Seagate Barracuda V and SATA 150 Controllers

Seagate Barracuda V and SATA 150 Controllers - Page 1


Seagate's Barracuda V and SATA 150 Controllers
Welcome to Serial ATA - A Performance Analysis

By Dave Altavilla
January 14, 2003


The day has finally come, where we have Serial ATA Hard Drives becoming available on the market.  Never has there been such anticipation regarding a new Hard Drive technology.  In kind, never has there been such an overwhelming "seeding" of a technology by various OEM partners with a new standard like this.  The Serial ATA standard has a ton of horsepower behind it with the likes of Intel, Dell, Maxtor, IBM, Seagate and the list goes on.  As a result, it's no wonder why motherboard OEMs were so quick to offer SATA as an integrated feature on many current generation designs, even if there were virtually no drives available to take advantage of this new interface.  Regardless, the winds of inevitability were blowing in the direction of Serial ATA, so it was time to run the sail up and catch the wave, so to speak. 

Seagate Technology was one of the first Hard Drive OEMs to announce products based on this new standard.  With a long history of innovation in the industry and for building quality products, with brand name recognition, like the "Cheetah", "Barracuda" and "Medalist" product lines, Seagate took the initiative to blaze the trail on SATA technology, that other competitors will surely follow in the near future.  The first SATA Hard Drive to hit our labs, is the Seagate Barracuda V, Seagate's 7200RPM, 8MB Cache model, that comes in both standard ATA100 and now S-ATA 150.  Let's have a look at the particulars.

Specifications of the Seagate Barracuda V SATA 150 Hard Drive
2 big platters, a fast motor and a two lane interface highway
Drive Technology:Capacity and Interface

Formatted Gbytes (512 bytes/sector)
80GB and 120GB Models
Interface Serial ATA
Internal Transfer Rate (Mbits/sec):  570
Max. External Transfer Rate (Mbytes/sec):  150
Avg. Sustained Transfer Rate (Mbytes/sec):  44
Average Seek (msec):  9
Average Latency (msec):  4.16
Multi-segmented Cache:  8192 
Spindle Speed (RPM):  7200
Discs/Heads;  2/3 (80GB model)  2/4  (120GB model)
Bytes per Sector 512
SeaShield System
S.M.A.R.T. Capable
Non-recoverable Read Errors per Bits Read:  1 per 1014
Service Life/Limited Warranty (years):  5/1

Power Requirements
+12 VDC +/-10% (amps typ operating)
+5 VDC +/-5% (amps typ operating)
Power Management (watts)

Seek:  13.5
Read/Write:  13
Idle:  9.5
Standby:  1.8

Operating Temperature (°C):   0 to 60
Nonoperating Temperature (°C):   -40 to 70
Operating Shock (Gs) @ 2 msec:  63
Non Operating Shock (Gs) @ 2 msec:  350
Acoustics,Idle (Bels-typ sound power):  2.5

Physical Dimensions
Height (mm) 26.1
Width (mm) 101.85
Depth (mm) 146.56
Weight (kg) 0.544
Features and Benefits:
  • 7,200 RPM desktop performance
  • 350 Gs non-operating shock
    Protects drive from shock and vibration
  • SeaShield System
    Protects Drive from ESD (electrostatic discharge)
  • DiscWizard software
  • SoftSonic (TM) FDB motor
    Better acoustics
  • 8-Mbyte cache buffer
  • Serial ATA interface
  • 150MB/sec data transfer rates






Generation 1 Generation 2 Generation 3
Data Rate 150 Mbytes/sec 300 Mbytes/sec 600 Mbytes/sec
Approximate Introduction Fall 2002 Mid-2004 Mid-2007

Certainly the general specifications of this new Barracuda, are fairly standard issue, for today's average high end Desktop or Mid Range Workstation drive.  The Barracuda V incorporates a 7200RPM spindle speed, a healthy 8MB of on board buffer cache, large 40 and 60G platters (we tested the 120GB models with 60G platters) and average seek times claimed at 9ms.  There are however, a couple of major differences with this Barracuda, obviously.  First, this drive supports the "Generation 1" Serial ATA Interface.  The roadmap above gives you a quick glimpse on where SATA is heading.  I also invite you to take a look at the Serial ATA Organization's web site.  It is an excellent resource for information on the standard and it's backers.  Grab a couple of the white papers, if you really want to dig in.  As a side note, the Serial ATA specification provides for "Hot Pluggability", which may not be of interest to the average home user but the Web Server crowd will certainly appreciate the feature.



Beyond the obvious interface change on this drive, Seagate has also begun incorporating their new "SeaShield" technology, which we found to be a very simple, elegant advantage over other drives without it.  All SeaSheild is, is a top layer, non-conductive foam pad that is placed over the drives back side PCB area.  It is then covered and held in place by a protective metal plate.  We're not sure why other drive manufacturers haven't done this sort of thing in the past (although some Maxtor and older Quantum products have a partially enclosed backside casing), perhaps it's due to heat or cost considerations or a combination of the two.  However, this feature is obviously an excellent safe-guard against ESD damage during installation or once installed in a system.

Setup, SATA RAID Controllers And Preliminary Testing


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