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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 04 December 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Seagate Barracuda XT Hard Drive ST32000641AS
Features and Specifications
Drive Testing Methodology
Seagate Barracuda XT: SATA 3G vs 6G
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Desktop Storage Final Thoughts
Seagate Barracuda XT Conclusion

Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS Review

Somewhere between the speed of Solid State Drive technology and the reliability of value-priced Hard Disk storage is the Seagate Barracuda XT. The industry's first SATA 6Gb/s HDD features 2TB of data storage capacity, and is also the first product to receive compliance with the third generation SATA controller interface. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Seagate Barracuda XT hard drive against a cross section of competing storage products using the ASUS P7P55D Premium (Marvell 88SE9123) and Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 (Marvell 88SE9128) motherboards, comparing the model ST32000641AS hard disk on the both SATA-6G controllers as well as Intel's P55/ICH10 SATA-3G chipset.

On 21 September 2009 Seagate Technology was the first and only manufacturer to offer a SATA 6Gb/s (aka SATA-III) hard drive product with the industry's largest 64MB cache buffer as the 2TB Barracuda XT ST32000641AS was unveiled. Both combined improvements to burst rate and sustained bandwidth will mark a substantial improvement to the design of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, and the new technology is expected to give Solid State Drive (SSD) components some serious competition. The Seagate Barracuda XT series is designed for performance enthusiasts such as gamers, as well as small server systems. Additional enthusiast tools, such as the free Seagate SeaTools software, allow users to custom-define firmware parameters to enable performance features such as 'Short Stroke' and noise reduction.

The new 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS sells for roughly $0.16 per gigabyte of storage, and offers a 4-platter 368 Gb/square inch aerial density which is sure to please storage-hungry applications. Early adopters of the SATA 6.0GBps interface will enjoy a new high-bandwidth high-capacity solution, while enthusiasts and gamers will appreciate the 64MB cache buffer; the largest DRAM buffer on any commercial hard drive. Benchmark Reviews has tested bandwidth performance of the Seagate Barracuda on both the ASUS P7P55D Premium and Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 motherboards, comparing SATA-6G performance on the Marvell SE9123/SE9128 controller chips against SATA-3G performance from Intel's standard P55/ICH10 chipset.

Seagate_Barracuda-XT_6Gbps_SATA-III_Hard-Drive_Splash.jpg

The current Seagate family includes a low-power Barracuda LP, and a mainstream Barracuda 7200.12 hard drive. This new edition to the desktop hard drive family carves out the Barracuda XT for the upper-tier of performance. Benchmark Reviews has had great success with the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 series in the past, which already rivaled performance from the WD VelociRaptor in some tests, but Seagate plans to drop the 'dot' designation on the 7200 series and simplify their desktop storage family to Barracuda LS, Barracuda, and Barracuda XT.

What to expect from SATA 6Gb/s (SATA III):

  • Not an immediate and dramatic across the board performance change.
  • Cache efficient and intensive applications will see immediate benefit.
  • Application optimization, controller, driver and OS optimization and areal density and other pending HDD technology will combine to push performance higher over the next 2-3 years. Seagate-Logo-250px.png

About Seagate Technology LLC.

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disk drives and storage solutions, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, with the goal of being the time-to-market leader in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at http://www.seagate.com/.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Seagate Barracuda XT Hard Drive ST32000641ASStas 2010-02-22 05:34
Bad SATA 6G performance is not Seagate fault - it's a result of the use of Marvell chip, that shows better than SATA I+ resuls only in a pair wirh Marvell drive controllers (not alwais, though).

Think with any SAS 6G HBA the drive will show much better results.
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# Thanksmorisbecon 2010-02-27 19:39
Thanks for the nice post.
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# small correctiontwk 2010-10-23 05:23
The IOPS graph for the ssd isn't correct, the numbers displayed in the chart are those of the 2TB drive and no the SSD. The numbers in the article appear correct however the image is erroneous.

Good article though.
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