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Seagate Barracuda XT SATA3 review

A hard drive with SATA3 6GB/s througput and a mighty 2TB of storage goodness

Our Verdict

Too costly for a 2TB drive and the new interface simply doesn't make up for it

For

  • Huge…
  • …and quick with it

Against

  • New interface does little
  • Ridiculously expensive

Ladies and gentlemen I give you SATA 6Gb/s. Yeah, it's not really that exciting, is it? Especially when you see that the first SATA 6Gb/s drive we've got is Seagate's Barracuda XT 2TB, a traditional rotational disk drive spinning platters like thoroughly old school circus acts, only with faster theoretical transfer rates.

This new interface has been primarily introduced to deal with the increased performance of SSDs, now almost saturating the SATA 3Gb/s transfer limit of 300MB/s.

On the flip side, standard HDDs though are only just about saturating the 150MB/s limit of the first generation SATA interface.

Extra burst

You'd think it wasn't much cop for your traditional rotational drives, except for the fact that it significantly increases the performance across the in-built memory controllers. This is most ably demonstrated in the increased burst speeds of the Barracuda XT.

We thought the Caviar Black we checked out last month had some solid figures, but Seagate's drive beats it by almost 100MB/s. When you consider that our new favourite SSD, Kingston's 40GB drive, based on Intel's X18, clocks in at just under 200MB/s that's doubly impressive.

Barracuda xt

Burst speed aside though the new interface does relatively little for the traditional drive. True, there are some speed bonuses if you're into such things as RAID, but for the solitary drive it's not all that.

We tested the Barracuda XT on both SATA 2 and SATA 3 connections with the only tangible difference being the burst speeds we've already covered. Game and OS load times increased by a couple of seconds when dropped down to the older interface, but read and write speeds were largely unchanged.

Still, it's bloody fast for a HDD, but then so was the WD Caviar Black, and that didn't come with the £40 premium for being a new SATA 6Gb/s drive.

And therein lies the rub; if it's performance you're after then it's all about the SSD, and for capacity the traditional SATA 3Gb/s drives are more than enough.

The real tester is going to be when we get SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, but for now save your pennies and stick with the old school.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeHard Drive
Buffer64 MB
Product FamilyBarracuda
Drive InterfaceSATA
Drive Width3.5"
Drive Interface StandardSATA/600
Brand NameSeagate
Drive TypeInternal
Storage Capacity2 TB
Rotational Speed7200 rpm
ManufacturerSeagate Technology
Product ModelST32000641AS
Product NameBarracuda XT ST32000641AS Hard Drive
Product LineBarracuda
Manufacturer Part NumberST32000641AS
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.seagate.com
Marketing Information

Barracuda XT ST32000641AS Hard Drive becomes more prolific and a fundamental enabler of the digital ecosystem, we recognize the need for products tuned to the unique needs of different computing platforms and applications. you can rest easy knowing your Barracuda XT hard drive wil provide you with more than ample space and years of worry free operation.

Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)700 g