Seagate 2TB Barracuda XT Hard DriveReview :: Features

11-17-2009 · Category: Hardware -

By Elric Phares
  • 2 TB storage
  • 7200 RPM
  • 64 MB cache
  • SeaTools
  • 5-year limited warranty
Specifications2 TB
Model Number ST32000641AS
Interface Options SATA 6Gb/s NCQ
Transfer Rate, Max Ext (MB/s) 600
Sustained Data Rate OD (MB/s) 138
Cache (MB) 64
Average Latency (ms) 4.16
Spindle Speed 7200
Heads/Disks 8/4
Bytes per Sector 512
Reliability/Data Integrity
Load/unload cycles 300K
Nonrecoverable Read Errors per Bits Read Max 1 per 10E14
Annualized Failure Rate 0.34%
Mean Time Between Failures 750000 hours
Limited Warranty 5 years
Power Management
Startup Current +12Peak (A, +-10%) 2.8
Seek Average (W) 7.3
Operating, Average (W)9.23
Idle, Average (W) 6.39
Operating 5 to 60
Nonoperating 40 to 70
Shock (Gs)
Operating 2ms 63
Nonoperating 2ms 300
Acoustics (bels Ėsound power)
Idle 2.8
Seek 3.2
Height (in/mm) 1.028/26.1
Width (in/mm) 4.00/101.6
Depth (in/mm) 5.787/146.99
Weight (lb/kg) 1.543/700

The first thing that should be noted about the new interface is that the maximum transfer rate of the HDD is 6 Gigabits a second, which is double that of the previous 3 Gb/second standard. There is a new Native Command Queuing streaming command that allows isochronous data transfers (Isochronous means at the same time) for streaming video and audio. Native Command Queuing allows the system to request drive blocks by an angular

Normal Hard disks use a number of platters that contain data. Seagateís Barracuda XT drive has four platters with 500GB on each platter that spin at a rate of 7200RPM. The drive has 64MB of cache, which is much more than the 2MB of cache found on old HDDs or even the 8MB of cache found on some newer HDDs but with 2TB of storage, 64MB of cache is great and should offer high burst transfer rates.

The average latency on this drive is 4.16ms. Seagate says their maximum burst transfer rate on the Barracuda XT drive is 600MB/second matching the transfer rate necessary for SATA 6 Gb/second. The sustained data rate is estimated at 138MB/second. Performance will be tested in the Test Setup and Performance section of the review but it should be noted that traditional HDDs like the Barracuda XT drive hardly saturate the SATA 2 interface.

There are currently five SATA 6 Gb/second motherboards on the market two from ASUS, and th\ree from GIGABYTE. More motherboards with support for the new standard will follow shortly, but the two solutions are different as can be. Both ASUS the motherboards (ASUS P7P55D Premium, ASUS P7P55D-E Premium) use a Marvell 88SE9123 chipset to support SATA 6 Gb/second ports. ASUSís solution is to use a PEX PLX8613 bridge chip to convert four of the PCIe x1 lanes from the P55 chipset into two 500MB lanes. As the maximum throughput of SATA 6 GB/s is 600MB/second, this is acceptable. GIGABYTE uses a SE9128 chip which is Marvellís latest controller chip. GIGABYTEís boards use an x8 PCIe 2.0 interface from the Lynnfield processors to provide more bandwidth to the SATA drive. This has the benefit of full bandwidth to the drive. The one issue with doing it this way is the removal of the Crossfire/SLI capability from the motherboard due to the number of PCIe lanes supported by the CPU when using the SATA 6 Gb/second at full speed.