Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Hard Disks
By Ed Tittel
The 7200 series of Seagate hard disks have been a fixture on the desktop PC scene for as long as I can remember. In bringing to market the latest member of this series, the 7200.10 drives, Seagate became the first company to productize perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology. PMR is a great boon to storage because it essentially turns the magnetic recording regions on their sides and writes down more deeply into the platter than more conventional hard disk technologies do. This means an increase in storage density, for more storage space (more room for bits) and better performance (faster access to more bits) as well. Throw in SATA 2 support, 16 MB of cache on models with 320 GB and up, and Native Command Queuing, and you've got a pretty appealing product. Factor in pricing that delivers 320 GB for about $90, 400 GB at around $100, and 500 GB at $110, and you've got one heck of a product.
7200.10 models range in size from as small as 80 GB to as large as 750 GB (priced at under $200). Given their pricing, the 500 GB model at $110 occupies an astounding sweet spot of 22 cents per gigabyte (versus $0.2813 for 320 GB, $0.25 for 400 GB, and $0.246 for 750 GB) of storage. These drives are also fast and reasonably quiet, and come with a five year warranty, two years longer than the prevailing industry standard for hard disk warranties.
Power consumption is a little higher than for the preceding 7200.9 Barracudas: 9.3 W at idle and 12.6 W during read/write operation for the 7200.10, versus 6.9W and 8.1 W respectively for the 7200.9 series. In all kinds of testing, however, the 7200.10 drives tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the pack, with some tests showing the drive to rather better advantage (read transfer rate, maximum drive surface temperature, price performance index and cost per gigabyte index).
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