According to our PCMark05 results, the Raptor 74 GB ADFD finished second, only 0.6 MB/s off the mark of the Raptor WD1500AD. The Barracuda ES wasn't too far behind, with a respectable transfer rate of 75.3 MB/s.
We've spoken about this before, but here's another example where drive interface bandwidth differences measured between first generation SATA/150 and the newer SATA/300 have little real impact. Our tests also confirm our expectations with regard to the Seagate models; the perpendicular-recording ES realized similar results to those of the original Barracuda 7200.10. The same held true for the Raptor series, except that the WD740ADFD presented scores almost identical to the Raptor 150 GB WD1500AD.
The Raptors are solid drives that continue the high-performance tradition of the Western Digital line, and pump out the numbers we've come to expect. Size differences across the Raptor line should allow users to tailor performance and save a few bucks by going with smaller capacities if they're using the drive to do only their system's "fast work". Seagate showcases solid performance and especially capacious models, which allows users to choose a drive they won't need to upgrade as often due to lack of storage space.
Those who wish to integrate the units into actual enterprise environments will be well served by both offerings, due to their solid transfer rates, reliability and reduced access times. As with most enterprise orientations, both Seagate and Western Digital feature a five-year warranty on their offerings.
These are both solid drives, each catered towards different tasks and easily integrated into single user environments. I'd take the new Raptor 74 GB ADFD for a speedy system boot and optimal transfer speed. The smaller drive size wouldn't be a problem; I'd just implement a secondary Seagate giant to act as a file storage area, still giving decent transfer rates. Readers can combine these drives' diverse feature sets, leading to the perfect marriage of size and performance, while taking advantage of the ES designation for increased reliability.