Seagate Technology on Tuesday unveiled its new hard disk drive (HDD) that it proclaims to be the easiest to deploy HDD with 3TB capacity. The drive features a number of internal improvements and comes with a special program that allows it to offer 3TB capacity on older systems with older software. Besides, thanks to 7200rpm spindle speed, it will be among the fastest drives of that capacity on the market.
The latest Seagate Barracuda XT is based on five platters (instead of four) and does not use 4KB sectors (the so-called advanced format), but features enterprise-grade electronics that ensures high performance, compatibility as well as additional reliability of the product. The new family offers 2TB and 3TB capacities, 7200rpm spindle speed, 64MB cache as well as Serial ATA-600 interface. The manufacturer declares 4.16ms average latency as well as maximum sustained data read of 138MB/s for 2TB model and 149MB/s for 3TB flavour.
Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3TB
But the most important thing about the new drive is that it is fully compatible with older systems featuring BIOS as well as Windows XP operating system. As reported, legacy PC BIOS designs, device drivers and older operating systems such as Windows XP are incapable of using hard drive capacities beyond 2.1TB. The upshot is that existing desktop drives with more than 2.1TB of storage capacity must be deployed with additional software or hardware and may also require extra device drivers to overcome this limitation.
The Barracuda XT hard drive with free Seagate DiscWizard software is a complete, easy-to-deploy solution. DiscWizard software makes it simple to configure the computer operating system and device drivers to access the full 3TB of capacity on legacy systems using Windows XP and PC BIOS and on personal computers equipped with newer versions of Windows or the new UEFI BIOS. The DiscWizard creates a virtual ~900GB (or different) drive in order to let the operating system recognize it. The new DiscWizard software is available for free download from the company's web-site. Thanks to the fact that BIOS still sees the drive, the Barracuda XT can even be used as bootable HDD for older systems.
According to Alexey Meyev, an hard drive analyst at X-bit labs, Seagate Barracuda XT indeed offers exceptionsl performance. "The Seagate Barracuda XT is an all-purpose drive which is especially good at server loads," said Mr. Meyev in the review of the Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3TB HDD versus competitors.
“Seagate is squarely focused on delivering the storage performance, capacity and innovation to ensure that technology transitions remain seamless for our customers. The Barracuda XT hard drive epitomizes our commitment to providing end-user customers and PC manufacturers with the world’s most advanced storage solutions," said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service.
The Barracuda XT 3TB drive from Seagate has manufacturer suggested retail price of $279, which is higher compared to competing offerings. Still, according to Seagate, actual price on the market may be lower.