Seagate introduces 500 GByte desktop harddrive

Scotts Valley (CA) - Seagate today announced its ninth generation 7200 rpm desktop harddrive. The Barracuda 7200.9 is launched in nine versions with up to 500 GByte capacity and support for the most recent SATA spec 2.5 as well as third-generation Native Command Queuing (NCQ).

The new product generation succeeds the previous 7200.8 as Seagate's offering in the high capacity harddrive (200 GByte and more) market. Targeting performance and gaming PCs as well as consumer and entertainment systems, the company offers a version of the 7200.9 for virtually every segment of today's consumer segment.

The 3.5" harddrives come in sizes of 40, 80, 120, 160, 200, 250, 300, 400 and 500 GByte with platter capacity of up to 160 GByte, which equals a density of 106.35 Gbit per square inch. Cache sizes range from 2 to 16 MByte, depending on the model. The top-of-the-line 500 GByte 7200.9 uses four platters with 125 GByte capacity each.

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Seagate Barracuda 7200.9

Compared to the previous generation, Seagate has adopted SATA bugfixes and revisions of the 2.5 version spec, which is rated at a bandwidth of 3 Gbit per second. According to the company, the new drives also integrate a new version of NCQ, which supports Intel Hyper-Threading to increase the performance of SATA servers and workstations supporting intensive applications such as financial, engineering or digital media manipulation. NCQ also increases reliability in heavy workloads by significantly reducing the drive's mechanical wear, Seagate said. Improvements were also made in shock tolerance. Compared to the maximum 300 Gs the 7200.8 was able to withstand in non operational mode, the 7200.9 is rated at 350 Gs. During operation, the value remains at 63 Gs.

Pricing was not officially announced, but the drives appeared on etailer websites in 40, 80, 120, 160 and 500 GByte versions on Monday. Prices were about $50 for the 40 GByte model, the 80 GByte version was advertised from $57, the 120 GByte model from $79, the 160 GByte drive from $85 and the 500 GByte flagship from $355.

The 7200.9 series is still based on traditional "horizontal" recording. By the end of 2006, Seagate officials said, all harddrives will have been switched to the new perpendicular recording technology, which promises capacity and performance improvements.