World’s Fastest Desktop Hard Drive

Seagate Corp. has recently announced the world’s first 2-terabytes hard-drive with full support for third generation SATA interface. It means that now computers could double the rate of data transfer, thanks to the significant bottleneck reduction. The new storage device, named Barracuda XT, is designed for desktop computers, and though it should enhance most users’ PC experience, it would especially benefit hard-core gamers.
The Seagate Barracuda XT (Credit: Seagate Technology LLC)
The Seagate Barracuda XT
(Credit: Seagate Technology LLC)

The new 3.5-inch hard-drive spins 4x 500GB platters at 7200RPM; a large 64MB cache memory was installed in order to prevent bottlenecks. Moreover, it promises a sustained transfer rate of 140MBps (compared to 600MBps / 4.8Gbps possible), and mean time between failures (MTBF) of 750,000 hours; accordingly, its warranty is good for five years.

Unlike other high-capacity controllers (such as Western Digital’s 2TB hard-drive, whose release was covered by TFOT) the Barracuda XT is the industry’s first to feature a SATA 6Gb/s interface. This development was made to meet the demands of gaming, digital video-environments and other storage-hungry desktop computing applications. “Capacity and performance remain the defining attributes of hard drives for PC gamers, digital multimedia content developers and many other customers requiring high-end systems at home and in the office,” said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing at Seagate. “Seagate is meeting these requirements with the first 7200RPM desktop hard drive to combine 2TB of storage capacity with the fastest Serial ATA interface to date.”

According to Dr. Alan J. Armstrong, vice president of Marketing, Business Storage Group at Marvell, one of Seagate’s major partners, research has shown that early adopters are already willing to try the new product, alongside motherboards offered by Asus and Gigabyte.

“An expansion bridge integrated into the Asus P7P55D Premium helps achieve real SATA 6Gb/s throughput to support bandwidth-hungry applications,” explains Joe Hsieh from Asus, who works as corporate vice president and general manager, Motherboard Business Unit & Desktop Business Unit. Similarly, Tony Liao from Gigabyte, who is the associate vice president of Marketing, takes pride in the collaboration achieved: “Gigabyte has worked closely with our partners Seagate and Marvell in making the highly anticipated SATA 6Gb/s technology a reality.”

The new hard-drive is already in stores, ready for sale; its price is about $300. However, there are few compatible controllers that support SATA 6G. Luckily, this technology is backward compatible with SATA 1.5Gbps or 3Gbps, making the new disk more accessible for most consumers.

As mentioned, TFOT has also covered the World’s First Two-Terabyte Drive, made by Western Digital and announced on January 2009. Other related TFOT stories include AMD and Seagate’s demonstration of the Future of SATA, made at the Everything Channel Xchange Conference, and the development of Laser Hard Drives, which should be about 50,000 times faster than other magneto-optic data storage systems.

For more information about the Seagate Barracuda XT, see the product’s datasheet (PDF).

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