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The Best 6TB Desktop Hard Drives for 2021

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Updated on: 22 October, 2021
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The Best 6TB Desktop Hard Drives for 2021
Image by PoldyChromos from Pixabay (Source: Pixabay)

Whilst we think that 8TB or 10TB drives currently represent the sweet spot when looking for the best value desktop hard drives, a 6TB drive can still offer significant storage space for most people. It is large enough to be able to backup all but the most dedicated data-hoarders collection.


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The Top 5

The following are our top rated products. Please read on for a more detailed assessment of each product and our individual scoring.

LaCie d2 Professional 6TB

The LaCie d2 Professional range of drives are popular for those looking for a combination of fast disk access and large capacity. The 7200 RPM drives combined with a Thunderbolt 3 interface provide a significantly faster transfer rate than typical desktop drives. The drives look smart and include a well ventilated aluminum case. A 5 year waranty is included.

84.2%
WD G-Drive 6TB

The WD G-Drive is a fast desktop drive with a 7200 RPM drive and includes a USB 3.0 interface. The more expensive WD Pro G-Drive adds a Thunderbolt 3 interface for even faster data transfers. The aluminum case looks smart and offers good heat distribution.

81.8%
Seagate Backup Plus Hub 6TB

The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is a similar to the Expansion Desktop external drive with the addition of 2 USB 3.0 ports. Even though it only has a 5400 RPM drive, the USB 3.0 interface is fast enough for all but the most intensive tasks. However, 6TB may be too small.

70.8%
WD Elements Desktop 6TB

The WD Elements Desktop uses the same hard drives as the more expensive WD My Book, but does not include hardware encryption or bundled backup software. If you can do without these, the WD Elements Desktop is better value. A 2 year warranty is longer than equivalent Seagate drives.

69.1%
Seagate Expansion Desktop 6TB

The Seagate Expansion is a simple and no-frills external drive. Even though it only has a 5400 RPM drive, the USB 3.0 interface is fast enough for all but the most intensive tasks. However, 6TB may be too small. The Backup Plus Hub includes 2 front-facing USB ports to add extra connectivity.

68.6%

For a comprehensive list of all desktop hard drives we have rated, please refer to our dedicated guide pages.

A desktop hard drive is a great addition to any desktop or laptop computer, offering either additional storage or space to backup your files.

Key Features to Consider for 6TB Desktop Hard Drives

There are a number of drive features when looking at 6TB hard drives.

Drive Speed

Unless you are looking at a Solid State Drive (SSD), then you have the choice between a 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM drive. The RPM represents the rotational speed of the disk platters within the drive. The slower 5400 RPM drives are better suited for backup drives where the faster 7200 RPM drives are best for when you want to increase the operational storage of your PC or Mac. However, many will find the slower drives perfectly acceptable for daily use, and unless you are using the drive for intensive tasks such as video editing, then you will not notice too much of a difference.

Connectivity

There are 2 main interfaces used by a typical 6TB drive, either USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 3. USB 3.0 is compatible with most PC, Mac and Linux computers, where Thunderbolt 3 is reserved for more expensive PCs or Mac computers.

Thunderbolt 3 does offer significant performance advantages, and many drives include multiple Thunderbolt ports that allow you to daisy-chain drives for increased storage.

Bundled Features

Some drives include built-in hardware encryption that provides an added layer of security for the data stored on the drive. Whilst handy, both Windows and macOS include software encryption (BitLocker and FileVault respectively), so this is not something worth paying extra for.

Some drives also bundle a copy of backup software with the drive. However, this software is usually no better than the backup capability built into either Windows or macOS, and falls short of commerical backup software. Again, not worth paying extra for.

Warranty

Western Digital are a stand out with offering longer warranties than Seagate, especially with the 5 year warranty of the My Book models. Note that a warranty does not give you any more protection for your data if the drive fails, so a longer warranty is not a replacement for a good backup strategy.

Case and Ventilation

Most cheaper drives are made from plastic with vents on the top and bottom when they are stood vertically. We always recommend ensuring good airflow around the drives and ensuring the vents are facing up. With many drives this means standing them vertically. Hard drives can get quite hot under load and this greatly reduces their operational life. Keeping the drive cool will help reduce the chance of a drive failure.


Product Score Breakdown

Please find below our individual product scores and assessment.

#1 LaCie d2 Professional 6TB

The LaCie d2 Professional range of drives have long been popular with those looking to increase the available storage of their PC or laptops. The combination of fast 7200 RPM drives and a Thunderbolt 3 interface results in high data transfer rates, making them ideally suited for more intensive use cases such as video editing. They are less suitable as backup drives, as their faster performance is less important for backups and you are paying a premium for a level of performance that you may not need. For backup drives we prefer the cheaper WD Elements, WD My Book or Seagate Expansion drives. The d2 Professional looks smart on any desk and the case is made from black anodised aluminum to help with heat distribution. It would be nice if they add an option to turn off the blue LED on the front which can become annoying in dark or dim rooms. Whilst they do get warm in operation, we have never found them to become too hot, even under continued load. LaCie offers a 5 year warranty which is the longer than offered by Western Digital or Seagate.

LaCie d2 Professional 6TB

The LaCie d2 Professional range of drives are popular for those looking for a combination of fast disk access and large capacity. The 7200 RPM drives combined with a Thunderbolt 3 interface provide a significantly faster transfer rate than typical desktop drives. The drives look smart and include a well ventilated aluminum case. A 5 year waranty is included.

84.2%

Criteria

Price
95.2%
Drive Specifications
7.0%
Drive Performance
50.0%
Connectivity
14.0%

  • 7200 RPM drives offer fast data transfer for tasks such as video editing.
  • Aluminum case looks smart and offers good heat distribution.
  • Includes both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 interfaces.
  • Includes a 5 year warranty.
  • Expensive compared to similar capacity (but slower) Western Digital and Seagate drives.
  • Only recommended if you need the faster drive and thunderbolt 3 interface.
  • If for only backups then the slower Western Digital or Seagate drives are fast enough.
  • You cannot turn off the bright blue LED on the front.
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LaCie

#2 WD G-Drive 6TB

WD G-Drive 6TB

The WD G-Drive is a fast desktop drive with a 7200 RPM drive and includes a USB 3.0 interface. The more expensive WD Pro G-Drive adds a Thunderbolt 3 interface for even faster data transfers. The aluminum case looks smart and offers good heat distribution.

81.8%

Criteria

Price
95.9%
Drive Specifications
7.0%
Drive Performance
50.0%
Connectivity
4.0%

  • 7200 RPM drives offer fast data transfer for tasks such as video editing.
  • Aluminum case looks smart and offers good heat distribution.
  • Includes a USB 3.0 interface.
  • Includes a 3 year warranty.
  • Expensive compared to the WD Elements Desktop and My Book drives.
  • Only recommended if you need the faster drive and smarter looking design.
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#3 Seagate Backup Plus Hub 6TB

The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is a basic no-frills backup drive similar to the Expansion Desktop with the addition of 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front. The slower 5400 RPM drive and USB 3.0 interface makes it ideal for data backup as transfer speeds are lower than drives that include faster 7200 RPM drives or faster Thunderbolt 3 interfaces. However, if you are not looking at intensive use cases such as editing 4K videos, then the performance should be perfectly acceptable. The design is pretty basic but the plastic case provides enough passive ventilation to keep it cool. The slightly cheaper Expansion Desktop drives removes the 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front if you are looking at saving some money. The 1 year warranty is poor compared to similar Western Digital drives. Interestingly Seagate offers a longer warranty outside of US/Canada.

Seagate Backup Plus Hub 6TB

The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is a similar to the Expansion Desktop external drive with the addition of 2 USB 3.0 ports. Even though it only has a 5400 RPM drive, the USB 3.0 interface is fast enough for all but the most intensive tasks. However, 6TB may be too small.

70.8%

Criteria

Price
98.1%
Drive Specifications
7.0%
Drive Performance
0.0%
Connectivity
12.0%

  • Great value desktop drive.
  • Passive ventilation works well.
  • Even though using only a 5400 RPM drive the USB 3 seemed fast enough for all but the most demanding tasks.
  • Dual USB 3.0 ports on the front are handy for connecting additonal USB devices.
  • Retail pricing is typically cheaper than RRP so shop around.
  • 5400 RPM drive not as fast as the 7200 RPM drives in other models.
  • 6 TB may be too small.
  • Only includes a 2 year warranty where the WD My Book has 3.
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#4 WD Elements Desktop 6TB

The WD Elements Desktop is a basic no-frills backup drive. The slower 5400 RPM drive and USB 3.0 interface makes it ideal for data backup as transfer speeds are lower than drives that include faster 7200 RPM drives or faster Thunderbolt 3 interfaces. However, if you are not looking at intensive use cases such as editing 4K videos, then the performance should be perfectly acceptable. The design is pretty basic but the plastic case provides enough passive ventilation to keep it cool. The slightly more expensive My Book drives have a better design and bundle a backup software; however, the feature the same drives and performance. The 2 year warranty is better than the 1 year of the comparable Seagate Expansion Desktop drive.

WD Elements Desktop 6TB

The WD Elements Desktop uses the same hard drives as the more expensive WD My Book, but does not include hardware encryption or bundled backup software. If you can do without these, the WD Elements Desktop is better value. A 2 year warranty is longer than equivalent Seagate drives.

69.1%

Criteria

Price
98.8%
Drive Specifications
7.0%
Drive Performance
0.0%
Connectivity
4.0%

  • Great value desktop drive.
  • Passive ventilation works well.
  • Even though using only a 5400 RPM drive the USB 3 seemed fast enough for all but the most demanding tasks.
  • Retail pricing is typically cheaper than RRP so shop around.
  • 5400 RPM drive not as fast as the 7200 RPM drives in the WD G-Drive models.
  • 6 TB may be too small.
  • Only includes a 2 year warranty where WD My Book has 3.
Check Prices...

#5 Seagate Expansion Desktop 6TB

The Seagate Expansion Desktop is a basic no-frills backup drive. The slower 5400 RPM drive and USB 3.0 interface makes it ideal for data backup as transfer speeds are lower than drives that include faster 7200 RPM drives or faster Thunderbolt 3 interfaces. However, if you are not looking at intensive use cases such as editing 4K videos, then the performance should be perfectly acceptable. The design is pretty basic but the plastic case provides enough passive ventilation to keep it cool. The slightly more expensive Backup Hub drives include 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front for connecting additional accessories. The 1 year warranty is poor compared to similar Western Digital drives. Interestingly Seagate offers a longer warranty outside of US/Canada.

Seagate Expansion Desktop 6TB

The Seagate Expansion is a simple and no-frills external drive. Even though it only has a 5400 RPM drive, the USB 3.0 interface is fast enough for all but the most intensive tasks. However, 6TB may be too small. The Backup Plus Hub includes 2 front-facing USB ports to add extra connectivity.

68.6%

Criteria

Price
98.5%
Drive Specifications
7.0%
Drive Performance
0.0%
Connectivity
4.0%

  • Great value desktop drive.
  • Passive ventilation works well.
  • Even though using only a 5400 RPM drive the USB 3 seemed fast enough for all but the most demanding tasks.
  • Retail pricing is typically cheaper than RRP so shop around.
  • 5400 RPM drive not as fast as the 7200 RPM drives in other models.
  • 6 TB may be too small.
  • Only includes a 1 year warranty where the WD Essentials Desktop has 2 and the WD My Book has 3.
Check Prices...

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