Seagate announces 400 GByte harddrive

Scotts Valley (CA) - Hitachi's 400 GByte Deskstar got company: Seagate announced it is shipping its Barracuda 7200.8 to retail stores and system builders, also offering up to 400 GByte storage space.

Storage space for PCs is set to move to the next generation with volume production of harddrives almost halfway to a TByte. After Hitachi, who was first to offer a 400 GByte drive with its Deskstar 7k400 model, Seagate providing an alternative with its new Barracuda 7200.8.

While the capacity of the two drives is the same, the devices differ significantly under the hood. While the Deskstar uses five platters with 80 GByte capacity each, the Barracuda uses three 133 GByte platters. The areal density is 103 Gbit per square inch, which is the highest density in any high-volume production harddrive at this time.

Spinning its platters at 7200 rpm, the drive is able "to match the performance of 10,000-rpm SATA devices" by using native command queuing technology (NCQ), Seagate said. According to the manufacturer, NCQ provides an advantage in PCs with Intel's Hyper-Threading processors, which allows multiple applications to send I/O requests at the same time.

The Barracuda 7200.8 is available in version with capacities of 200 GByte, 250 GByte, 300 GByte, and 400 GByte with a choice of a native SATA or Ultra ATA interface. Pricing information has not been released, but we expect the 200 GByte Ultra ATA model to start at around $150 with the 400 GByte SATA drive to be available for about $400.