 TB PMR internal hard drives.

The Toshiba X300 family of hard drives now consists of 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB models that have 7200 RPM spindle speed and 128 MB cache. Toshiba is not disclosing the capacity of the platters that it uses for the 8 TB HDD, but only says that they feature perpendicular magnetic recording and thus the drive has predictable performance and behavior. Apart from increased capacities compared to Toshiba’s previous-gen P300-series (aka DT01ACA***) hard drives for desktops, the X300 lineup boasts higher performance and new features designed to improve the reliability of the HDDs.

When it comes to the performance of the 8 TB model in particular, the drive uses platters with a higher areal density than its predecessors, as well as a 128 MB cache (up from 64 MB on P300-series drives). While Toshiba is not confirming this, based on what we know about the X300 series the 8 TB model most likely uses six 1.33 TB PMR platters, as opposed to 1 TB PMR platters in the other models. Consequently the 8 TB model has a higher areal density than the other X300 drives, which means that its sequential read/write performance should also be higher. Furthermore, in a new feature that appears to be unique to the 8 TB model, the cache of the drive features a self-contained cache algorithm with on-board buffer management, which is said to improve the cache allocation of read and write operations to increase performance..

Toshiba is not disclosing exact performance figures for the 8 TB X300, but the company’s N300 8 TB HDD launched earlier this year and and is believed to be based on the same platters. Taking a look at that drive we find a maximum sustained transfer rate of around 240 MB/s, and we expect that the 8TB X300 is in the same ballpark.

Toshiba X300-Series HDDs
Capacity 8 TB 6 TB 5 TB 4 TB
RPM 7200 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
DRAM Cache 128 MB
(with performance enhancing algorithm)
128 MB
Average Latency 4.17 ms
MTBF 1 million hours (?)
Rated Annual Workload (read and write) 180 TB/year (?)
Warranty 2 years
Price $254.99 $189.99 $159.99 $132.99

Meanwhile the similarities between the 8 TB X300 and higher-end HDDs for NAS applications don’t end with just their performance. The new client drives rely on a platform that attaches the motor both to the top and to the bottom of the HDD to reduce system-induced vibrations, which improves the drive's reliability and tracking accuracy for higher performance. Back in the day, top and bottom attached spindles were only used on enterprise-class HDDs, but in the recent years higher-end desktop drives also inherited the feature, partly because they use the same physical platform (albeit, with different heads, set of sensors, firmware, etc.). In addition, the X300 drives have integrated shock sensors that help the HDD to protect platters against scratches and other negative effects of shocks.

Toshiba’s 8 TB X300 HDD is currently available from Newegg for $254.99. In fact, the price of the hard drive is one of its undisputable trumps because it is cheaper than any other 7200 rpm-class PMR hard drives of the same capacity. This includes not only task-specific drive categories such as enterprise, NAS, workstations, but also general desktop drives, which as of late have carried higher MSRPs. As a result, Toshiba has a chance to lure customers with a combination of high performance and reliability in a desktop drive with a relatively affordable price.

Brief Price Comparison of Consumer and NAS 8 TB PMR HDDs at Newegg
Red Pro

Capacity 8 TB
RPM 7200 RPM 5400 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps  
DRAM Cache 128 MB with performance enhancing algorithm 128 MB 256 MB 128 MB
Rated Annual Workload (read and write) 180 TB 300 TB unknown
Warranty 2 years 5 years 2 years
Price Total $254.99 $279.99 $320.24 $329.99 $279.99 $230.01
per GB $0.0318 $0.035 $0.04 $0.0412 $0.035 $0.0287

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Source: Toshiba

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  • nevcairiel - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - link

    Would love an actual review of this drive and its direct competition, both from a desktop-usage and home storage perspective.
  • KAlmquist - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - link

    That's the downside of the SDD revolution--most tech site stopped reviewing mechanical drives.
  • Samus - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - link

    StorageReview is pretty much it. Tom's occasionally reviews them, but I agree. It seems the focus is on SSD's. I guess I get it, since SSD's have more performance variables (buying the wrong SSD is far more detrimental to buying the wrong HDD...unless you are buying a Seagate HDD)

    I think the last HDD review I read was around the time SMR came around. Hasn't been much since except for the articles discussing consolidation in the industry.

    Are these Toshiba drives engineered entirely in-house or do they use IP from another manufacturer?

    I've lately been sticking with WD to get as close to Hitachi IP as possible. WD was always my second choice anyway. I've had so much inconsistency with Seagate across the board over the last 7-8 years that I've just been avoiding them recently.

    And what happened to Fujistu? I know Samsung was acquired by Seagate (as was Maxtor a decade ago) but do we realistically still have 3 players in the spinning glass field? For some reason I thought WD and Seagate were all that was left? I mean WD even owns Sandisk now, right?
  • Tams80 - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Apparently (I was too lazy to do more than a quick search) Fujitsu sold their HDD business to Toshiba, so the drive here might have some Fujitsu pedigree in it.
  • Gasaraki88 - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    Toshiba drives are made in house.
  • Topweasel - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Toshiba got production and some IP from Hitachi. When WD purchased them they had to spin some of it off. The rest seems to be from Fujistu. But pretty much anything from those on has been in house (probably Fujistu engineers).
  • Souka - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - link

    just google "X300 Toshiba review" and you'll find plenty of reviews of the x300 line.

    The 4TB version reviews on Newegg scare me a bit.... but I didn't look much beyond that as I'm not looking for such a drive currently.
  • techguymaxc - Monday, September 11, 2017 - link

    You can find bad reviews for anything. I have 11 X300 4TB drives in my media server, most of which have been in operation 24x7 since January of last year. These drives are unbeatable at the price.
  • KAlmquist - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - link

    "Toshiba...says that they feature perpendicular magnetic recording and thus the drive has predictable performance and behavior."

    As far as I know, every disk drive on the market uses perpendicular magnetic recording. Probably what Toshiba means here is that they don't use shingled magnetic recording, where tracks overlap and writing a sector can require multiple passes.
  • Samus - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - link

    It was noteworthy for them to mention in the article. I believe Seagate is the only one using SMR, but there is no reason not to believe others wont follow at some point. Although I hope they don't. It's one of the most ghetto ways to increase storage density next to outright compression.

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