Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5 Terabyte Review

ccokeman - 2008-10-15 22:37:30 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: November 19, 2008
Price: $159.99

Introduction:

You really have to wonder when the need for hard drive space began to start skyrocketing. Although I got into this hobby/addiction later than some, I remember my first hard drive being in the realm of 500 megabytes. Coupled up with my 486 DX2 processor, I had a state of the art rig for the time, or so I thought. That time has long since gone the way of the dinosaurs. Fast forward to 2008. With all of the digital media content available to us in the form of pictures, home videos, music and more, there has to be a means to store our now digitized lives. Hard drive manufacturers have answered the calls for more "space" by steadily increasing the drive capacities to the point where we now have drives with 1.5 Terabytes of storage space. 1.5 Terabytes of space. Do you really know how much this is? To put this in perspective, that is 1,500 gigabytes or 1,500,000 megabytes. Every one of those MP3 files you have range in the 2 to 4MB range, each picture depending on your digital camera be up to 6MB. So how many of each does it take to fill this drive up? Quite a few.

The Seagate 1.5 Terabyte drive is the largest drive in its class and features a 7200RPM spindle speed, 32MB cache and the now proven perpendicular magnetic recording technology. Additionally, this drive in an idle state consumes up to 43 percent less power than previous generations of this Seagate hard drive. Add in the five year warranty and it looks like one heck of a product. Let's see if the 1.5 Terabyte Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 performs as well as or better than the last Seagate Drive tested here on OCC.

Closer Look:

The external view is not much different from one hard drive to the next. Pretty much an aluminum and steel enclosure that protects the platters and mechanisms inside from both the elements and any significant jolts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Seagate 1.5 Terabyte drive uses an SATA interface to receive and deliver data. There is a jumper block if you need to limit the speed of the drive to a 1.5 GB/s transfer rate, mainly on older technology motherboards

 

 

Now let's see what it's got under the hood!

 

Specifications:

Specifications
Interface
SATA 3Gb/s NCQ
Cache (MB)
32, 16 and 8
Sustained Data Rate (MB/s)
up to 120
Spindle Speed (RPM)
7200
Shock, Operating:
2 ms (Gs) up to 65
Shock, Nonoperating:
1 ms (Gs) up to 350
Acoustics, Idle (bels)
2.7 (1.5 TB, 1 TB, 750 GB and 640 GB)
2.5 (500, 320 and 160 GB)
Acoustics, Seek (bels)
2.9 (1.5 TB, 1 TB and 750 GB)
2.8 (640 GB and 500 GB)
2.6 (320 and 160 GB)
Operating Temperature (°C)
0 to 60
MTBF (hours)
750,000
Annualized Failure Rate (AFR)
0.34%

 

Features:

 

 

 All information on this page courtesy of Seagate @ http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_barracuda_7200_11.pdf

 

Testing:

To test the capabilities of the Seagate 1.5 Terabyte hard drive I will use several benchmarks to test the performance of the drive. I will use SiSoft Sandra 2009 using the File System and Physical Disk benchmarks. I will use HDTune 2.55 to guage performance and compare the results of the comparison drives.

 

 

Comparison Hard Drives:

 

Benchmarks:

  1. HDTune 2.55
  2. SISoft Sandra 2009

 

Testing:

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

 

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.

 

File System

 

Physical Disks

 

 

As you can see from the results in both HDTune and SiSoft Sandra 2009, the 1.5 Terabyte drive offers some improvements in performance over the 1TB drive while falling slightly below it in the access time portions of the benchmarking. The SSD from Intel shows superior performance except in the CPU usage and burst speed in HDTune. The inclusion of the SSD is just a look into the future of disk storage solutions.

Conclusion:

As the largest single drive in its class, the Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Terabyte 7200.11 hard drive offers performance equal to or greater than the Seagate 1TB drive. It only falls short in the access time portion of the benchmarking. With that being said, will you notice the difference in real life computing between it and the smaller 1 TB drive? No. It is slower than some of the comparison drives but the average read speeds are significantly higher across the board than the traditional hard drive comparisons. The SSD was included to show what the future might bring once the technology really starts to mature.

If the current trend of digitizing content continues, drives such as the Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB from Seagate will be the norm and not the exception. At $160, the drive will cost you a little more than 10 cents per gigabyte of storage. I remember a time in the not too distant past that a one gigabyte hard drive would cost you in the $150 plus range! Boy, have we come a long way in terms of costs per gigabyte of storage. At this point the cost for the amount of storage space on this drive represents an excellent value for what you get. Reliability is a long term proposition. For this all i can say is I will revisit this article in the future as the testing continues since this drive will join the hard drive currently in my test rig (Seagate Barracuda 1TB) and endure the continuous reformats and day to day torture testing the other drive has endured. If this drive handles long term the way its smaller counterpart has, I don't see reliability as a concern. If it still is a concern, then the five year warranty should ease your mind. In five years we will be looking at even larger drives as the technology allows. The reality is that I have only had one drive fail on me out of roughly 70 drives that have rolled through my hands over the years. In fact, I have a 6.4GB Seagate drive that toils away day in and day out in a Folding@Home rig sitting on the shelf. Nuff said! If you want a high performing drive that offers the largest storage capacity in its class coupled with performance equal to or better than the smaller drives, then the 11th generation Seagate Barracuda 1.5 Terabyte drive is for you. It's the perfect mix of performance and storage size that can be used in any type of system from a work station up to high end gaming rigs.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: