Performance Summary:You can't help but be impressed with the performance of the Seagate Barracuda ES. Historically, hard drive vendors have created a product which focuses either on performance or on capacity. Those which opted for the higher capacity drives often found themselves with less than stellar performance compared with the smaller drives which were tweaked for the highest possible performance. Thankfully, those days appear to be gone as the Seagate Barracuda ES and its non-enterprise Barracuda 7200.10 counterpart offer excellent performance along with their monstrous 750GB capacities.
|Barracuda ES||Barracuda 7200.10|
|Rotational Vibration Profile||20-800Hz||10-300Hz|
|Read/Write Power Consumption||13.0W||12.6W|
Each of the latest Barracuda drives from Seagate offer a wealth features which contribute to their excellent performance, such as a hefty 16MB of cache and support for 3GB/s SATA II. In fact, the Barracuda ES is the same physical drive as the Barracuda 7200.10 except it has rotational vibration sensors to compensate for motion and firmware specifically optimized for the enterprise environment. As a result, the Barracuda ES can offer best-in-class tolerance to rotational vibration and can offer such features as Error Recovery Control to preserve RAID arrays in the event of a major issue.
Taking a look at our Pricegrabber engine, we see that the Barracuda ES can be found online as cheap as $450. In somewhat stark contrast, the 750GB Barracuda 7200.10 is $334. Looking back at the negligible performance variance between the two drives in nearly all benchmarks, it is tough if not impossible for the average consumer to justify the more than $100 premium the Barracuda ES commands over the Barracuda 7200.10 (previously reviewed here). However, those who are in the IT field could very easily justify the cost of some of the advanced enterprise features of the Barracuda ES. Here, the extremely high MTBF and robust rotational vibration tolerance of the drive are exactly what the doctor ordered for those entrenched in a mission-critical server or workstation environment. Therefore, the attractiveness of this drive will vary greatly depending on the given application and the thickness of one's wallet. For the standard user who is looking to give their system a healthy boost in both performance and capacity, the 750GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 is an excellent choice with a reasonable price. However, for those who are toying in the enterprise market and place a high premium on drive reliability and stability, the Barracuda ES is an exceptional choice. In either event, Seagate's latest efforts in the realm of perpendicular recording have produced an excellent update to the Barracuda family of hard drives. As a result, we're awarding the Barracuda ES an 8.5 on the Hot Hardware Heat Meter.