Seagate 750 GB Barracuda Enters The Big League

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750 GB

The 750 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 is touted in its "cheat sheet" as the highest capacity 3.5" drive available today. The size is somewhat intimidating, overshadowing the next biggest drive available by a full 250 GB or 50%. That 250 GB represents the size of many current hard drives and leaves one to wonder what to do with all that extra space. While our test involved the SATA/300 configuration, the Barracuda can also be jumpered to SATA/150 and is available in ATA/100 varieties as well (with 8 MB cache instead of 16 MB). The maximum sustained data rate listed by Seagate is 78 MB/s with the spindle speed at 7200 RPM, which correspond to what our benchmark results say.

One factor affecting your potential purchase decision is Seagate's 5-year warranty. This allows the user a substantial "worry-free" replacement period. However, warranties don't cover data, and having a product replaced is little solace should a failure occur without a backup of the drive's content, so keep that in mind.

Seagate's 750 GB entry also features Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which allows the drive to receive multiple I/O requests and then decide which to process first, depending on their physical data locations. Benefits from NCQ usually occur for the most part in environments where multiple requests are experienced. NCQ isn't always a bed of roses however - on a single user workstation, enabling NCQ can actually result in a slight delay in file access as the I/O requests are prioritized, although for the most part this is negligible. All drives in this review, with the exception of the Western Digital, may benefit from the addition of NCQ. The image below explains the difference between drive access with NCQ enabled and without.