Toshiba N300 6TB High-Reliability NAS Hard Drive Review

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Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Top
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Top

Today in the Lab we have a pair of Toshiba N300 6TB NAS hard drives. We posted about these drives with a news release back in April. The N300 is optimized for NAS use and certified for 24-hour x 7-day operation in large multi-RAID systems spanning up to 8 hard drives. N300 High-Reliability hard drives include 4TB, 6TB, 8TB capacities in 3.5″ form factors.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Hard Drive
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Hard Drive

In our past NAS reviews, we have focused on mainly 4TB capacity hard drives. A 4TB capacity is an extremely popular point for 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS boxes. When the time comes that we find ourselves running out of disk space, the next logical step is to use hard drives with larger capacities. While in the first half of Q1 2017 4TB drives were still extremely popular, we see 6TB and 8TB drives gaining in popularity.

Key Features of the N300 NAS Hard Drives

Here are some of the key features from Toshiba for their N300 NAS hard drives:

  • Built for NAS, this drive delivers excellent reliability and 24/7 performance for centralized data sharing, storage, and backup.
  • High capacity with up to 8TB of storage offers secure, scalable NAS storage for shared data and accommodate a massive collection of large digital files.
  • Delivers high reliability and data integrity for 24/7 high-traffic workloads of up to 180TB per year.
  • 24/7 operation provides around-the-clock data availability.
  • Robust scalability supports up to 8 HDD in a multi-RAID system, enabling growth as business needs evolve over time.
  • Internal shock detection helps protect your drive and data.
  • Built-in Rotational Vibration (RV) sensor compensates for any vibration to ensure high reliability.
  • Heat prevention controls automatically adjust seek speed to minimize potential data damage.
  • Error recovery control helps prevent critical downtime for business-use multi-RAID environments.
  • Toshibas Dynamic Cache Technology algorithm and onboard buffer management optimize real-time read/write performance.
  • Proprietary tied spindle motor stabilizes the motor drive shaft at both ends to curb system-induced vibration and strengthens system performance during read/write operations.
  • High 128MB data buffer boosts performance and shortens read speed during high data access loads.
  • Fast data transfer speed up to 240MB/s provides quick access to essential content.
  • Backed by a 3-year standard limited warranty, this drive is built to Toshibas world-class quality standards and offers long-term confidence for mission-critical server systems.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Hard Drive Specifications

Here is an excerpt from the Toshiba specifications page:

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Specifications
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Specifications

For complete Toshiba N300 hard drive information head over to Toshiba N300 product page.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Hard Drive Overview

We received retail versions of the N300 drives. Retail packaging is nice because it ensures that hard drives arrive safely. Some vendors pack OEM drives poorly in shipping containers which is why we prefer buying retail drives if possible.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Retail Box Front
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Retail Box Front
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Retail Box Back
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Retail Box Back

Product descriptions and specifications included on the retail box front and back.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Packing
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Packing

Removing the hard drive for its retail box, we find the drive well padded with air-pocket wrapping.

Let us remove the drive from its padding and take a look at the 6TB N300.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Top
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Top
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Back
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Back
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Connections
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Connections

The SATA III Toshiba N300 6TB is constructed of high-quality components and being a hard drive for NAS use it offers better durability than a hard drive you might use on your desktop. RV sensors help minimize vibration and can detect shock and compensate for rotational vibration. The N300 also features automatic seek speed adjustment that helps reduces heat and improves endurance.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Hard Drive Performance

At the time of this review, we have a Synology DS916+ 4-Bay NAS and several smaller 2-Bay NAS units in our Lab. We wanted to use the most powerful NAS box we had in the Lab at the time so the NAS box itself would offer the highest performance with our drives. We also ran two sets of additional drives to have data to compare to the 6TB N300. The DS916+ is a 4-Bay NAS, using two hard drives does limit us to what Raid types that we can use, we did include Synology SHR, JBOD, and Raid 0 data sets.

Intel NAS Performance Toolkit

The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (Intel NASPT) is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to enable performance comparisons between network-attached storage (NAS) devices.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance SHR
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance SHR

With Synology SHR Raid type all of our tested drives roll out with very close results.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance JBOD
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance JBOD

With the drives in JBOD configuration, the 6TB N300 drives offer a slight increase in performance in some tests.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance Raid 0
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance Raid 0

RAID 0 performance results show the 6TB N300 drives coming in at the middle of the pack.

Let us rerun the benchmarks with encrypted folders.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance SHR Encrypted
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance SHR Encrypted

Although fairly even in some cases, the 6TB N300 drives do out-perform the competition in many cases.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance JBOD Encrypted
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance JBOD Encrypted

Using a JBOD configuration evens the playing field with only a slight edge to the 6TB N300 drives in some cases.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance Raid 0 Encrypted
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS Performance Raid 0 Encrypted

With RAID 0 the 6TB N300 drives maintain comparable results to the other drives tested.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO Disk Benchmark measures performance in hard drives and SSDs, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS ATTO
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS ATTO

With empty drives, ATTO is showing a steady 216 MB/s in read/writes that ramps up quickly.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives and SSDs.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS CrystakDiskMark
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS CrystakDiskMark

Running CrystalDiskMark with empty drives shows 217 MB/s sequential read/write performance.

AIDA64 Disk Benchmark

With AIDA64 Disk Benchmark module, we can measure the performance of the PC’s storage devices, including SATA or SCSI hard disk drives, RAID arrays, optical drives, solid-state drives (SSD), USB drives and memory cards.

Toshiba N300 6TB NAS AIDA64 Disk Benchmark
Toshiba N300 6TB NAS AIDA64 Disk Benchmark

For this benchmark, we only run the Read Test Suite. NAS access patterns in the 1-8 bay segment are highly read heavy. Oftentimes users are writing data once and accessing that data multiple times (e.g. a document storage or media storage scenario.)

Conclusion

During our testing, we found the Toshiba N300 6TB Hard Drive to be a solid performer that matches up well to other drives we tested. The faster speed and larger cache help the larger capacity drives keep up. The Toshiba N300 line, rated as high-reliability, always on, hard drives and offer 180 TB/year workload rating. Drives are offered in 4TB, 6TB and 8TB capacities.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It would be nice to see electrical power numbers in this review. Curiously, there is a fairly complete spec sheet for this drive on Toshiba’s Taiwanese web site:

    https://www.sdd.toshiba.com.tw/english/products/specs.aspx?sid=114

    That shows typical idle power of 6.7 watts and typical operating power of 10.1 watts, with standby mode either not implemented or not documented. Not great, but to beat these numbers by a large margin would require either a helium filled drive or a lower spindle speed.

  2. Unlike other sites, STH does not do sponsored content. Toshiba did provide the drives for review.

    Doing actual reliability tests is not feasible for this type of review. Too many drives are needed and too many hours in testing on that large set of drives. At the end of the day, drive manufacturers or NAS vendors need to warranty the drives for reliability.

    Also, Backblaze is using relatively low-density storage (these days 90-104 drives in 4U is typical with a dual Xeon E5 server and 10/25/40GbE), and reporting data on drives old enough that you would never buy them.

    The time element makes it hard since once 3rd party reliability testing can be performed, you would already be on one or two generations newer drives before publication.
    Even using heat chambers and such.

    Great suggestion. We would love to do it. Practically not possible unless someone wants to spend $1M+ for a third party to do this. If someone did pay a third party $1M+ to do a good accelerated reliability test on say 1000 drives, then there would be a question of it being a “sponsored article.”

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