Seagate 1 Terabyte Barracuda 7200.11 Review

Admin - 2008-01-03 11:56:44 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 4, 2008
Price: $328.00 USD

Introduction:

My first computer was a Commodore VIC 20; back then there was no such thing as a hard drive and you were lucky if your parents could afford to buy the tape drive just so that you could store some small programs you found in the manual that came with the machine. By the way, the programs were in code, so you had to write them on to the tape drive. I guess it was a good way of learning how to program, but it took forever since half the time while entering the data I missed some comma, backslash or switch. My next computer was a TI 286; things were a little better with the introduction of the five and a half inch floppy drive, but not much changed as you either had to write a program yourself or spend a fortune purchasing one.

As time progressed, things did get better and one day, I even saw this new piece of hardware called a hard drive. At first, I was very reluctant to purchase one since I had become so accustomed to my floppy. I could remember telling a friend, “that will never catch on, it’s too big and you can’t use it in someone else’s computer like a floppy.” Luckily, I was wrong and now I don’t know what I would do without my hard drive. Since their debut, hard drives have evolved and become smaller, faster and now can hold up to a terabyte of data, a big change compared to my first hard drive, which I think was about twenty megabytes.

The Seagate 1 Terabyte Barracuda 7200.11 which has a SATA 3Gb/s NCQ interface, is Seagate's answer to the growing problem of data storage. The 1 Terabyte Barracuda comes complete with Seagate's second generation of perpendicular recording and offers a 105Mb/s sustained data rate with 32MB of cache. So how will the Seagate 1 Terabyte Barracuda 7200.11 perform?

 

Closer Look:

There is really nothing fancy about the packaging of an OEM hard drive. The Seagate 1 Terabyte Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 3Gb NCQ was sent in a brown box filled with some peanuts and anti-static bubble wrap with the hard drive itself sealed in an anti-static bag. Many may think that since the hard drive has such a large capacity it would be a lot bigger than it actually is but that is not the case; it is as long and as wide as 90% of the hard drives available today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interface is SATA.

Installation:

Installing a hard drive is not very hard now that most hard drive bays are screwless. Just figure out what slot you want to place it in and either attach the pinned clips, or if you're really lucky, you'll have a hard drive bay where all you'll need to do is slide it in until it clicks. From there, just connect your SATA cable to the motherboard and hard drive, followed by an SATA power cable from your power supply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifications:

 

Specifications
1000 GB
Model Number
ST31000340AS
Interface
SATA NCQ
Cache
32 MBytes
Capacity
1000 GB
Guaranteed Sectors
1,953,525,168
PHYSICAL
 
  Height
(max)26.1 mm  (1.028 inches)
Width
(max)101.6 mm  (4.010 inches)
Length
(max)146.99 mm  (5.787 inches)
Weight
(typical)655 grams (1.466 pounds)
PERFORMANCE
 
Spindle Speed
7,200 rpm
Average latency
4.16 msec
Random seek time
< 8.5 ms
Random seek write time
< 9.5 ms
RELIABILITY
 
Annual Failure Rate
0.34%
POWER
 
Maximum start current, DC
2.80 amps

Testing:

To test all hard drives, OverclockersClub uses HD Tune and Si Software Sandra (File System and Physical Disk).

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison System:

 

Benchmarks:

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

 

Conclusion:

So what are you actually receiving for the money you need to spend on a Seagate 1 TB Barracuda 7200.11 is performance, storage speed and reliability. My 750GB Barracuda is two years old and I have not had a problem with it, while I have RMAed two Western Digital and four Maxtors in that period of time. With the type of work I do, I need a hard drive that will not break down since I can sometimes reformat once a week.

The Seagate 1TB drive swept all the other drives in the HD tune benchmark and took two out of four in the Sandra benchmark, which gives an overall total of about 80% in the win column. The 1 TB Barracuda is a second generation perpendicular recording drive, hence the 7200.11 as opposed to the 7200.10 that the 750GB Barracuda, so this could possibly be the reason why it does a little better than its little brother. Or could it be that my 750GB drive is starting to wear down a little considering the punishment I’ve put it through.

What is the reasoning for benchmarking three Seagate drives and one Western Digital? Well, preference. I have had the least number of problems with Seagate drives in the last two years, as they usually have bigger caches and have drives with the most storage capacity. I also wanted to compare the three different cache sizes; the 1 TB drive has 32MB of cache, the 750GB has 16MB as well as the Western Digital, and the 320GB has 8MB. Now maybe when looking at the benchmarks, things may make a little more sense, but what has been proven again and again is that more cache equals better performance. I also feel that the price of the drive is reasonable. Other manufacturers do produce TB drives, but some don't have 32MB of cache, or perpendicular recording, and for a drive that has both, it is still competitive with the others.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: