WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk: Best Surveillance Hard Drive

November 21, 2022
WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk
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Are you seeking a storage solution for your surveillance system? Western Digital Purple and Seagate Skyhawk are two of the most popular surveillance HDDs lineup. Both these two series from the two reputed brands have several high-performing hard disks. So, WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk, which one is best for the surveillance system?

The WD Purple HDDs are made especially for utilization in surveillance systems. It is the perfect option for individuals who want a dependable storage solution since it delivers exceptional performance and dependability. The Seagate Skyhawk series has also been designed for utilization in surveillance systems. However, there are some differences between these two lineups.

So, what are the differences between the Western Digital Purple and Seagate Skyhawk series? And which lineup is best for the surveillance system. Continue reading this article to know all the differences between these two lineups, and then make a perfect decision about which one is best!

What is a Surveillance Hard Drive?

Surveillance drives are designed for security systems to record video. They frequently employ a device known as a network video recorder. These types of hard drives must constantly be writing data, notably video data. Much like PC HDDs, surveillance HDDs are available in 5,400 as well as 7,200 RPM and have up to 256 MB of cache.

There are a lot of reputed brands like Seagate and Westerns Digital that manufacture this type of hard disk. You can get different types of Surveillance Hard drives depending on storage capacity. You can also use this type of hard disk for other purposes. Let’s explore two of the best Surveillance Hard Drive brands with two popular series.

WD Purple Surveillance HDDs Overview

Western Digital is one of the world’s leading and reputed storage manufacturers. Western Digital purple series is one of the popular Surveillance hard disk drives on the market. So, if you are looking for a storage solution for recording video on security systems, WD Purple Surveillance HDD is one of the ideal options to go through.

Yes! Western Digital Purple is one of the Surveillance Hard Disk Drives in the current market. These hard disks are not only suitable for recording video on security systems, but you can also use these HDDs for any other purpose. You can use these hard disk drives to upgrade the storage system of your desktop PC; they will provide the best performance in any situation.

WD Purple Surveillance HDD

Western Digital Purple hard disk drives come with a 5400 RPM rating. So, these hard drives will provide relatively slow data transfer, making them ideal for storing larger data files. This hard disk has only 3.5 inches form factor variant, which means it is only compatible with desktop systems. Note that, Laptop systems are only compatible with 2.5 inches hard disk drives.

This hard disk drive will impress you when it comes to the cache memory of the HDD. YES! the WD Purple hard disk drive features 64 MB to 256 MB cache memory. As a result, this HDD will function without a hitch, and the better it does, the superior it will be at holding onto data as the HDD writes it.

This storage was created for high-definition security systems that are always active and available. WD Purple hard disk drives are ideal for security systems, supporting workload rates of up to 180 TB/year and up to 64 cameras. It is made for high temp, always-on security systems to assure dependability and high-quality video playback whenever you need it most.


  • Manufactured specially for surveillance systems
  • AllFrame technology for optimal performance
  • These hard drives improve video playback


  • These Hard drives feature a 5400 RPM rating

SEAGATE Skyhawk Surveillance HDDs Overview

SEAGATE! Oh Yeah, it is the best-ever storage manufacturer in the world, in my opinion. The SEAGATE Skyhawk is one of the most popular storage solutions for Surveillance security systems to record videos. The Skyhawk provided quick and dependable performance at a lower cost than comparable surveillance drives on the market.

This lineup really has superior-performing hard disk drives, and they perform excellently well for surveillance use. Due to their design for surveillance, these HDDs did contribute to a decrease in downtime and also lost frames. Like WD Purple Surveillance HDDs, this series also features only 3.5 inches HDDs, and there are no 2.5 inches HDDs available.

SEAGATE Skyhawk Surveillance HDD

The Skyhawk HDDs have different RPM ratings. The 1TB to 4TB versions feature 5900 RPM, while the 8TB to 18TB versions has a 7200 RPM rating. So, these HDDs will provide fast data transfer. This series has several storage capacity options from 1TB to 18TB. So, this series will give you more versatility, and you can buy storage according to your needs.

Seagate Skyhawk Hard disks feature 64 MB to 256 MB cache memory. Most of the HDDs of this series come with ImagePerfect AI technology that ensures dropped-less frames in addition to supporting heavier workloads. SkyHawk HDDs take care of all your video data storage and streaming demands and have been designed for home and SMB monitoring.

SkyHawk hard disks also have a Health Management system for monitoring and also analyzes your drive’s health. This system also offers options to enhance overall performance. When it comes to overall performance, these HDDs perform really well. It will perform well even in 24/7 heavy workload situations. So, you can’t go wrong with the Seagate SkyHawk series.


  • Offer reliable performance and support heavy workload
  • These hard disk drive comes with at least 5600 RPM rating
  • Included all the latest technology for smooth video playback


  • These hard disk drives are relatively expensive

WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk: Comparison

This WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk Comparison will help you define all the differences between these two HDDs lineup. So, let’s explore it and understand which lineup is best for you.

Storage Capacity

The amount of disk space that one or even more storage devices offer is referred to as storage capacity. It gauges the potential data capacity of a computer system. A PC with a 500GB HDD, for instance, has 500GB storage space. A central server featuring four 1TB disks has a 4 terabytes storage space.

When it comes to storage selection, both these two lineups do an excellent job. YES! Both the WD Purple and Seagate Skyhawk comes with several HDDs with different storage space. WD Purple offers 1TB to 14TB Hard disk drives. On the other hand, Seagate Skyhawk offers 1TB to 18TB hard disks. So, it can be said that the Seagate Skyhawk offers more versatility in storage selection.

Cache Memory

When selecting a hard disk, the cache is one of the crucial factors to be taken into consideration. Both the WD Purple and Seagate Skyhawk hard disk drives have good enough cache memory. WD Purple HDDs feature 64 MB to 256MB cache. The Seagate Skyhawk HDDs also have this cache range.

So, what is the difference? You can identify the difference by comparing a specific HDD. If you think about the 4TB version, WD Purple 4TB Hard disk comes with both 64MB and 256MB cache. On the other hand, Seagate Skyhawk HDD comes with a 64MB cache. So, performance may be enhanced by the extra cache on the WD disks, especially when several cameras are filming simultaneously.

Rotation speed

Rotation speed, or RPM, is another thing that sets these two HDD series apart from each other. While the Seagate Skyhawk series drives feature 5900 to 7200 RPM, WD Purple series drives come with 5400 RPM. In general, better performance is obtained with faster rotation rates, especially in the playback as well as the recording of video.

Higher-speed drives, however, also frequently generate more heat and use more energy, which can be an issue in sizable security systems. As a result, it’s critical to pick a drive that has the ideal speed and efficiency ratio for your requirements. From this point of view, the Seagate Skyhawk is far better than the WD Purple series.

Mean time between failures

Mean time between failures or MTBF is a major thing that you should consider to choose the best hard disk drive. The MTBF of a hard disk is an estimate of how long it will last. Some hard disk manufacturers use this statistic to demonstrate the dependability of a particular drive model. The MTBF rating of an HDD generally ranges between 1 to 1.5 million hours.

Both these two series provide a number of models with various characteristics, but their average MTBF is a crucial differential. The MTBF of Seagate Skyhawk HDDs is 1.2 million hours, compared to 1 million hours for WD Purple hard drives. So, it can be clearly said that the Seagate Skyhawk HDDs are much more reliable than WD Purple HDDs.

Hard Disk Pricing

Last but not least, Price is another thing that makes a difference between these two HDD series. In terms of hard disk pricing, the Western Digital Purple HDDs give you more advantages than the Seagate Skyhawk series. YES! Western Digital Purple series HDDs are relatively more affordable than the Seagate Skyhawk HDDs lineup.

That means the WD Purple series lets you save your bank. YES! You can save around $5 to $10 [based on the variant] by purchasing WD Purple HDDs. So, if you are concise in the budget, the Western Digital Purple lineup is the best way to go through for you. However, both these two HDDs lineup meet the best value for money.

Wrap Up: Which Brand is Best?

So, now the question is which one is better between WD Purple vs Seagate Skyhawk series. Both the WD Purple and Seagate Skyhawk come with some excellent HDDs and provide dependable performance as well as data protection. However, both these two series from two different brands differ significantly in some important ways.

WD Purple hard drives provide features like monitoring of temperature as well as vibration protection that are particularly made for surveillance systems. On the other side, Seagate Skyhawk drives are designed to work with a variety of DVRs and NVRs. Seagate Skyhawk HDDs also have ImagePerfect AI technology that ensures drop-less frames and also supports heavier workloads.

So, which HDD is the best option? Ultimately, it all depends on what you’re looking for. WD Purple is the finest option if you want storage that will provide your security system with the greatest performance possible. However, Seagate Skyhawk is a better choice if you want a drive that can be used with a range of various operating systems.

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