Performance: 40 out of 40.
It is amazing how fast the industry is moving these days, as in one fell swoop Seagate has raised the performance bar not once but twice in less than half a year… and the Exos X18 actually makes the IronWolf Pro 18TB seem only moderately fast in comparison. Now if Seagate would only pair the Exos X18 with their multi-actuator technology and make an ‘Exos 2X18’ so that our need for (HDD) speed would be fully satisfied.
Technological Innovation: 18 out of 20
On the one hand two terabytes of capacity on a single platter is awe-inspiring. That is the very epitome of technological innovation. On the other, that is about all that has been improved. Sure, the firmware is better than last gen’s… but that is to be expected. That is not being innovative that is just smart business practices 101. In other words, the technological innovation is basically the same as the IronWolf Pro 18TB: good bordering on great… but could have be even better.
Build Quality & Warranty: 18 out of 20
As with its predecessors, the Exos X18 is built to a very high standard and comes with an equally impressive warranty. So while would have liked Seagate to put a bit more effort into the error correction end of the equation it really is an excellent example of what manufactures can do when they pull out (nearly) all the stops.
Value: 20 out of 20
It really is rather ironic to be using “excellent value” with “enterprise storage” in the same sentence, and yet that is precisely what the Exos X18 is. Its unique blend of performance vs. build quality vs. price not only easily justifies its asking price it is the new gold standard upon which all other mega-capacity drives will be judged. So if you want the best, expect to pay less of a premium for it… as why not. What else would you expect from 2020?!
Final Score: 96%
Seagate understands the needs of this enterprise buyer like no other and they have leveraged this priceless knowledge to create a good to great option for an incredibly wide and diverse range of buyers. It may not be perfect, but it not only easily justifies its relatively excellent asking price it makes many to most other 16 and 18TB options look overpriced by comparison. As such we have no qualms about highly recommending these new bad boys. Buy them, save some money and enjoy the next generation of HDD performance.