If you’re in the market for a replacement hard drive and its been a while since you actually bought one, you’re probably wondering why your old 160GB hard drive is nowhere to be found. Truly, the market of mechanical hard drive is only going one way and that’s bigger and bigger capacity. This is the only way they’ll be able to keep up with today’s high speed SSDs in terms of performance. But still, its all about capacity in some respects, and people will always want the largest they can grab to hold the ever growing amount of data they have. Today we’ll be looking at Seagate’s latest offering, a big one at that, the Barracuda XT 3TB 3.5″ internal hard drive. We’ll take this storage behemoth to good round of testing to see if its got the performance to back-up its large capacity. More after the cut and let’s make this showy!
Barracuda XT SATA 6Gb/s 3TB Hard Drive
|Areal density (avg)||347Gb/in2|
|Height||26.1mm (1.028 in)|
|Width||101.6mm (4.0 in)|
|Length||146.99mm (5.787 in)|
|Weight (typical)||700g (1.543 lb)|
|Spin Speed (RPM)||7200 RPM|
|Sustained data transfer rate||138Mb/s|
|Random read seek time||8.5ms|
|Random write seek time||9.5ms|
|I/O data transfer rate||600MB/s|
|Unrecoverable read errors||1 in 1014|
|12V start max current||2.8A|
|Average idle power||6.39W|
|Average operating power||9.23W|
|Maximum operating temperature change||20Â°C per hour|
|Maximum nonoperating temperature change||30Â°C per hour|
|Operating Shock (max)||63 Gs for 2ms|
|Nonoperating Shock (max)||300 Gs for 2ms|
|Acoustics (Idle Volume)||2.8 bels|
|Acoustics (Seek Volume)||3.2 be|
- The combination of SATA 6Gb/s interface and 7200 RPM spindle speed delivers top notch performance needed by todayâ€™s high-end computers
- 64MB cache optimizes burst performance and reduces data throughput bottlenecks
- Large drive capacity provides plenty of room for space-hungry PC games and high-definition video
- Native Command Queuing dramatically increases performance by organizing incoming commands in the most efficient order
- Perpendicular recording technology increases performance and reliability by aligning the data bits vertically on the disk
- Works with both PC and MacÂ® desktop computers
- Fully compatible with legacy SATA 1.5Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s interfaces
- High-end computers
- Gaming rigs
- Multi-media workstations
- Entry-level servers
At first glance, the Barracuda XT is pretty much like any other mechanical drive you have. But you don’t buy a drive to show it off, it stores data. And the platters inside do that. Five 600GB platters are inside the Barracuda to give you 3TB of storage. One thing about multi-platter design is the more you have, the larger the power draw. As can be seen up in the specs sheet up there, this particular drive averages about 9.3W, which compared to the only competitor the Barracuda has, the Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB which has a four platter (750GB each) design, is a bit higher but the fact that the WD offering is only 5400RPM vs. the 7200RPM of the Barracuda, it goes without saying you need that additional power draw to sustain those speeds.
Intel DP67BG with Core i7 2600K
Corsair 8GB DDR3-1333
Thermaltake Litepower 700W
Inno3D GeForce GTX570
Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB
We test out the read speed of the Barracuda XT using HD Tach. Running the long test, we see our drive averaging out at 140MB per second. Paying attention to the graph above, we see reads dropping around the 2TB mark but suddenly picking and maxing a few GBs after that. Average read speed is more relevant than burst speed in terms of regular operations and at 140MB/s this is one very fast drive.
Again, putting up impressive numbers, the Barracuda XT 3TB write prowess is nothing short of amazing. Similar to our read test, the Barracudaâ€™s numbers only went down around the 2TB point. We used HD Tune Pro to achieve this numbers, sending the drive offline and removing all partitions on it.
Crystal DiskMark is a hard disk benchmark suite designed to quickly evaluate drive performance. For this test we leave the number of test runs to the default settings (5).
The Barracuda XT once again puts up impressive numbers in the read portion of the test as well as its impressive sequential read/write performance. This balances out its below average 4K write performance.
AS-SSD is a benchmark suite targeted at solid state drives but is very capable of testing out any drive although tests will take longer to finish.
One thing immediately clear in this test, as the same with the earlier test, is that the Barracuda XTâ€™s small file performance leaves a lot to be desired for a modern drive.
With only the Western Digital 3TB Green as its only competitor out in the 3TB market as of this writing, it is without a doubt that Seagateâ€™s Barracuda XT 3TB is the top dog in the high capacity market. Although it might be on top, it is not perfect.
Compared to an SSD, the Barracuda XT doesnâ€™t even stand a chance in performance but as for capacity and price per GB, the Barracuda XT canâ€™t be beat. With massive size, as well as impressive performance in the majority of our tests, it simply is that good. A good competition for it would be WDâ€™s Black 3TB when and if they roll it out. But until then, the Barracuda XT owns the performance crown in 3TB territory.
Coming down to pricing, the Barracuda XT goes for around â‚±11,000 which is a rather steep asking price for a non-SSD solution. Three Seagate XT 1TB can be had for around â‚±9,600 but this does not factor in the performance bonus the 3TB variant brings.
In closing, we can easily recommend the Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB for anyone interested in acquiring the largest capacity, high-performance drive out right now. Its small file performance is a minor issue, and obtaining a large drive such as this usually dictates that the user intends it for large file storage. So again, if you are looking for the highest capacity single drive out right now, look no further than the Barracuda XT 3TB. It simply is the fastest and largest out right now.