|Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive ST33000651AS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 29 March 2011|
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Seagate Barracuda XT Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Not every product we test here at Benchmark Reviews receives a warm conclusion, complete with happy ending and high recommendations. In the age of solid state drives, it's hard to find the good in mechanical storage. Fortunately, the Seagate Barracuda XT series has enough perk going for it to still earn high marks from us. Price, performance, and capacity are the biggest reasons to choose a Barracuda XT over any of the current-generation 3TB storage products. Here's what I think of the Seagate Barracuda XT hard drive, model ST33000651AS:
For a hard drive, the Barracuda XT series offers the best performance available from a 7200 RPM mechanical storage device. It's not quite as fast as the Seagate Momentus-XT Solid State Hybrid Drive, but then again that product series doesn't offer storage capacities beyond 500GB. The same is true for all modern SSDs, which outperform the Barracuda XT in terms of IOPS performance and transfer speed but fail to offer reasonable capacity. So then it seems fitting that the Barracuda XT is a solid choice for builders in need of storage space, or users wanting to short stroke the first 420GB partition for their OS and reap the rewards of using sectors located at the outer platter edges.
Touting a five-year warranty helps to position the Seagate Barracuda XT ahead of most other storage products, even though the low operational temperature and power saving rotational shut-down features may make the long-term warranty moot. Because spinning mechanical storage technology is so mature, especially from a company like Seagate, there are no issues with the Barracuda XT in terms of compatibility or firmware functionality. Seagate delivers industry-leading quality and construction in all of their products, and the high-performance/high-capacity Barracuda XT series is the end-result of years of proven industry experience.
Heading into April 2011, the Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB hard disk drive (model ST33000651AS) sells for $239.99 at Newegg and other online retailers. This works out to less than $0.08 per gigabyte of storage capacity, which is pennies on the dollar in comparison to SSD technology. In fact, at this rate a hypothetical 128GB Barracuda XT would be priced around $10 - costing only 5% the price for any solid state drive of the same capacity. For storage-hungry gamers and performance enthusiasts wanting performance and high-capacity storage, the Seagate Barracuda XT is an exceptional drive with plenty of value.
Based on the current condition of today's desktop storage market, it's still very much a hard drive friendly world. While SSD technology will eventually replace hard disk storage some day, there's no evidence as to when solid state storage can match capacity at the same price point. The 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT Hard Drive ST33000651AS resists that forthcoming change for at least a while longer, and its massive three-Terabyte capacity paired to the future-proof SATA 6Gb/s interface will certainly help punctuate this. The affordable cost to capacity ratio puts the Barracuda XT ahead of SSDs by a long-shot, while still offering respectable bandwidth performance speeds for enthusiast computer systems.
+ Very good 162 MB/s read bandwidth with ATTO Benchmark
- 2.1TB Barrier not removed via native hardware instruction
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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