A few months ago, we evaluated the 1-terabyte (TB) Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA hard drive. We found the drive to offer many positive features in addition to its massive capacity. In this article, we'll be looking at Seagate's flagship enterprise-class, mass storage solution, the 1TB Barracuda ES.2 SATA hard drive.
While the Barracuda 7200.11 and ES.2 are almost identical drives, there are some important differences to highlight between them. For instance, the 7200.11 has a mean time between failure (MTBF) rating of 750,000 hours while the ES.2 boasts a superior and more server-oriented MTBF of 1.2 million hours. Essentially, this means the ES.2 should be a more reliable drive that is less likely to fail. Additionally, the ES.2 is designed with a much higher rotational vibration tolerance than the 7200.11, which is necessary for the ES.2 to maintain optimal performance when it is next to a bunch of other drives in large storage arrays in server racks.
Seagate is very proud of the Barracuda ES.2 line, so we thought we'd share the company's own thoughts about the drives:
The Barracuda ES.2 drive is the perfect solution for high-capacity enterprise storage applications such as the migration of mission-critical transactional data, from tier 1 to tier 2 (nearline) storage, where dollars/GB and GB/watt are a primary concern. With energy-saving PowerTrim features, superior rotational vibration tolerance and a choice of SATA or SAS interfaces, the Barracuda ES.2 drive provides world-leading technology and value.
To see just how well the 1TB Barracuda ES.2 drive performs, we will be comparing it to several other 7,200 RPM large capacity drives and one 10,000 RPM drive. Before we get to that though, let's take a look at the 1TB Barracuda ES.2's specifications and features.
Capacity: 1 TB (1000 GB)
Interface: SATA 3Gb/s
Spindle Speed: 7200 RPM
Cache Buffer: 32 MB
Number Of Platters: 4 (250 GB each)
Bytes Per Sector: 512
Height: 26.11 mm
Length: 146.99 mm
Width: 101.6 mm
Weight: 0.530 kg
Average Read/Write (msec): 8.5/9.5
Track-to-Track Read/Write (msec): 0.8/1.0
Average Latency (msec): 4.16
Maximum Internal (Mb/s): 1287
Maximum Sustained (MB/s): 105
Acoustics Idle (bels—sound power): 2.7
Rotational Vibration @ 1500 Hz max (Rad/sec2): 12.5
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours): 1.2 million
Reliability Rating at Full 24x7 Operation (AFR): 0.73%
Nonrecoverable Read Errors per Bits Read: 1 sector per 10E15
Error Control/Correction (ECC): 10 bit
Limited Warranty (years): 5
Typical: 11.6 watts
Idle Average: 8.0 watts
As you probably expected, the Barracuda ES.2 is a normal looking drive despite its large 1TB capacity and enterprise-class status. In the images above and the image below, you can see that the connectors are limited to the essential SATA data and power connectors.
You may also have noticed four pins to the right of the data connector in the picture above. The jumper was removed before these shots were taken, but the drive comes with a small, half-height jumper installed on two of the pins (we would prefer to see a full-size jumper since the half-height one is somewhat difficult to remove). The jumper placement determines whether the drive operates at 1.5 Gb/s or 3.0 Gb/s (as shown on the drive in the picture of the label above). If you have an older motherboard that does not include support for SATA 3.0 Gb/s, then you should go ahead and keep the jumper installed to ensure compatibility. Otherwise, you will want to remove the jumper to maximize performance.