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3 TB: Seagate Barracuda (ST3000DM001)

Hitachi's 4 TB Hard Drives Take On The 3 TB Competition
By , Achim Roos

Seagate’s Barracuda brand has been around for 15 years. The first Barracuda drive was also the first disk with a spindle speed of 7200 RPM (though it was only offered in 1.2 and 2.5 GB capacity points sporting a SCSI-2 interface).

Today’s Barracuda sheds all of the product name suffixes that Seagate has used over there years. There was a Barracuda ATA family (from I to V), Barracuda 7200.7 to .12, Barracuda LP at a power-optimized spindle speed (5900 RPM), the Barracuda Green, and finally a Barracuda XT, which was one of the first SATA 6Gb/s-capable models available. Various versions of the Barracuda XT and LP still exist, but the latest family covering all capacity points is simply referred to as Barracuda after all of these years. Our 3 TB sample sells for around $170 (140 Euros in Europe).

There are 250, 320, 500, 750 GB, 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 TB capacities available. Everything from 750 GB and up comes with 64 MB cache memory; the smaller capacities have to live with 16 MB and target low-cost applications with single-platter designs. Perhaps the Barracuda's most interesting attribute is its 1 TB per platter density. This means that the 3 TB drive only uses three platters, while Hitachi's drive requires five to hit the same capacity point. As a result, Seagate's Barracuda 3 TB is the coolest 3 TB hard drive on the market.

One item in the Barracuda's data sheet related to reliability caught our eye. Although the document lists NAS and desktop RAID applications as best-fit applications for Seagate's offering, the specified 2400-hour power-on rating indicates that this drive was not designed for environments requiring 24/7 availability. If that were the case, its specification should say 8760 hours. The 2400-hour specification, which represents only 100 days of continuous operation, assumes that drives are used eight hours per day, five days per week. This means that the drives should take full advantage of any available power-saving technologies that shut down the spindle motor during idle times. This applies equally to desktops and storage servers. Should you decide to use Barracuda drives in a NAS device, for instance, don’t forget to configure its power management appropriately.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 25, 2012 10:37 AM
    100$ per TB. I paid half of that more then a year ago.
  • 11 Hide
    Darkerson , April 25, 2012 5:31 AM
    Nice review. I could use a few of those, but until they have more competition and the prices come down, I can wait.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    jsowoc , April 25, 2012 4:39 AM
    Good review.

    Did you encounter any issues with testing drives this large (they need a GPT vs MBR, and booting from them also requires a specific setup)?
  • -9 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 25, 2012 5:20 AM
    I'm curious, can you install Windows 7 x64 to these 4 TB drives and will the full drive be recognized? With the latest motherboards, of course.

    At that capacity, why bother with 5400 RPM?
  • 11 Hide
    Darkerson , April 25, 2012 5:31 AM
    Nice review. I could use a few of those, but until they have more competition and the prices come down, I can wait.
  • 7 Hide
    blackbirden , April 25, 2012 5:54 AM
    Ony thing i miss from the review is noice level, atleast a subjective one for all who uses them in a htpc or mediastation, do you have any comments on the noice?
  • 5 Hide
    kinggremlin , April 25, 2012 5:56 AM
    Not sure if there is some sort of pricing glitch going on at Newegg right now, but the Hitachi 7K3000 is currently about $400 plus $7 shipping. That's doesn't sound like the value sweet spot this article mentions multiple times for the 3TB capacities. As also mentioned here, for drives this size, speed is not the be-all-end-all. The $300 Hitachi 5400RPM 4TB drive looks like a much better buy than $407 for a 7K3000.
  • 7 Hide
    Achoo22 , April 25, 2012 6:54 AM
    I'm pretty disappointed that there aren't multiple points of note regarding expected drive lifetimes, warranties, and return policies in this roundup.

    I have had an incredible failure rate with hard drives beginning around the time that the move to perpendicular recording became the norm. I am not alone in this regard. I'm pretty sure that the drive manufacturer's are aware of serious reliability issues, but their RMA policies are ridiculous. I would be willing to pay current market prices for a new drive if vendors stepped up their game with quality control and some appropriate policies addressing data security in the event that a drive is returned - the risk of granting someone else access to my banking, tax information, and whatever else was on the failed drive is generally not worth returning the drive. Vendors know this, and take advantage of it. Until the situation changes, or drives return to their previous rock-bottom sale prices, I will do everything in my power to avoid purchasing more hard drives.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 25, 2012 6:55 AM
    I have one 3TB Hitachi and several (>20) 2 TBs mixed from Seagate and WD. I'm impressed with 3TB Hitachi drive, and also I'm very disappointed by Seagate which cut their warranties to 1 year. No more Seagate in my home NAS until they improve the offering. Sorry Seagate, I was a Seagate-only user until you screw up with 7200.11, take advantage of the flooding, rised the prices and cut the warranties.
  • 5 Hide
    Achoo22 , April 25, 2012 6:56 AM
    blackbirdenOny thing i miss from the review is noice level, atleast a subjective one for all who uses them in a htpc or mediastation, do you have any comments on the noice?

    There hasn't been a truly loud hard drive on the market for many years. It shouldn't be an issue.
  • 1 Hide
    outlw6669 , April 25, 2012 7:44 AM
    Achoo22There hasn't been a truly loud hard drive on the market for many years. It shouldn't be an issue.

    My Hitachi 2TB drives beg to differ.
    When they start chugging along, it sounds like a snow plow clearing a parking lot in my room :( 
  • 2 Hide
    jacknoll , April 25, 2012 8:41 AM
    If someone could clear up this thing for me:

    I see two parameters for each drive: The media transfer speed and the I/O performance. The first one sounds like the speed to read/write to the disk. AFAIK, it's the speed at which the drive actually reads/writes bits to/from the surface of the platter. In that case, what does the I/O performance mean? It sounds really similar to read/write, but reading these reviews, I get the feeling there's more to I/O.

    Thanks.
  • 0 Hide
    mapesdhs , April 25, 2012 9:38 AM

    "... while hard drives safeguard our digital memories and databases."

    It doesn't feel like HD vendors are making products suitable for the safe-keeping of data when
    warranties are as little as a year. I'd rather the industry started leaning more towards reliability.
    As drive capacities increase, the consequences of a failure become more serious in terms of the
    amount of data lost (images, video, etc.)

    I was told by a movie studio guy a while ago that they were once supplied with a batch of ordinary
    consumer-type SATA drives by mistake; almost all of them were dead within a week. For Seagate
    (for example), get the models that end with NS if you want reliability, not AS (or try hunting for 15K
    SAS instead).


    Patrick/Aschim, a couple of typos/points:

    - Drive Surface Temperature (C): this should be Celsius, not Centigrade (the latter was
    formally dropped in 1948 to avoid confusion with a term found in Spanish and French for
    angular measurement).

    - IOMeter 2006.07.27 4K Random: should be 'Reads' instead of 'Reades'.

    Ian.

  • -7 Hide
    xtreme5 , April 25, 2012 10:05 AM
    oh my GOD! guys can could 2500k support 4tb or 3tb.
  • 11 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 25, 2012 10:37 AM
    100$ per TB. I paid half of that more then a year ago.
  • 9 Hide
    RCPG , April 25, 2012 11:49 AM
    I would like to see a review of the performance of the new 1 TB VelociRaptor.
  • 2 Hide
    stingstang , April 25, 2012 12:49 PM
    Let's go, tom's. Give us some fun numbers like how much money we would put down for electricity after a year of 24/7 ops with these hard drives, since they're supposed to be used as such.
    Also, review the new velociraptor!
  • 0 Hide
    thezooloomaster , April 25, 2012 12:55 PM
    __-_-_-__100$ per TB. I paid half of that more then a year ago.


    There are two reasons for that. First of all this is a new product, so it doesn't have the best bang-for-buck value out there. If you want the cheapest $/GB HDD you probably need to look at 2TB drives. (I recently saw a 2TB external USB 3.0 drive selling for approx. 110$ ; externals are more expensive than internals)
    The second reason, and Tom's has mentioned this a few times on the website, is due to the flooding in Thailand last year that severely hindered the manufacture of HDDs, so supply was diminished. As far as I know, inflation in HDD prices will still take a few more months to subside.
  • 2 Hide
    nforce4max , April 25, 2012 1:00 PM
    Well not bad but would like to have seen more though, I own three 2TB Hitachi 5400 rpm drives that I bought last September on the cheap. Performance wise they are pretty decent compared to crappy 1tb WD blue editions that I also have. As for benching well slap a os on them and see how they perform then. No where near as good as they had benched empty or with just some static data. As for evolution of performance it is sad to see decade old ide drives offer roughly 1/4 to 1/5 the performance of a modern 1tb sata2 drive. Back to Hitachi they run very cool and are built pretty solid but the newer ones (post flood) seam to not be as good as the old ones like all the other brands. To many doa and far to many slugs that make people want to chew the carpets.
  • 6 Hide
    aevm , April 25, 2012 1:09 PM
    You keep mentioning that fourth gig, or the last gigabyte... That's TB, not GB.
  • 0 Hide
    jonyah , April 25, 2012 3:35 PM
    Thanks for the review. I currently have a server with 4 2Tb Hitachis in it (no more space) and have been trying to decide if I just get an external sata tower to add more drives, or replace what I have. Swapping out a 2Tb drive for the 4Tb is starting to look like a promising solution. No need for another tower, savings on power usage and I can reuse my 2tb in another machine in the house, or just sell it off to help with the higher price of the 4tb.
  • 5 Hide
    madooo12 , April 25, 2012 3:51 PM
    RCPGI would like to see a review of the performance of the new 1 TB VelociRaptor.

    there is on anandtech

    not advertising or anything, just saying a review which is not here is availble there plus I'm not affiliated in any way with them
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