Toshiba HDD Announces New 15K, 900GB

Today Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced a new series of 15K RPM, 2.5” hard disk drives (HDDs), the AL14SX series. This new drive is designed for mission critical servers and storage. The AL14SX replaces the AL13SX with better performance and power efficiencies as well as a 50% increase in capacity, now up to 900GB.

Available in three capacities, 300GB, 600GB and 900GB, the new AL14SX series is made for mission critical storage and comes in a 15mm, 2.5” form factor to save space and reduce footprint of this storage. The new drive series supports 512 native, 4K native or emulated 512 sector length technologies and is compatible with industry standard applications and operating environments. Aside from having more capacity than the previous version, the AL13SX, the AL14SX also shows a 19% increase in maximum sustained transfer rate and a 28.7% improvement in power efficiency (W/GB).

Aside from the power, capacity, and power punch, the new AL14SX series also features Sanitize Instant Erase (SIE) models (optional) and the series leverages Toshiba’s persistent write cache technology. As stated, the new HDDs are built for tier 1, mission critical servers, RAID storage, servers hosting databases and transaction-based applications, high-performance computing, and rack-optimized data centers.

Toshiba Launches 8TB NAS HDDs

Toshiba Launches 8TB NAS HDDs

Today Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. launched its latest consumer NAS 3.5” hard drive, the N300 Series. The drives come in capacities as high as 8TB. And the drives have been optimized to work in a NAS environment, which we go to some length about why this is important in our Pick The Right Drive For The Job article.

As stated above, the N300 Series comes in capacities as high as 8TB (there is also a 4TB and 6TB model) and the drives come with a 128MB data buffer. The drives support up to eight drive bays in a multi-RAID NAS design and use Toshiba’s Dynamic Cache Technology. The new drives also use advanced control and sensing technology to mitigate the effects of vibration, shock and heat.

Key specifications:

  • Capacity: 4TB, 6TB, 8TB
  • Form Factor: 3.5”
  • Interface: 6.0Gb/s SATA
  • Drive bays supported: 1 to 8
  • Performance
    • Rotational speed: 7,200RPM
    • Buffer size: 128MB
    • Average latency: 4.17ms
    • Data Transfer speeds: 200MB/s (4TB), 210MB/s (6TB), 240MB/s (8TB)
  • Reliability
    • Workloads: 180TB/year
    • MTTF: 1M hours
    • Unrecoverable error rate: 1 x 10^14 bits read
    • Warranty: 3-year
  • Power Management
    • Supply Voltage:  5VDC (±5%) / 12VDC (±10%)
    • Consumption (operating): 9.6W typ (4TB), 10.1W typ (6TB), 9.2W typ (8TB)
    • Consumption (active idle): 5.2W typ (4TB), 6.7W typ (6TB), 6.2W typ (8TB)
  • Environmental
    • Temperature (operating/non-operating): 0 to 60°C /-40 to 70°C
    • Vibration (operating): 0.75G (5 to 300 Hz) 0.25 G (300 to 500 Hz) or less
    • Vibration (non-operating): 5G (5 to 500Hz) or less
    • Shock (operating): 70G / 2ms duration
    • Shock (non-operating): 250G / 2ms duration
    • Acoustics (idle mode): 30 dB typ. (4 TB), 33 dB typ. (6 & 8 TB)
    • Acoustics (seek mode): 34 dB typ. (4 TB), 35 dB typ. (6 & 8 TB)
  • Physical
    • Dimensions: 147 (L) x 101.85 (W) x 26.1 (H) mm
    • Weight: 770 g max


The N300 Series is expected to be available this month and the drives will come with a 3-year warranty.

Toshiba Launches N300 HDDs for NAS: Up to 8 TB, Up to 240 MB/s

Toshiba this week launched its new lineup of high-reliability hard drives for NAS units. The drives offer up to 8 TB of capacity and are based on enterprise-grade platforms. According to Toshiba’s specifications, these and are among the highest-performing 3.5” HDDs on the planet.

The Toshiba N300 family of hard drives consists of three models with 4 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB capacities, a SATA 6 Gb/s interface, a 7200 RPM spindle speed and a 128 MB buffer. All three HDDs are based on a high-reliability platform that attaches a spindle to both sides of a drive (to curb system-induced vibration), has rotational vibration (RV) sensors, shock sensors and temperature sensors as well as supporting error recovery features. The new HDDs are designed for 24/7 availability, 1 million hours MTBF and have a 180 TB/year workload rating, which is in line with other hard drives for NAS devices with 8 bays and is considerably higher than the workload rating of typical desktop HDDs.

Toshiba’s N300 HDDs resemble the company’s MN05-series drives introduced in February (which are also designed for enterprise-class NASes) and are likely based on the same PMR platters (perpendicular magnetic recording) with up to 1.33 TB capacity per platter (the 8 TB version features six of such discs). In addition to the same platters, the N300 drives also have the same power consumption as the MN05 HDDs, but offer slightly different performance, according to the specifications.

Toshiba N300-Series HDDs
Capacity 8 TB 6 TB 4 TB
RPM 7200 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
DRAM Cache 128 MB
Data Transfer Speed
240 MB/s 210 MB/s 200 MB/s
MTBF 1 million hours
Rated Annual Workload (read and write) 180 TB/year
Acoustics (Seek) 35 dB 34 dB
Power Operating 9.2 W 10.1 W 9.6 W
Active Idle 6.2 W 6.7 W 5.2 W
Warranty 3 years

As for performance, Toshiba claims up to a 240 MB/s sustained data transfer rate as well as a 4.17 ms average latency time for the N300 8 TB model, which is slower compared to the MN05 8 TB. Meanwhile, since the 6 TB and 4 TB N300 HDDs use different platters, their performance is a bit lower (due to the lower areal density).

Toshiba is already shipping its N300 HDDs to partners and the drives are expected to be available in stores this month. Exact prices will depend on the retailer, but keep in mind that although the N300 are aimed at consumers, they are based on advanced platforms and support numerous enterprise-grade features.

Toshiba Launches MG05ACA Enterprise HDDs: 8 TB, 7200 RPM

Toshiba Launches MG05ACA Enterprise HDDs: 8 TB, 7200 RPM, NAND Cache

Toshiba recently introduced its new generation of enterprise-class nearline HDDs for servers, surveillance, and higher-end NAS systems. The new MG05ACA-series hard drives offer up to 8 TB of capacity and 12% higher performance than their direct predecessors, but one of their key selling points is Toshiba’s NAND flash-based cache technology for data protection in case of power-loss events that was originally designed for mission-critical HDDs.

Toshiba’s MG05ACA-series HDDs are currently available only in 8 TB configurations and are based on multiple PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) platters with either 4Kn or 512e sectors. The hard drives use a SATA 6 Gbps interface, feature a 7200 RPM spindle speed, a 128 MB cache buffer, and Toshiba’s persistent write cache (PWC) with power loss protection (PLP) that stores data that is not yet written to the HDD media. When it comes to performance, Toshiba declares up to 230 MB/s sustained host to media transfer speed as well as 4.17 ms average latency. As for power consumption, the MG05ACA-series hard drives are rated to consume up to 11.4 W during random reads and 6.2 W in active idle mode.

The Toshiba MG05-series HDDs are designed for nearline applications (i.e. somewhere between rapid access and cold storage) that operate for 24/7. The model is rated for 550 TB/year annual workload (read and write) as well as for 2 million hours MTBF. Typ enterprise-class hard drives are based on special platforms with improved endurance prone to operate under high vibration conditions (i.e., in rack servers) due to rotational vibration compensation technology as well as special spindle mounting mechanism.

Toshiba MG05ACA-Series HDDs
Capacity 8 TB
RPM 7200 RPM
Interface SATA 6 Gbps
DRAM Cache 128 MB
Data Transfer Speed
230 MB/s
Average Latency 4.17 ms
Sectors 4 KB native 512 B emulated
MTBF 2 million hours
Rated Annual Workload (read and write) 550 TB/year
Power Operating (read) 11.4 W
Active Idle 6.2 W
Warranty 5 years

The performance of the drives (and their positioning) indicates that we are dealing with PMR-based products, but Toshiba remains tight-lipped regarding the exact number and capacity (areal density) of the platters it uses. The only photo of the MG05ACA HDD that Toshiba has published depicts a hard drive with seven arms and six platters, but press images are not always accurate. Meanwhile, power consumption of the HDDs (well over 10 W) indicates that we see a typical air-filled HDD. Apparently, Toshiba plans to first use SMR (shingled magnetic recording) and helium for read-oriented drives designed for cold archives and only then use the latter helium drives for its enterprise-capacity HDDs. At this point not using helium puts Toshiba in a tough position as it has nothing to compete against 10 TB and 12 TB drives from its rivals.

It is noteworthy that Toshiba’s MG05-series HDDs are the company’s second-gen 3.5” nearline hard drives to feature its persistent write cache with power loss protection technology. The manufacturer does not disclose capacity of the NAND flash-based cache, but it does not have to be too high. There are several situations when the PWC with PLP comes into play, with the main one being when the HDD write cache contains data not yet written to media and a power loss occurs, the data is moved to non-volatile memory.

Toshiba’s MG05ACA800A and MG05ACA800E are available to the company’s customers now. We expect the MG05 lineup will over time be expanded with models featuring lower capacity as well as with versions that use the SAS 12 Gb/s interface. All the Toshiba MG-series drives are covered by the company’s five-year warranty.