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LTO Ultrium Comparison: LTO-5, LTO-6, LTO-7, LTO-8 and LTO-9

Let's compare the latest LTO drives.

LTO-1, LTO-2, LTO-3, LTO-4, LTO-5, LTO-6, LTO-7, LTO-8 and LTO-9 ultrium drive comparison

Storage Capacity:

  • LTO-5: Up to 3 TB compressed data, 1.5 TB uncompressed data.

  • LTO-6: Up to 6.25 TB compressed data, 2.5 TB uncompressed data.

  • LTO-7: Up to 15 TB compressed data, 6 TB uncompressed data.

  • LTO-8: Up to 30 TB compressed data, 12 TB uncompressed data.

  • LTO-9: Up to 45 TB compressed data, 18 TB uncompressed data.

Data Transfer Rate:

  • LTO-5: 140 MB/s compressed data.

  • LTO-6: 160 MB/s compressed data.

  • LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9: 300 MB/s uncompressed data, 750 MB/s compressed data.

Backward Compatibility:

  • LTO-5: Compatible with LTO-4 (read/write), LTO-3 (read only).

  • LTO-6: Compatible with LTO-5 (read/write), LTO-4 (read only).

  • LTO-7: Compatible with LTO-6 (read/write), LTO-5 (read only).

  • LTO-8: Reads and writes LTO-7 and LTO-8 media, including LTO-7 Type M.

  • LTO-9: Reads and writes LTO-8 and LTO-9 media only.

Encryption and Security:

  • LTO-5 to LTO-9: All these generations offer hardware-based encryption for enhanced data security.

WORM (Write-Once-Read-Many):

  • The WORM feature, available in all these generations, is especially beneficial for industries with strict compliance requirements.


  • LTO tapes typically have a shelf life of up to 30 years under proper storage conditions, applicable to all generations.

Chassis/Tape Library Compatibility:

  • General Compatibility: Depends on the specific tape library model and its specifications.

  • Physical Compatibility: Drive form factor must match library slots.

  • Firmware and Software Compatibility: Library must support newer drive models.

  • Performance Considerations: Full potential of newer drives may require updated library infrastructure.

Upgrading to a newer LTO drive, like LTO-9, involves consulting with the manufacturer or vendor to ensure compatibility. In some cases, direct replacement of older drives is possible, while in others, a new chassis may be necessary to fully utilize the new technology's capabilities. Should you need help figuring out if things are compatible, feel free to get in touch. We're glad to assist.

Our refurbished LTO drives, available across the EU, provide a reliable and budget-friendly option. With up to a 5-year warranty and the option to test before you pay, minimizing your risk. Feel free to contact us for pricing information.

If you want to learn more about the future of LTO drives, click here to read our latest article about it.

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