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Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Review

ccokeman    -   June 1, 2011
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Conclusion:

The Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB drive is the next progression up the scale in terms of performance and just raw capacity. With three terabytes of storage space, this drive can hold just about anything you can throw at it, from music to movies to those treasured family photos. Using it as a storage drive will add storage capacity for your system, but using it as the boot drive will allow programs to load faster with its higher burst speeds and sustained data transfer speeds of up to 138Mb/s. During the testing, this drive delivered close to this number in the benchmark testing. In the majority of the testing, the 3TB drive was faster than the previous generation drives, including the earlier implementation of the 6Gb/s interface used on Seagate's 2TB Barracuda XT drive. Now, all this space does not come without its fair share of intricacies, due to the 2.2 TB limitation in legacy operating systems and PC architecture. Earlier operating systems (ie. Windows XP) cannot use the drive as the primary boot drive unless using Seagate's DiscWizard software to access the additional capacity. However, even with Windows 7 and current hardware, there are specific limitations to be able to use the entire capacity under one partition. You will need to have a motherboard with an Unified Extensible Firmware Interface BIOS and have to format the drive with a GUID Partition table. Simple enough if you have the hardware capable of using it. If not, their DiscWizard software is a viable solution to access the additional drive capacity.

Pricing for the 3TB drive comes in currently at $189, so it is priced competitively in the segment. Considering that a 1TB drive can be had for less than $70, the cost per TB drops with the addition of capacity. Pairing this drive with a Z68 motherboard and a small SSD using Intel's Smart Response technology, would allow both the increased capacity we all want with the responsiveness of an SSD once the technology learns your most used applications. Ultimately, the Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB drive exceeds expectations by delivering a higher level of performance with the extra capacity needed as we progress to ever larger file sizes for our digital media. Higher sustained data flow and an overall improvement in responsiveness are the hallmarks of this drive. Add in a small SSD for some Smart caching on an Intel Z68 based motherboard and you should have the best of both worlds — speed and capacity.

 

Pros:

  • Large Capacity
  • Performance
  • Software utility to take advantage of operating system limitations
  • SATA 6Gb/s interface

 

Cons:

  • Measured access times
OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup
  4. Testing: HD Tune
  5. Testing: HD Tach , SiSoft Sandra 2011
  6. Testing Crystal Disk Mark
  7. Testing: ATTO
  8. Testing: AS SSD
  9. Testing: IO Meter
  10. Testing: PCMark Vantage
  11. Testing: Windows Startup & Shutdown
  12. Conclusion
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