Seagate’s Barracuda XT has two terabytes, 6Gbps SATA

Western Digital has slowly massaged its desktop hard drives into three categories: high-performance Black drives, mainstream Blue models, and energy-efficient Greens. Seagate has now followed suit with a three-tiered approach of its own, with the Barracuda LP covering the low-power crowd, the Barracuda 7200 filling in for the bulk of the market, and a new high-end XT variant for gamers and enthusiasts.

The first and so far only member of the Barracuda XT family is a 2TB model packed with 500GB platters spinning at 7,200 RPM. Although there are twice as many this time around, the platters are similar to the media Seagate used in its 1TB Barracuda 7200.12. The XT has been bumped up to 64MB of cache and a five-year warranty, though.

So far, the XT’s specs look similar to those of the Caviar Black 2TB that Western Digital announced earlier this month. However, the Barracuda has an ace up its sleeve: support for 6Gbps host-to-disk transfer rates. Seagate has equipped its latest flagship to handle next-gen SATA transfer rates, and it says the XT’s cache is fast enough to take advantage of the additional bandwidth. Unfortunately, the new drive’s physical media isn’t; Seagate quotes a maximum sustained data rate of around 140MB/s for the new ‘cuda.

With a suggested retail price of a penny under $300, the Barracuda XT won’t be cheap. But then it shouldn’t cost more than the 2TB Caviar Black, which has the same official asking price. Seagate says the Barracuda XT starts shipping to the distribution channel today. We’ll have a full review just as soon as we can get our hands on a drive.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    after being screwed with the slow 7200.10 AAK revision, I’d probably buy these when hell freezes over. Fool me once, shame on you seagate!

    • stmok
    • 10 years ago

    6Gbps SATA on a drive that can hit 140MB/s…Sounds like for marketing reasons than anything else. => Gimmick. *yawn*

    Why is Seagate still holding onto HDDs? Shouldn’t they push for some SSDs that could potential take advantage of the 6Gbps SATA interface?

    (Maybe do some serious R&D on addressing the finite write weakness of SSDs in general? Help push the market into more affordable SSDs for the consumer?)

    • Vaughn
    • 10 years ago

    Agree with Post #1, and weeee 6Gbps on a drive that can’t even come close to hitting the speed.

    Goes back to bed!

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    Why give it a 6Gbps interface? It will never utilize that much bandwidth even in a nested RAID configuration.

      • 0g1
      • 10 years ago

      Because of the cache. Don’t you read?

        • Krogoth
        • 10 years ago

        Cache does not work that way. It just helps mask the latency of HDD (it helps more with RAIDs).

        HDDs have always been bottleneck by the areal density of their platters and speed of mechanical components.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          Wrong. A 6 Gb/s interface will allow the drive to have higher cache burst transfer spikes, but of course you’re not going to notice much of a difference overall.

            • Vaughn
            • 10 years ago

            So basically it will give you nice benchmark scores, but you don’t actually feel a difference when using the drive at the desktop. Another one of those nice to have but not really useful features. The only thing that will benefit from this interface is SSD’s and future products, interface wise Mechanical hard drives are done for improvements I would think.

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            It’s possible that it helps in real world scenarios, but the effect is probably next to indetectible from a user’s point of view. That makes it about as useful as DDR3 at speeds lower than 1333 MHz (read: not much).

            • Krogoth
            • 10 years ago

            I honestly doubt this drive hits 3Gbps (300MBs) in burst let alone 6Gbps (600MBs). It just more marketing fluff and BS to fool people into thinking it is faster.

            6Gbps should be on a performance SSD not a HDD.

      • dermutti
      • 10 years ago

      Because they need to test their new interface and they want to do it on a product that has high margins so as to recoup the development costs as quickly as possible.

      Also: Its another marketing point.

      • bthylafh
      • 10 years ago

      Same reason video-card makers put 512MB on low-end GPUs.

      • TechNut
      • 10 years ago

      It’s to better compete with SAS which offers 12Gbps links today.

      Users of port multipliers in drive enclosures will also benefit. Today, most 4 drive and larger enclosures that use SATA , use a 4×1 port multiplier. This typically means 4 drives share a 3Gbps link. With the 6Gbps standard, it will raise the minimum bandwidth per drive to 1.5Gbps which is what the drive media can sustain today. This will certainly benefit RAID users in this configuration.

      Normal desktop drives, which are not particularly stressed out, will see no real change, except better latency on 6Gbps signalling. Besides, the pesky PC DMI link from the Southbridge really limits what can be done anyway. It’s typically a 2GB/s link and that can get saturated with a few drives, a couple NICs and a sound card.

    • TravelMug
    • 10 years ago

    Over in one. Nicely done!

    • rhysl
    • 10 years ago

    Key point to take from this Article!!!

    r[

      • just brew it!
      • 10 years ago

      Umm… so they slapped a 6 Gbps SATA port on the thing, and — lo and behold — the platters can’t sustain a high enough transfer rate to saturate it. The sustained transfer rate of current drives doesn’t even saturate a *[<3<]* Gbps interface. So how is this at all surprising, let alone a "key point"? It's exactly what you'd expect.

        • way2strong
        • 10 years ago

        I think that was his point. Since it doesn’t saturate even the 3Gbps link then it isn’t actually a feature which separates it from WD’s drive.

    • edh
    • 10 years ago

    (oops … was intended to be a response to #4)

    The big thing is that WHEN a problem occurs, it needs to be addressed immediately and without obfuscation. Seagate’s denial that their problem existed for so long — and its extent when the finally began mumbling about it being limited and minor — is what caused their reputation the most damage.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This