Seagate Intros World-Beating 2TB Barracuda XT HDD: 7200RPM, 6Gb/sec SATA

We've seen plenty of innovation this autumn already, but it seems that increased speed is the next bandwagon to hop on. With USB 3.0 about to take over where USB 2.0 left off, Seagate is saying goodbye, for at least one of their hard drives, to that "sluggish" 3Gbit/sec transfer technology.

Today, the company began shipping the world’s fastest, largest-capacity mainstream desktop hard drive: the Barracuda XT. While other 2TB drives have remained appealing with slower spindle speeds but lower power consumption as well (recall WD's 2TB Caviar Black, full review soon!) , Seagate is making the competition look a few steps behind with its 7200RPM beast that supports a new faster interface as well. Not only does this 3.5" consumer drive provide 2TB of storage and a speedy 7200RPM spindle speed, but it also features a 6Gb/second SATA interface.

Seagate designed this one to "meet the capacity demands of gaming, digital video-environments and other storage-hungry desktop computing applications while delivering the highest performance in its class," and at least on paper, we see no reason to not believe 'em. With high-end outfits shipping desktop-centric RAID SSD solutions, it was only a matter of time before HDD vendors stepped up their efforts to add a pinch of speed. The Barracuda XT, a four-platter drive featuring an areal density of 368 Gigabits per square inch, delivers the highest performance with burst speeds of up to 6 Gigabits per second.  For all PC applications, it also maintains backward compatibility with the SATA 3Gb/second and SATA 1.5Gb/second interfaces, and uses the same cables and connectors as previous SATA generations to ease integration and upward migration.

Of course, you'll need a SATA 6Gb/s motherboard (currently available from Asus and Gigabyte) in order to fully take advantage of the speed, but hey, look at it as the perfect excuse to finally splurge on that system upgrade you've been meaning to get to.   Seagate's new 'Cuda should a star of the show out at IDF this week and it's weighing in a an MSRP of just $299 for 2TB of goodness...

"Capacity and performance remain the defining attributes of hard drives for PC gamers, digital multimedia content developers and many other customers requiring high-end systems at home and in the office," said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing at Seagate. "Seagate is meeting these requirements with the first 7200RPM desktop hard drive to combine 2TB of storage capacity with the fastest Serial ATA interface to date."

With Barracuda XT drives and SATA 6Gb/s motherboards from ASUS and Gigabyte, computer makers can build the highest-performance PCs, workstations and entry-level servers. ASUS was first to market with a SATA 6Gb/s motherboard; the company's P7P55D Premium began shipping in August. The new GIGABYTE P55 series GA-P55-Extreme motherboards are also now shipping.