The never ending race for capacity and performance has reached a new phase: Seagate is the first manufacturer to break the barrier of 100 GB per platter. The product name remains largely unchanged - it is still called Barracuda 7200.7 and is the first to be available with a capacity of 200 GB.
The Barracuda ATA family of drives has quite some tradition behind it. While the first Barracuda ATA was the first IDE drive to run at 7,200 rpm, it was quite the opposite from what an average user would want today: not only was it loud and hot, but it made the computer case vibrate as well.
Each generation that followed became noticeably better, with the Barracuda ATA IV being the first 7,200 rpm desktop drive that was not significantly louder than a 5,400 rpm model. Seagate introduced fluid dynamic bearing motors at a very early stage, which of course provides the groundwork for these smoothly running drives.
Today Seagate talks about "the world's toughest and quietest high-performance desktop drive". Toughness is practically impossible to test, but we will take a close look at the other features here.