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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

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.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for Quality Recognition

+ Very good 162 MB/s read bandwidth with ATTO Benchmark
+ 3nd-generation SATA 6Gb/s compliant controller
+ Massive 3-Terabyte storage capacity
+ Outstanding total-package value
+ 64MB Cache buffer improves burst transactions
+ Low-power standby conserves energy
+ 5-Year Seagate product warranty
+ Additional performance available via short-stroking


- 2.1TB Barrier not removed via native hardware instruction


  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 8.50
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

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# 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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