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Application Performance: Windows XP Start

Understanding Hard Drive Performance
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Application Performance: File Writing

Welcome The Barracudas: 250, 320, 400, 500, 750 GB

We already talked about manufacturers cropping storage capacity for the sake of providing products for common "sweet spot" capacity points. Now let's check what the difference is between the slowest and the fastest Barracuda 7200.10 drives. As we'll see, the rule of thumb of the top model being the fastest clearly isn't valid here.

Manufacturer Seagate Seagate Seagate Seagate Seagate
Series Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10
Model ST3250820A ST3250820AS ST3320820A ST3320820AS ST3400620AS
Capacity 250 GB 250 GB 320 GB 320 GB 400 GB
Rotation Speed 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min
Platter 2 2 2 2 3
Cache 8 8 8 8 16
Native Command Queuing (NCQ) no yes no yes yes
Interface Ultra ATA/100 SATA/300 Ultra ATA/100 SATA/300 SATA/300
 
Manufacturer Seagate Seagate Seagate Seagate Seagate
Series Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10
Model ST3400820A ST3400820AS ST3500630A ST3500630AS ST3500830A
Capacity 400 GB 400 GB 500 GB 500 GB 500 GB
Rotation Speed 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min
Platter 3 3 3 3 3
Cache 8 8 16 16 8
Native Command Queuing (NCQ) no yes no yes no
Interface Ultra ATA/100 SATA/300 Ultra ATA/100 SATA/300 Ultra ATA/100
 
Manufacturer Seagate Seagate Seagate Seagate  
Series Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10 Barracuda 7200.10  
Model ST3500830AS ST3750640A ST3750840A ST3750640AS  
Capacity 500 GB 750 GB 750 GB 750 GB  
Rotation Speed 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min 7200 U/Min  
Platter 3 4 4 4  
Cache 8 16 8 16  
Native Command Queuing (NCQ) yes no no yes  
Interface SATA/300 Ultra ATA/100 Ultra ATA/100 SATA/300  

The versions with 250 and 320 GB utilize two platters, the 400 and 500 GB capacity points are based on three platters, and the 750 GB top model uses four platters. Only the 750 GB top model actually utilizes the maximum per-platter capacity of 190+ GB. The following table lists what the waste capacity is for each model.

Barracuda 7200.10 Theoretical Capacity Maximum Waste in GB Waste in %
250 GB, 2 Platter 332 GB 82 GB 25%
320 GB, 2 Platter 332 GB 12 GB 3%
400 GB, 3 Platter 570 GB 170 GB 30%
500 GB, 3 Platter 570 GB 70 GB 12%
750 GB, 4 Platter 750+ GB - 0%
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  • 1 Hide
    t30ne , March 24, 2010 2:51 PM
    why only comparing seagate? what about WD?
  • 0 Hide
    darkfall13 , March 31, 2010 7:15 AM
    They were comparing the minute differences or in this case indifferences within a range of nearly identical hard drives. Branding really didn't matter except to just have them all the same...