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Compare Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk Features & Specs

Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk

If we want to compare Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk, we can confidently confirm that both are top surveillance storage solutions provided by WD and Seagate.

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Whenever we debate about storage drives, Western Digital (WD) or Seagate is probably the brand names pop in our minds before anything else. These two storage giants have proven their worth in the industry with their durable, reliable and trustable quality storage solutions. But who’s the best after all? Today, we will be comparing these two storage giants. There are three types of storage disks including internal, external and media based drives. We will examine these two brands in all these aspects.

After a brief comparison, we will compare products of similar category from both WD and Seagate side by side to give our readers a better idea of who’s the winner in a respective group because these brands always try to outdo one another in every manner, so even their similar products tend to have some differences. Before continuing to the list, we will discuss how products from these brands differ in various categories and aspects. Here we begin by comparing multiple storage media types produced by these brands:

Also Read: Best Surveillance Hard Disk Drives for CCTV and DVR

Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk

Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk

Internal Storage Solutions:

Internal storage drives were their first products for both western digital and Seagate. Yes, this was where the race was begun.  Compared to the last generation of storage drives, we have seen the evaluation of a different scale. Not only the storage capacity density has increased exceedingly, but also the power efficiency has heightened considerably. Nowadays, storage requirements vary between various classes of users, such as many require speed instead of high capacity, where for others, size is the priority.

Following are some fundamental differences [and similarities] between storage solutions of these two products:


  • In the beginning days of modern storage solutions, there were not many options available regarding size; WD was first to introduce 2 TB internal Hard disk, later Seagate also caught up with Barracuda LP.
  • Seagate disks are usually faster compared to Western digital. However,
  • WD disks are more energy efficient and comparatively


  • If you want a budget-friendly solution, go for western digital
  • If you can chip in some extra cash, you can slightly get a better performance per dollar with a Seagate solution.


  • Every drive from both brands is designed to provide as much speed & reliability as possible
  • Regarding speed VelociRaptor range from Western digital is their best
  • Seagate has Cheetah 15K.6 SAS drives that probably surpasses the performance of most of the hard drives available.

Both of these drives are designed for server workloads, typically in a RAID setup. They are hot-swappable and can be changed on the fly. These drives are a perfect compromise for SDD’s when you don’t have deep pockets.

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Seagate has the clear edge in this space. However, you have to understand your needs better before throwing in cash


  • Both these brands are delivering equal attention to solid state drives nowadays, however, in the beginning, WD was giving more attention to SSDs compared to Seagate. Do remember that Sandisk is a fully owned subsidy of Western Digital Corp.
  • Still, western digital should be your choice when it comes to SSDs as it offers extended capacity with the impressive solid-state performance overall.

External Storage Solutions:

Nowadays, backup is the most popular purpose of keeping an external storage drive. These reserves can be for personal or professional use. The other goals could be to transport vast quantities of data from one system to another. Regarding external storage, what a buyer should look for is the best in reliability, security, connectivity, and most massive capacity.


  • When it comes to portable pocket storage, there are a variety of products available both from WD and Seagate. These products vary a lot in capacity and connectivity.
  • There are many models from Seagate providing government-grade encryption; western digital is yet to match this level of security in portable data storage solutions

Conclusion: Seagate is a clear winner here

Personal Level Use:

  • If we consider regular users, gamers, office-users, etc. WD easily beats Seagate by offering energy efficient drives with massive storage options.
  • Seagate provides better connectivity and configuration, however, slightly ignores the amount of room they offer

Conclusion: the better option depends highly on your priorities

Network attached storage:

  • NAS drives have never been that much priority for both of these companies like the mechanical drives or SSD’s. However, they still compete in this field.
  • Compared to western digital Seagate NAS storage is known to deliver more configuration options and capacities.
  • Seagate wins here, however, with better features comes a high price.

Media based storage:

  • There are unique types of storage disks manufactured for various media such as home theatre systems, consoles, etc.
  • WD TV and Free Agent by Seagate are probably the most known media-based storage solutions by these respective brands
  • WD drives are more common on these type of devices as compared to Seagate
  • In regardings to media based storage, which is typically NANDs, in our opinion, WD has a lead over Seagate.
  • Seagate is only recommended when you are looking for mechanical media storage, for their long-term reliability, and after-sales support.
  • For solid-state NAND used for dynamic workloads, WD would be a better choice.

Seagate Storage vs Western Digital Storage:

So that now we have understood how these two brands differ from each other and also appreciated the types of product they specialize in, let’s get into the details.

Now let us present a list that contains products from both Seagate and western digital. We have picked one product from each brand from a category and put them side by side to give you a better idea of what’s best. Here we begin:

WD Purple vs Seagate SkyHawk:

Following is a comparison between top surveillance storage solution provided by Seagate and WD:

SpecificationWestern Digital Purple  Seagate Skyhawk
Interface 1x SATA 6 GB/s

Serial ATA 6000

1x 7 pin Serial ATA

Serial ATA 600 @ 6 GB/s

Available Capacity 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8TB, 10 TB, 500 GB1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, 10 TB
Buffer Size 64 MB256 MB
Form Factor 3.5” internal hard drive3.5” internal hard drive
Spindle Speed 5400 RPM7200 RPM
Feature Highlights All-time availability

Advanced Format Technology

All Frame 4K

Time-limited error recovery

Write intensive endurance

Surveillance system compatible

24 x 7 availability

RV Sensor

Image Perfect Firmware

Performance 600 MB/s Data Transfer Rate

145 MB/s Internal Data Rate

600 MB/s Data Transfer Rate

195 MB/s Internal Data Rate

Non-Recoverable Errors1 Per 10 ^ 141 Per 10 ^ 15
Load / Unload Cycles 300,000300,000
Service / SupportLimited warranty of 3 years from manufacturer3 years of limited warranty from manufacturer
Modes Ideal, Read, Sleep, Standby, WriteActive, Ideal, Sleep, Standby, Start
Dimension4 x 5.8 x 1 inches4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
Weight (May Vary)22.57 Oz24.87 Oz

Differentiation between a regular hard drive and surveillance hard drive

Surveillance hard disks are typically mechanical drives optimized for high write performance. On top of that, the disk manufacturers need to ensure 24/7 availability of these drives. Long term reliability is a major requirement which these drives need to meet, whereas traditional hard drives on an average operate only between 8 hours a day and up to 6 days a week. So, the entire workload will be at the maximum 10%-20%, and their performance will be flat to average. Therefore, they usually exhibit low mean time between failures.

Other primary KPI’s include low power consumption and lowest cost per Gigabyte. The surveillance hard drives also come with an annual subscription based data-recovery plans in case there is a drive failure.

1. Seagate Skyhawk Surveillance Hard Drive

Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk

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It works pretty well regardless what system is being used by you. You can use it on any DVR; you can pair it with windows or Mac, whatever you have it will work just fine. The installation is straightforward and hardly takes even 10 minutes. They are available in different variations in size. If you are planning to record 24×7 camera channels, you want to go with 6 GB one or more. Since the hard disk is capable of enduring much of workload; it works with DVR surveillance quite well too. Here is a quick glance at specs:

Capacity10 TB total storage
Interface 1x 7 pin serial ATA connector

Serial ATA-600 at 6 GB/s storage interface

Buffer Size &


256 Mb max buffer

4096 Hz bytes per sector

Performance 210 MB/s internal data rate

600 MB/s drive transfer rate

4.16 ms average latency

7200 RPM Spindle Speed

Dimension:5.8 x 4 x 1 inches
Weight 1.1 pounds
OtherHotplug support

Native command queuing, power choice Rotational Vibration sensor

TGMR recording technology

Advanced Format 512e

3x workload enduring than regular HDD

Store up to 10,000 hours of HD video

2. WD Purple Surveillance HDD

Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk

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Western digital exclusively manufactures purple surveillance HDD series for modern security system standards. They are written intensive and low bit rate storage devices, making them extremely suitable for high steam count application and most of the surveillance applications. Enhanced surveillance performance is delivered with the prioritized write operations. It fully supports TLER and ATA Streaming. You have least to worry about specs since it is made specifically for the surveillance system. Following is a quick overview:

Capacity10 TB total storage
Interface 1x Series ATA 600 at 6 GB/s
Buffer Size &


256 MB max buffer

4096 Hz Bytes per sector

Performance 210 MB/s internal data rate

600 MB/s external drive transfer rate

5400 RPM spindle speed

Dimension:5.8 x 4 x 1 inches
Weight 1.4 pounds
OtherAll Frame 4K support

Advanced format security

Time-limited error recovery [TLER]

Write intensive endurance

Surveillance system compatible with 24 x 7 availability

3.5” form factor, 29 dBA sound emission

TLER and ATA streaming support


We hope you like our article on comparing Western Digital Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk. If you have any questions or suggestions, please drop us a comment below.

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