Seagate today announced it has begun shipping what it claims is the "world's fastest, largest-capacity mainstream desktop hard drive" dubbed the Barracuda XT. While the Barracuda XT isn't the first 2TB hard drive to sport a 7200RPM spindle speed, it is the first one to feature a SATA 6Gb/s interface.
"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 drive to combine 2TB of storage capacity with the fastest Serial ATA interface to date."
Seagate shoved four platters with an areal density of 368Gb per square inch inside the new Barracuda XT along with 64MB of cache for better burst performance and data transfer speeds. But it's the 6Gb/s interface that stands out on the spec sheet. Seagate says the Barracuda XT is fully backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s interfaces, but for those who want to take advantage of the additional bandwidth, a new motherboard is in order. Both Asus (P7P55D Premium) and Gigabyte (GA-P55-Extreme) have already jumped on board with 6Gb/s-capable motherboards.
Of course the biggest question on everyone's mind is are we at a point where a 6Gb/s interface is truly necessary? We spoke with Seagate's Product Marketing Director David Burks on the phone who told us that while desktop users have yet to saturate the SATA 3Gb/s interface, he expects that to change within the next two years. So in other words, don't expect double the performance over your current high-end hard drive. In the meantime, we're told that cache efficient and intensive applications are the best candidates to see an immediate benefit.
Image Credit: Seagate