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How fast is a 15,000 RPM hard drive?

A high-speed SATA or SAS hard disk drive that spins at 15,000 revolutions per minute. 15K RPM hard drives are less dense, use more power and have performance somewhere between 1/4th and 1/300th of an SSD. The specs of the drives vary considerably depending on capacity and model.

When looking at 128K performance of 100% write and 100% read activity, the 15k with TurboBoost showed the overall best performance with reading speeds of 3.15GB/s and write speeds 1.83GB/s. The Seagate Enterprise Performance 15k HDD is a 2.5” 15K HDD with a 12Gb/s SAS interface.

These 15K rpm drives are in a competitive market that has already transitioned not just to SATA and SAS SSDs, but also NVMe SSDs. Essentially, these are now two generations behind the curve. Here is a quick checklist to see how they compare to SATA/ SAS SSDs:

  • Capacity: 15K limited to 900GB/ 2.5″. Generally available SSDs hit 4TB/ 2.5″
  • Power Consumption: 15K ~7w, SSD about half or less in actual world usage
  • IOPS: 15K HDD sub-1,000, SSD commonly 100,000 to 250,000
  • 12Gbps SAS throughput: 15K HDD up to 315MB/s, SSD over 1.1GB/s in dual-port configuration
  • Complexity: 15K HDD with on-device NAND caching, SSD no need for additional NAND caching.