Seagate Barracuda 4TB Hard Drive Review (ST4000DM000)
Set up in Windows 8
It would be fair to say that the majority of drives we test nowadays are solid state models, whether they be mSATA, SATA or USB based however that doesn't mean that manufacturers of traditional "mechanical" drives are sitting doing nothing. Far from it as recently we saw the launch of various 4TB models which are ideal for storage in a system which boots from a small capacity SSD, or even for use in servers and NAS.
So today we take a look at what the Seagate Barracuda 4TB drive has to offer in a selection of tests while also finding out how easy (or hard) it is to set up a large capacity drive like this in Windows 8.
Our drive sample was an OEM model meaning it had no retail packaging but otherwise it is the same as any consumer would buy. The drive has a metal chassis and on the top surface is an information sticker which gives details on the model number, manufacture date/location and various certifications. The drive measures 26.11x101.6x146.99mm and weighs 610g
On the base of the drive we can see our SATA3 data and power connectors at the edge and Seagate rate this drive for up to 180MB/s with average latency of 5.10ms. RPM is stated as 5900 and as with other models we have intelligent power management which varies the power depending on the system requirements. Power use when operating is 7.5w and maximum noise level is noted as 2.8 bels-sound power.
When formatted the drive has a capacity of 3.63TB in Windows 8 and this is split across 4 platters which use AcuTrac servo technology to pack storage into track widths of 75nm (340,000 unique tracks per inch). In terms of cache we have 64MB on this model and Seagate name their technology "OptiCache" noting that it is combined with the latest drive controller technology for 45% performance improvements over the last generation.
On older operating systems Seagate provide DiscWizard to unlock the capacity past 2TB which has been a historic limit. This is pretty standard practice with many drive and motherboard manufacturers offering similar utilities. However what if we are building a new system with Windows 8? How easy is it to use this 4TB drive? Well the answer is very simple. After installing the drive we boot to Windows and launch Drive Management. It immediately identifies the Seagate Barracuda and asks us to confirm its initialisation. Following this we simply format it and the drive is ready for use... exactly the same process as smaller capacity drives except now we have the full 4TB available to us on one large volume.