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Seagate Barracuda XT 6 Gbps SATA Drive Preview
Author: Michael Fiss
Manufacturer: Seagate
Source: Seagate
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September 21, 2009

The Serial ATA (SATA) computer bus first burst on to the scene in 2003 at a speed of 1.5 Gb/s, with 3 Gb/s being introduced shortly after. Fast forward 6 years, and we see the Serial ATA standard is being doubled again, to 6 Gb/s. In the past few years hard drive capacities have skyrocketed to amounts we would never have believed possible 6 years ago. In 2008 over 70% of desktop drives were 250GB and under. It is estimated that 250GB and smaller drives will only account for around 25% of the market in 2010. Owning Terabytes of hard drive space would have been like having a million dollars a few years ago, but here in 2009 a Terabyte hard drive can be purchased for under $100. And with that great amount of data to access, speed is obviously critical.

Promo Image

I had the pleasure of talking with the Director of Product Marketing from Seagate about the details of their new product line. Seagate is launching the industry's first 2TB SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB cache hard drive with its Barracuda XT product line. Seagate has tagged the Barracuda XT 2TB SATA 6G hard drive with the phrase: "Speed and capacity, uncompromised." I personally think the last word can be removed; because how could anything possibly be compromised with a 6 Gb/s speed, and a huge amount of storage and cache?

The specifications for the first 6 Gb/s product can be seen in this screen capture, with the key features and specifications captured in the following lists...


» 2TB capacity provides plenty of room for high-def PC games, raw or uncompressed digital images and many hours of HD Video

» 7200 RPM performance platform coupled with leading areal density provides fast data transfers off the media

» 64MB cache optimizes burst performance and reduces data throughput bottlenecks

» SATA 6G interface enables the use of the industry’s newest and fastest hard drive controllers while providing backward compatibility to legacy SATA 1.5 or 3 Gbps systems

» Configurable with Seagate SeaTools software, users can optimize the drive configuration and tune for performance sacrificing some capacity, for the ultimate in customer choice and control.


» Capacity: 2000GB
» Model Number: ST3200641AS
» Interface Options: SATA 6Gb/s NCQ

» Transfer Rate, Max Ext: 600Mb/s
» Max Sustained Data Rate OD: 138Mb/s
» Cache: 64MB
» Average Latency: 4.16ms
» Spindle Speed: 7200 RPM

» Heads/discs: 8/4
» Bytes per Sector: 512

Reliability/Data Integrity
» Load/Unload Cycles: 300,000
» Nonrecoverable Read Errors per Bits Read: 1 per 10^14 bits read, max
» Annualized Failure Rate: 0.0034
» Mean Time Between Failures: 750,000
» Limited Warranty: 5 Years

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