Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB SATA 6G HD Review

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Although Solid State Drives are all the rage lately, they comprise only a fraction of the overall desktop PC storage market. While SSDs are undeniably fast and enhance the overall user experience, they are also prohibitively expensive for many users and offer relatively low capacities. As such, traditional, spinning hard drives, with their huge capacities and low cost per gigabyte, still make up the lion's share of the market.

One of the more interesting hard drives to hit the scene recently is the Seagate Barracuda XT. Its 2TB capacity, 64MB of cache, and 7200 RPM spindle speed will automatically piqué the interest of many enthusiasts. But couple those features with the drive's support for SATA 6G and the story gets all the more interesting.

We've tested the Seagate Barracuda XT while connected to SATA 6G and SATA 3G controllers, and compared its performance to a 2TB drive from WD, and Seagate's own 7200.11 offering. Take a look at the XT's full specs below, then check out the rest of the piece to see just how this drive performs and whether or not it's worth springing for a SATA 6G capable mobo or controller...


The Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB SATA 6G HD

Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Specifications and Features


Our SATA 6G Test Bed

The test the Seagate Barracuda XT, we enlisted the help of Asus and their P7P55D Premium motherboard. Among many other things, the P7P55D Premium sports a Marvell SATA 6G controller, which allowed us to test the Barracuda XT in both SATA 3G and SATA 6G modes on the exact same platform. As its name suggests, the P7P55D Premium is built around Intel's P55 Express chipset for socket 1156 Lynnfield-cased Core i5 / i7 processors. For more information on the P55, please take a look at this article.

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There is definitely demand for drives this size. I have a 7TB NAS device set up and I can easily fill it with pictures, music, and movie rips. A single blu-ray rip, if uncompressed can use upwards of 40GB in many cases. That's only 50 movies.

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Haven't messed with blu-ray rips yet, but 40GB per movie, I can definitely see filling it up. Right now I have nearly 1TB of media (movies mostly), but they aren't much bigger than a couple GB each.

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So Marco, would you say that support for SATA 6g is wasted on this or any traditional hard drive? It seems to me based on the results that the SATA upgrade does little to nothing for Seagate's XT and I suspect this is probably the case for any other traditional drive that spins at 7200 rpm. Perhaps a 10,000 rpm drive or two drives in a raid 0 array may fare better but otherwise, what's the point? I feel like I'm missing something. Good review. I also liked how you set it up so that we could zoom in on each of the graphs independently.  Gracias!

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Well if that is the case but if your using this for a daily rig or gaming there's really no need for 2TB of space :). I got like only around 10-20 Gb of photos, less then 50GB of videos :), 1 movie that's like 1-2Gbs only :) (i don't see a point in keeping movies on my drive after i watched them and most likely never going to watch again Smile) and the rest is programs and files :) if its for a computer i see no point, as for a storage device then ok :)

Marco that's alot of space! :) lol (is the whole thing filled yet? Big Smile)

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I could see them being handy if you wanted to fit them into a HTPC but then again you could use a NAS system which seems more practical.

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Hell, my NAS setup has 4TiB and my system has 1.25TiB of storage. Granted, I'm only using about 300GiB of my systems space, but that is because I move everything that can be run remotely to the NAS.

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At this point, yes, I'd say SATA 6G is wasted on spinning hard drives. When it's native to the chipset, has some time mature, and next-gen drives hit, who knows if that'll still be true. But as of today, it's just a bullet point in the specs.

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I have had both Seagate and Western Digital drives and both performed nice. I have also herd that we cannot saturate the 3gbps spec so the 6gbps must be a selling point. Either way you cannot go wrong like Marco said just stay with the 7200 rpm and you will be alright.

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Nice Hard drive.... and its 7200 rpm I wouldve thought higher

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Who's a Giga What?!

WD...My favorite! I am glad to see the prices coming down on these. Newegg has an Hitachi for 139$

I have two Hatachi's and have never had a problem with them. But I would much rather have WD!

Now with DX11 I am sure you will see bigger file sizes for games so the extra space will come in handy, On the DCC side, this much space is almost essential, when using HDRI's and high poly scenes. When you are doing final renders and working with HD content, just a few minutes of those images takes up a ton of space. And when you start editing and compositing that space doubles, triples...etc.

Now all I need to do is wait around four months and hopefully this one will be around $140 :)

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