Toshiba MG03ACA400 4TB Nearline HDD Review

We’ve just posted the following review: Toshiba MG03ACA400 4TB Nearline HDD Review[newsimage][/newsimage]

This review is of a specifically tailored enterprise HDD: The 3.5” MG03ACA400 4TB Nearline drive.

Let’s start with what the drive is tailored to be. In today’s market, what distinguishes this drive from the others? Well, it is simply specifically made and optimised for backup storage. This drive is not made to host an operating system, where random read and write performance of small files matters, although it could. Its purpose is solely to sustain sequential writes from a host system more efficiently than traditional HDDs.

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An excellent first review Tweakr.


Regds, JR

Congratulations on your first review Tweakr.

Why, thank you guys!


Nice review.

The unit is comprised of 5x 800GB platters, while current revision products are 4x 1000GB platters.
I guess this explains why a Seagate 5900rpm drive outperforms this 7200rpm drive.

Thank you, debro!

It could very well be as you say. Do you have a particular model from Seagate in reference to this statement? I would like to have a glance at a more detailed level, so if you could provide a link to the model you refer to, it would be much appreciated.

Kind regards,

So, is this a firmware tweak or is it a deeper part of the design? (apologies if this is already covered in your review). The benchmarks seem exactly what they should be for a firmware tweak. IMO, if they actually made the platters “better” for this application, it would go over 210mb burst and include more read/write heads (no doubt cost 15 - 20% more too).

tmc8080: I must admit that I am not sure whether it is all firmware specific or if there is some mechanical adjustments as well going on with this model to produce such behaviour.

Kind regards,

I’m very skeptical of many tech “innvations” lately since the glacial pace of CPU processor innovation is leveling off-- marketing “HYPE” is reaching levels unseen in tech biz… even throughout the go-go 80s.

Nearline seems innovative for HDD’s which will see more readback than writing over it’s operational life, such as in home media servers and the like, but IMO, the real JUICY innovation must come from improving WRITE performance with more drive heads which run in parallel on the same platters at the same time (possibly in arrays resulting in less overall movement of the drive heads themselves and efficiencies). This was tried and abandoned with optical discs, but I think still has merit in HDD design.