When Hitachi first released its 500 GB drive, it filled a market gap for those who needed plenty of storage in a single unit and were willing to pay for it. The advance of more players into the half-terabyte plus market has led to a decreased cost for these larger hard drives. The Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750 GB now is the latest "bad boy" on the block - with a significant price tag to match - and Seagate deserves kudos for being one of the innovators in the perpendicular recording market.
Aside from being first out of the starting gate in the desktop market, its file write/read times as evidenced by the h2benchw benchmark and PCMark05 HDD benchmark are dreamlike, delivering the best transfer performance this side of the Raptor, but with five times the size. If price weren't a factor, the clear choice would be to go with Seagate. The Barracuda 7200.10 clearly is the fastest 7200 RPM drive currently available.
If you want to buy more "upgrade time" with a minimum of fuss, these larger drives may be just up your alley. In regular use for office/home tasks and gaming, the 500-750 GB range will provide users with plenty of data storage for years without the need to tinker or upgrade in the interim. The Seagate would also be of interest to anyone in an enterprise environment, as it allows managers to cram more information into the same amount of space. Also of consideration is the five-year warranty offered by Seagate, versus the three-year offerings by the competition.
Cost Per Gigabyte (approximate As Of June 14, 2006)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750 GB: ~ $430 = $0.57 / GB
Western Digital Caviar WD5000KS 500 GB: ~ $247 = $0.49 / GB
Maxtor DiamondMax 11 500 GB: ~ $235 = $0.47 / GB
From a pricing perspective, you should realize that our comparison features the top model of each product line, and there are also lower capacity models that might be worth checking out. The cost of these three drives is on the heavy side, so it might be best to do some research into current pricing in order to get the best bang for your buck. Luckily, our Interactive HDD Charts make it easy to compare lots of hard drives and their current cost per Gigabyte (based on daily prices of TG Stores and PriceGrabber).
In our experience, hard drives are a classic example of why your purchase should depend on your current needs. While it's true that the 750 GB Seagate has a low overall cost of 57 cents per GB and fantastic performance, the entry price as of this writing hovers at around the $430 mark. Even if you do a lot of video work, 3D rendering and CNC/CAD, it's still hard to visualize needing a drive over 250 GB.
According to our tests, the Seagate offers significant advantages over the other "heavies", but nothing particularly noteworthy for its price point. One can always bank on the fact that applications, games and file sizes of the future will demand more space and greater speed. If you feel the sudden need for a large 500 GB drive as a media file repository, consider the Western Digital, as its price is about the same as the DiamondMax, but WD offers superior performance.
Interactive HDD Charts
Check out our Interactive Hard Drive Charts
- to compare the new 750 and 500 GB drives with all other hard drives tested to date, including the Western Digital Raptor-X
- to check current cost per Gigabyte ratios
- 750 And 500 GB Drives By Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750 GB
- Maxtor DiamondMax 11 500 GB
- Western Digital Caviar WD5000KS 500 GB
- Technical Data
- Data Transfer Diagrams
- Access Time
- Interface Bandwidth
- Read Transfer Performance
- Write Transfer Performance
- Surface Temperature
- Application Performance
- I/O Performance