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Maximum PC Staff

Oct 07, 2009

Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB

At A Glance

Love

Among the fastest reads and writes of any high-capacity drive; low power consumption; competitively priced.

Boron

You can get two 1TB Barracuda 7200.12s for less than the price of one of these--and they'll be faster.

Barracudas eat Caviar for breakfast

Update Oct 07, 2009: Fixed benchmark chart

We haven’t seen a new two-terabyte drive on the market in a while—not since we reviewed the Western Digital Caviar Green in May, in fact—but Seagate has finally added a 2TB drive to its Barracuda LP line of desktop drives. The LP (or low-power) line is Seagate’s “green” offering, equivalent to Western Digital’s GreenPower and Samsung’s EcoDrives. With an unusual 5,900rpm rotational speed—down from the 7,200rpm offered by the rest of the Barracuda line—the LP series trades performance for power savings and reduced heat output. Thankfully, it doesn’t sacrifice much speed in the process.

Unlike the performance-oriented Barracuda 7200.11 and 7200.12 series, the LP focuses on low power consumption, at both idle and full-spin states. We praised the low power consumption of Western Digital’s 2TB drive compared to the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11, but the LP series evens the playing field. On our test rig, the 2TB Barracuda drew around 4W at idle, slightly lower than the 2TB Caviar Green’s 5W, and 8W while operating, while the Caviar operated at around 9W. Both drives draw less power than the Barracudas of yore.


The Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB will restore the Barracuda name to users' good graces.

The 5,900rpm Barracuda LP handily outpaces the Caviar Green, which has a spindle speed somewhere between 5,400rpm and 7,200rpm. In our h2benchw tests, the 2TB Barracuda LP’s sustained average reads and writes were 20 percent faster than the Caviar Green’s—around 91MB/s compared to the WD drive’s 76MB/s. In fact, those times are more comparable to Seagate’s speedy 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11—the 2TB drive’s read speeds are slightly lower, and its write speeds slightly higher than the smaller drive’s.

Random-access times for the ’Cuda were a few milliseconds slower than those of the Caviar, at 13.2ms random read and 10.06ms random write latency. Its HDTach burst speed was 10 percent lower than the Caviar’s, at 196MB/s versus the Western Digital drive’s 218MB/s.

With even “green” drives catching up to the WD VelociRaptor in performance (random-access times aside) while offering eight times the storage for the price, it’s now both possible and easy to add colossal amounts of storage to your rig without compromising performance. Next year’s high-powered rigs will almost certainly have solid state drives for their operating systems, but they’ll still need high-capacity drives for the grunt work. And at $240 for 2TB of decently fast, low-power-draw storage, the Barracuda LP will find a home in many a PC.

Benchmarks

Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB
WD Caviar Green 2TB
h2benchw Average Sustained transfer Rate Read (MB/s) 205.4
175.1
h2benchw Average Sustained Transfer Rate Write (MB/s)
175.1
150.1
h2benchw Random Access Read (ms)
0.11
0.16
h2benchw Random Access Write (ms)
0.31
0.12
HD Tach Burst Read (MB/s) 674
945
PCMark Vantage Overall Score
21,247
14,088

Best scores are bolded. Our test bed uses a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700, 2GB of Corsair DDR2/800 RAM on an EVGA 680 SLI motherboard, one EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX card, a Western Digital 500GB Caviar hard drive, and a PC Power and Cooling Turbo Cool PSU. Scores for h2benchw and HDTach were generated in Windows XP Professional with SP2. PCMark Vantage scores were run in Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit.

THE VERDICT

Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB

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