IntroductionToday's storage requirements are growing at an exponential rate. Back when PC's were used primarily for office work, hard disks only stored word documents, spread sheets and email, all of which would require only a fraction of what today's PC's hold. The multimedia and digital age has pushed things to the extreme. Rather than word documents and the like we are storing movies, music and pictures as well, which by their nature even when under compression require large amounts of storage space.Compression technologies have come in the form of DivX/Xvid, JPEG and MP3; though these have helped reduce space requirements somewhat, movie files can still take between 600MB to 1.2GB. If you're planning on recording from your TV to store your favourite TV episodes or movies, even 500GB can run out pretty quick. Today's hard disks have moved to extreme sizes with the latest drives to hit the 1TB barrier, and this will soon be broken with new technologies for improving storage densities. We have been given a new HDD from Seagate to test based on their ever growing Barracuda 7200 series, this being the 11th generation drive which they call the 7200.11 and it boasts a whopping 1TB storage capacity. How does it stack up? Let's go find out.
Specifications of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11Model NumberST31000340ASInterfaceSerial ATA 2.5Capacity1TB (1000GB)Cache Buffer Size32MBPlatter Rotation Speed7200RPMLatency4.16msSeek Time8.9ms Read, 9.6ms Write
The Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 Drive
The Barracuda 7200.11 hard disk drive is nothing revolutionary in its style or design; it's a standard looking 3.5" desktop drive. In fact, it looks identical to the 7200.8, 7200.9 and 7200.10 drives, with only the sticker on the top letting you know what version drive and size you are running. One thing we did notice was the drive was rather heavy compared to our Western Digital 750GB and Hitachi drives we have had in the labs.
The top of the drive has a non-removable sticker placed on it with the model number, capacity of the drive, serial number and a few extra bits of info on the specifications. Apart from this there are no special instructions you need to worry about.
The back and bottom of the drive are almost identical to the last series of drives from Seagate. Following in the steps of Western Digital and Hitachi drives, there are no resistors, capacitors or IC chips on the bottom of the PCB, these are put between the PCB and the drive casing which prevents any accidental short circuits if they come in contact with another drive in tight HDD cage enclosures. Yes, this has happened to me in the past! The drive we were sent is the 1TB model using 32MB of cache memory and the Serial ATA protocol interface. You can get 16MB cache models in the 500GB and 750GB range and 32MB cache in the 750MB and 1TB range. IDE is available in 500GB models if you're still after older IDE interface drives, but with the limited IDE ports on new boards it makes more sense to go Serial ATA these days.
Test System Setup and HD Tach
Test SystemProcessor: Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 @ 3GHz (9x333MHz)Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Extreme (Supplied by ASUS)Memory: 2x 1GB DDR3-1600 OCZ (Supplied by OCZ)Graphics Card: MSI Geforce 8800GTS 640MB (Supplied by MSI) Cooling: GIGABYTE Neon775 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP2Drivers: Intel INF 126.96.36.1999, Forceware 163.21Today we have updated our test system to use our new X38 based motherboard, the ASUS Maximus Extreme. This board has started to really prove itself to us in the labs, as with extra tweaking it manages to overclock extremely well for our motherboard reviews. For our hard disk reviews we have found it perfect as well, as it has a JMicron HDD controller for both SATA and IDE drives as well as six SATA ports off the ICH9R supporting RAID, ACHI and native IDE functions.We will be pitting the Seagate 7200.11 against our 7200.10 500GB drive and the Western Digital RE2 750GB model. We have also added a new test to the fray, HD Tune which does a good all round job of testing the HDD. HD TachVersion and / or Patch Used: 188.8.131.52Developer Homepage:http://www.simplisoftware.comProduct Homepage:http://www.simplisoftware.com/Public/index.php?request=HdTach
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