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Seagate Barracuda ATA II ST330630A, Continued

6 IDE Hard Disc Drives between 15 and 30 GBytes
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We got the latest 30 GByte model from Seagate for this review. As you can already see from the name, the Barracuda ATA II is meant to be the successor to our reference hard drive. The drives comes with 2 MBytes cache memory, which I believe is responsible for the better benchmark results. The ST330630A scores best in most benchmarks. The Western Digital models are slightly faster in the Content Creation Winstone running under Windows 2000 Pro. Nevertheless, the Barracuda ATA II provides the best data transfer rates of this review, making the drive suitable for all applications, which require constant data streams.

The great performance has its price of course, as the new Seagate drive is clearly the hottest one. Being the only drive which heats up to 50 degrees Celsius, my personal advice is to get a hard drive cooling kit. Nothing big, but just enough to reduce the working temperature by a few degrees.

I wasn't surprised to see both those temperature values and some vibrations with this drive, as it makes use of the same aluminum casting case as the predecessor ST320430A. That shows this drive's designation: High end IDE systems. If you want best performance, you will be happy with the Seagate drive. Nevertheless, beginners should maybe go for another drive, as this one needs to be taken care of in order to reduce case vibrations and drive temperature.

Seagate Barracuda ATA II, ST330630A
Capacity 30.6 GBytes
Rotation Speed 7,200 rpm
Average Seek Time 8.2 ms
Cache Memory 2096 kBytes
Warranty 3 years

Detailed specs on the Seagate website.

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