Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB Hard Drive Reviewajmatson - February 6, 2011
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
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Drives have been exploding in size in the last year or so and with that comes speed improvements. Drive manufacturers are constantly making improvements to both hardware and software technology which keeps us on the cutting edge. Not so long ago the rave was high speed 10,000 RPM drives that blew our socks off but were limited on capacity. Recently the SSD market took off again giving us blazing speed with lower power consumption but are still plagued with limited storage space and even higher prices. People loved the speeds but were screaming for capacity as well. Since flash chips are still expensive, the next best thing are low power high capacity drives. Either as your main drive or as a complement to your high end SSD, the "Green" drives offer large amounts of storage with lower operating costs.
Since the creation of the hard drive in the 1950's the densities were grouped into 512 byte sectors. With the evolution of hard drives and their capacity the old 512 byte sectors were lagging behind. This need for a change prompted the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (IDEMA) to come up with the Long Data Sector Committee in 2000. Almost 11 years later the committee finished the new 4K sector design dubbed 'Advanced Format' for the new technology that will cover the generations of Long Sector technology.
There are three categories for generation one drives. The first is 512 emulation (512e) which the drive had 4K physical sectors but translate them into 512 bytes for the host. The second is Native 4K (4Kn) which has the physical 4K sectors on the drive which are reported as 4K sectors to the host. The last configuration is 4K Read Host (Client devices only) which is a host system which works equally well with older 512 and 512e disk drives. Seagate is taking this new technology a bit further with their own Smart Align design which keeps data aligned together for faster access and read/write times.
Today we are going to be looking at the new Seagate Barracuda Green Advanced Format drive. To help better explain what Advanced Format with Smart align is Seagate has created a short video that I wanted to share with you.
The Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB drive, model number ST2000DL003-9VT166, looks like any other desktop drive on the outside. Where the magic happens is on the inside. This beast not only has a high two terabyte storage capacity but it also packs a 64MB cache, uses a SATA 6Gbps interface and the first 5900 RPM spin speed, all in a power saving design aimed at those who want speed with efficiency without paying a lot for it. The Barracuda Green idles at 4.5 watts and has an average power consumption of 5.8 watts. With all of this running in your head let's take the hype and put it to the test.
Now that we have seen the physical part of the Seagate Barracuda Green drive let's get on to the testing.