High-Capacity Business Hard Drives: Biggest Of The Bunch

Seagate Barracuda LP, 500 GB To 2 TB

The Barracuda LP (short for “low power”) is Seagate’s latest desktop hard drive. While all other Barracuda 7200 drives rotate at 7,200 RPM, the Barracuda LP stays at 5,900 RPM to help reduce power consumption. This is pretty unique, as the next typical speed would have been 5,400 RPM. Seagate wanted to optimize its low-power drive for performance, and the results speak for themselves. The drive pulls 3.8 to 4.2 W idle power, depending on the capacity—a good result considering the high throughput of almost 118 MB/s for the 2 TB and 1 TB models. The 500 GB version is limited to 113 MB/s. The 1.5 TB drive reaches its limit at only 106 MB/s. Still, the other low power drives are in the same performance range.

The Barracuda LPs show better I/O performance than Samsung’s EcoGreen F2, but both contenders have to make room for WD’s new RE4 2 TB drive, which delivers considerably more I/O operations per second than all of its competition, despite its lower 5,400 RPM spindle speed. Seagate’s PCMark Vantage HDD benchmark results are above average but still trailing the WD RAID Edition 4 in several metrics. Needless to say, we weren’t surprised to see the LP lose out against the clearly-faster Seagate Barracuda 7200.12.

Although Seagate’s Barracuda LP family couldn’t score clear wins in power consumption tests, its 1 TB and 2 TB models achieve the best performance per watt in their class at maximum sequential read speeds. However, the results are entirely different for workstation I/O performance per watt, where others dominate.

Seagate did a great job in catching up with Samsung and WD, as it beats Samsung’s performance and matches WD’s efficiency. The Barracuda LP is solid and efficient, but at this level it is hard to be noticeably better.