Seagate Releases High Speed 3T(B)

The wireless carriers may be talking about the G’s they’re releasing, and the news is all about speed. Now, Seagate the once largest, and now number two supplier of hard drives is bringing the big stuff, with the release of the 3 terabyte, 7200 RPM, Barracuda XT drive with 64MB cache, and advanced 4K formatting.

This is, unless I’ve missed something, the first 3TB drive that spins at 7200 RPM, which will give this drive a big advantage over rival manufacturer Western Digital’s 3TB offering. That manufacturer’s drive spins at a variable rate, which saves power, but will hinder the highest performance of those drives.

One thing that is not necessarily the best choice by Seagate is the inclusion of software, called Disk Wizard, no doubt similar to the old Ontrack Disk Manager, which allows machines using Windows XP, and other non-GPT motherboards to use the full 3TB of space. This is good in that no space is wasted, but bad in that the keys to the kingdom, the data needed to access all of the drives stores, is on the drive, where it can be attacked by various viruses, rendering the data unusable. By contrast, the Western Digital drives of the 2.5TB and 3TB capacities are being sold with an add-in PCIe card, which does the needed translation in hardware, and therefore cannot be attacked by viruses, or become the victim of poor software design (including poorly designed BIOS’).

The drive will probably also run a bit hotter than the W-D offerings, but Seagate has usually waited until any thermal problems are solved before releasing a drive with the name Barracuda in the past.

Those wanting the very highest drive performance for their computer need look no further, until W-D, or perhaps Hitachi, sees the error of their ways, and brings out a 7200 RPM model of their own to compete in the stratosphere of spinning storage.

The price of performance does not come cheap, especially when one can find twice the capacity for less money (on Newegg, from Samsung, in the form of 3 2TB drives), but the rotational speed, and the compact storage makes the $279 asking price worth every penny to those that need it.