Hard-Drive Roundup June 2010

6. OCZ Vertex 2 100GB SSD8. WD VelociRaptor 300GB HDD

Hard-Drive Roundup

Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB

The last few pages have focused on SSDs and the next few will look at some traditional style mechanical drives. First up is the Seagate Barracuda XT which arrived with us in an OEM package that lacked any bundled items or documentation. The retail drive arrives in a large cardboard box with product image and specifications on the outside. Bundled items consist of SATA data and power connectors, mounting screws and quick install guide.

The drive itself looks much like most of Seagates drives but there are some significant differences on this model. Firstly this is a SATA 6GB/s drive which ensures it has peak performance on the latest motherboards with SATA 3 controllers. Next we have the cache level, most current mechanical drives use 16 or 32MB but the Barracuda XT has 64mb to optimise burst performance and reduce bottlenecks. Then we have the capacity, this is a 2TB model (1.81TB formatted) which runs at 7200RPM and has a transfer rate of 138MB/s.

The SSDs featured earlier in this article generally operate at about 2w, this is one area where mechanical drives cannot compete and the XT is rated for 9.23w operation with 4.16ms latency and 8.5-9.5ms seek time for read/write operations.

In addition to the above Seagate also manufacture the drive to use perpendicular recording technology which vertically aligns data on the disk for enhanced performance and reliability. Finally, like many recent drives this model supports NCQ for efficient organisation and processing of the drives workload.

The dimensions of the drive are 26.11×101.6×146.99mm, weighing 700g. Seagates warranty covers this drive which has 63-300G of shock tolerance for 5-years.

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