First Look: PC World tests: Huge Seagate drive performs well

Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.10 750GB drive, the largest hard drive to date, sets new high-water marks for capacity, price, and performance. Its speed was especially notable on the PC World Test Center’s write tests, where it came within a hair’s breadth of matching Western Digital’s swift 10,000-rpm Raptor X.

The Barracuda 7200.10 drive that our test center evaluated has 16MB of cache and supports SATA-150 by default, out of the box. (An external version equipped with USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 is slated to ship in May.) We tested it using SATA-300, which required a jumper-setting change.

In our performance tests, the Barracuda 7200.10 750GB excelled across the spectrum. Among the bevy of 7,200-rpm drives we’ve tested, it ranked first; and overall, it was bested only by the 10,000-rpm Raptor X. On our write tests, the new Seagate drive took just 2 minutes, 16 seconds to write a 3.06GB file of folders (a scant 2 seconds slower than the Raptor X), and 1 minute, 39 seconds to write a 3.06GB .zip file (a mark 3 seconds better than the Raptor X’s).

Reasonable price, high performance

On a cost-per-gigabyte basis, your wallet won’t take a huge hit, either: The SATA version of this drive will debut at $590, which works out to $0.79 per gigabyte. That’s higher than the $0.62 average cost of 7,200-rpm drives, but it’s below the usual $1 per gigabyte paradigm we’ve seen in recent years when a new drive hits the market.

The Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB combines voluminous storage and high-end performance in a single drive. If you want high-capacity storage, this drive is your best bet: I’d rather use one drive—or two drives configured in a RAID array—than rely on a multidrive terabyte RAID array, many of which harness four or five drives together.

For more on the Barracuda 7200.10 750GB—including PC World’s rating—visit PC World.

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