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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001
Features and Specifications
Drive Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
Seagate Barracuda Conclusion

Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 Hard Drive Review

Manufacturer: Seagate Technology LLC
Product Name: Barracuda Hard Disk Drive
Model Number: ST3000DM001
Price As Tested: $170 at Amazon

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

Back on March 2011, Seagate debuted their original Barracuda XT 3TB hard drive, model ST33000651AS, which used five platters to supply 3000 gigabytes of capacity over a SATA 6Gb/s interface. Seven short months later, they've returned to introduce a replacement: the Seagate Barracuda 3TB hard drive ST3000DM001, which features the same 6 GB/s interface and 64MB cache buffer but now utilizes only three 1GB density platters. Seagate has also introduced a number of refined technologies to help improve overall hard drive performance, including: dual core 40nm processor technology, DDR2 DRAM buffer, and refined caching algorithms. By reducing disc platters from five to three, it prolongs servo motor life and reduces heat output. Benchmark Reviews compared these two hard drives, to see exactly what's been gained.

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-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. Now Seagate takes one step further, and while both versions of the 3TB drive share similarities, there have also been a few industry changes since the 3TB Barracuda XT was originally unveiled.

The Seagate Barracuda series is designed for performance computer enthusiasts, as well as large-capacity storage systems. Manufacturer-supplied free enthusiast tools such as 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 is the first hard drive to also utilize 1TB storage disc platters. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 3TB Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 hard drive against the drive it replaces: Seagate Barracuda XT model ST33000651AS.


What's new with Barracuda?

Barracuda is the industry's first hard drive to deliver 1TB per disk of capacity. The drive packs 340,000 tracks into every linear inch measured across the radius of the disc. This means that average track sizes have decreased to a mere 75 nanometers - smaller even than a flu virus. Seagate has enabled these very small densities and improved tracking over previous generations of Barracuda by deploying new nano actuation technology on each read/write arm assembly.

Seagate has also introduced a number of refined technologies to help improve overall performance, including dual core, 40nm processor technology, DDR2 DRAM and refined caching algorithms.

With the introduction of the new Barracuda, Seagate will be phasing out the 5900RPM Barracuda Green product line. This decision reflects the fact that low-power, or reduced-RPM, hard drives in the desktop market do not save enough electricity to justify the performance penalty. Seagate's analysis demonstrates that a reduced RPM hard drive saves only 20 to 40 cents per year in electricity cost at a cost of 20% to 40% in reduced performance. The 7200RPM Barracuda hard drives enable higher user productivity, delivering more value.Seagate-Logo-250px.png

Source: Seagate Technology



# RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Doug Dallam 2011-11-01 13:36
I just finished retesting my two Western Digital Caviar 640 Blacks and used a lot of the same tools you did. (My reasons weren't to compare this drive but other tests I was doing unrelated.)

One of the things I wanted to do was test using real files. I chose to use a folder with 6GB of jpg/RAW/and video files. I then compressed that entire folder into a solid RAR archive and tested with that as well. Synthetic benches are fun, but real world file transfers can tell a different story.

All in all a tight review, but I'm wondering why you didn't test the drive using real files, say reading from an SSD and writing to it?
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Olin Coles 2011-11-01 13:53
I could have used real files, but felt I already had enough tests completed to illustrate performance. When you use real files, they must be the exact same files every time. Compressed files (mov/avi/mpg/etc) also skew results depending on the SSDs used.
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Doug Dallam 2011-11-01 14:07
When you say "skew" results, you mean because SSDs take into consideration compressible files as opposed to uncompromisable files? If so, that's why I created a compressed RAR file and the folder with loose files in it. It would have just been nice to see two real world file transfer scenarios, as per above. Maybe I'm off base here. If so, disregard.
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# Uncontrolled VariabilityBruce 2011-11-01 18:09
I've done some comparisons like this during my NAS tests: "Instead of one 10 GB file, the green portion of the chart shows what happens when transferring 4,793 items totaling 6.5GB from the PC to the NAS. If you're going to use any NAS for basic backup duties, this is the kind of action it's going to see." My informal tests showed that the real-world examples introduced too much variation in the results, making comparisons difficult and/or misleading.

Still, I get your point, and I also wish there was a way to use a standardized set of test files, that everyone could agree on.
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# RE: Uncontrolled VariabilityDoug Dallam 2011-11-02 03:30
Since here only two drives were being compared to each other, the same files could have been used for both drives. One, as explained above, multiple file, and the other one large file. Because as you point out, drives act differently depending on what is being transferred.

I suppose you could save those same files and use them to test other drives also, albeit, with the same drive and rig set up. Or, one could test a number of drives using the same files on any rig, as long as the host drive, to prevent bottlenecking, is faster than the drive being tested. That SSD Olin tested recently would have been a good contender for the host drive, since it is the fastest SSD currently commercially available to the public.
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001ersan 2011-11-30 04:40
does this drive work with sata 2 raid controllers?
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Olin Coles 2011-11-30 08:54
Yes, SATA 6Gb/s is backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s.
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# Sales RepDavid carr 2012-01-30 07:53
I have both the Workstation and the Sabertooth motherboards with the P55 chipset and if they are the same as the X79 the Sabertooth compared to the Workstation are the same my p55's. The Sabertooth was able to OC 300 mhz more then the workstation 4.3Ghz for the Workstation comaper to the Sabertooth able to clock to 4.6Ghz.
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