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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651AS
Features and Specifications
Drive Testing Methodology
Seagate Barracuda XT: SATA 3G vs 6G
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
Short Stroke Disk Performance
Desktop Storage Final Thoughts
Seagate Barracuda XT Conclusion

3TB Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS Review

Manufacturer: Seagate Technology LLC
Product Name: Barracuda XT Hard Disk Drive
Model Number: ST33000651AS
Price As Tested: $239.99 at Newegg and other Online Merchants

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Seagate.

Everyone knows that SSDs cannot offer the capacity of a hard drive, and HDDs will never deliver solid state response time. Somewhere between the speed of Solid State Drive technology and the reliability of value-priced Hard Disk storage is the Seagate Barracuda XT. The Seagate Barracuda XT series is designed for performance computer enthusiasts, as well as large-capacity storage systems. Enthusiast tools such as the free Seagate SeaTools software allows users to custom-define firmware parameters to enable performance features such as 'Short Stroke' and noise reduction. Featuring the industry's largest 3TB capacity and third-generation SATA 6Gb/s controller interface, the Seagate Barracuda XT is also the first product to create a Windows XP-safe software solution for overcoming the 2TB barrier. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT hard drive, model ST33000651AS, against a cross-section of competing storage products using the native SATA-III controller present on the Intel P67 platform.

Back on 21 September 2009, Seagate Technology was the first manufacturer to offer a SATA 6Gb/s (aka SATA-III) hard drive product with the industry's largest 64MB cache buffer. At its time, the 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS was an impressive leap for high-density mechanical storage devices; primarily because it offered tremendous capacity along side commendable performance levels. Launching just over a year later, the 3TB version offers all of the same benefits of that made the series popular, but improves transfer speed performance while including free software to take Seagate drives beyond the 2TB limitation. Early adopters of the SATA 6Gb/s interface will appreciate the high-bandwidth transfer speeds that all high-capacity Seagate Barracuda XT-series storage solutions provide. Seagate has pleased enthusiasts and gamers with a 64MB cache buffer; the largest DRAM buffer on any commercial hard drive on the consumer market.

But while both versions of the drive share similarities, there have also been a few industry changes since the 2TB Barracuda XT was originally unveiled. At its launch, the Seagate ST32000641AS sold for roughly $0.16 per gigabyte of storage. Now beefed up a fifth storage platter to reach 3TB, the Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS sells for $.08 per gigabyte of storage. Both continue to share a 368 Gb/square inch aerial density with 512 Bytes per sector, but differ in their energy usage. The 2TB Barracuda XT requires 2.8A of power at startup, whereas the new 3TB model uses only 2A of startup current. Combined improvements to burst rate and sustained bandwidth will mark a substantial improvement to the design of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage products, and could give Solid State Drive (SSD) components serious competition.


What to expect from SATA 6Gb/s hard drives:Seagate-Logo-250px.png

  • 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.



# Cache sizeAthlonite 2011-03-29 04:26
Why are HDD manufacturers still # footing around with less than 256MB caches on bloody large HDD's when for an extra 3~5 dollars they could be putting 256 or more MegaBytes of DDR2 Ram on there as cache
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651ASRahul 2011-03-29 05:44
I think that Olin Coles does not know that all the P67 boards equipped with the UEFI BIOS can run 2.19+ TB hard drives natively with a supported OS like Linux, Vista, 7 etc.
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651ASDavid Ramsey 2011-03-29 07:13
Olin does know this. You did read the part about "XP-safe software solution", right?
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651ASOlin Coles 2011-03-29 08:57
Actually Rahul , I installed this hard drive on an ASUS P8P67 EVO motherboard that has the UEFI and used Windows 7 64-bit OS, and it could not format the entire 3TB... only 2.19TB. So there, try doing some research before you come online to troll.

Also, UEFI replaced the BIOS, so a "UEFI BIOS" doesn't exist; only UEFI.
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651ASRahul 2011-03-30 04:44
*These four sites claim that UEFI enabled or LGA1155 6 Series Chipset Motherboards support Hard Drives upto 9.4 Zettabytes or 10335409301094 Gigabytes ....
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651ASOlin Coles 2011-03-30 13:57
If you initialize any hard drive with a MBR (master boot record), it will not see more than 2.19 TB. If you initialize it with GPD (GUID Partition Table), which is available in Windows 7, it will see more than 2.2 TB. It really has nothing to do with the UEFI or chipset.
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# RE: RahulAustin Downing 2011-03-30 15:46
Actually the only thing UEFI did was make it so that systems could boot off of GPT partitions. Perhaps before bashing people who write these articles you should actually do some research of your own.
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651ASdanwat1234 2011-07-30 14:49
Sincerely Hoping Hitachi or Seagate make a 5-platter version of this with 1TB/platter before the end of 2011! It'll bring storage prices down across the board!
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