Review: Seagate’s 20TB Exos X20 is my favorite NAS hard drive

I just crossed 250TB of storage on the home server, and while a bulk of that is IronWolf Pro drives, I’ve been trying out various other products over the last 18 months. Most of the new drives are either the HAT5300 and WD Reds, but the one that stood out is the Exos X20. Seagate makes some of the best NAS drives, and while its consumer-facing IronWolf drives are more than adequate for most users, I wanted to see what’s different with the Exos series.

So I got started with the 20TB variant of the Exos drive — called the Exos X20 — at the start of the year, and it has been brilliant. The 3.5-inch drive uses a 6Gb/s SATA interface, spins at 7,200rpm, has a 550TB/year endurance, and a higher mean time before failure (MTBF) rating of 2.5 million hours, which is more than what you get with the equivalent IronWolf Pro drives.