Seagate's pitching its new 3TB Barracuda XT hard drive as an easy-cheesy way to add oodles of storage to your system, even if you're rocking a legacy OS like Windows XP. Same holds true for anyone saddled with a non-UEFI BIOS, which at this stage is pretty much everyone. So how exactly does Seagate slip past the 2.1TB barrier that would normally throw a wrench into such setups? Answer's after the jump.
When Seagate told us it would be shipping the first 6Gb/s SATA hard drive, we were a little surprised. And when we found out it wasn’t going to be a solid state drive, but a 7,200rpm Barracuda drive, our skepticism increased. Sure, we’d been waiting a long time for Seagate’s 2TB 7,200rpm drive, and it’s nice to see the SATA 6Gb/s spec ship on a real-world product, but putting a 6Gb/s controller on a mechanical hard drive is like putting a Formula 1 airfoil on a golf cart. The vehicle just ain’t ever going to go fast enough to warrant the accessory.
In order to test the Barracuda XT on a level playing field, we built a new rig: a 2.66GHz Core i5-750 and 4GB of DDR3 RAM on an Asus P7P55D-Premium motherboard, which has an onboard Marvell SATA 6Gb/s controller as well as an Intel 3Gb/s SATA controller. The rig runs Windows XP SP3 and 64-bit Vista Home Premium from a 300GB WD Raptor. We tested both the Barracuda and its closest competitor, the 2TB WD Caviar Black, on both the Marvell and Intel controllers.
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."
Hit the jump to learn more about the SATA 6Gb/s interface and what you can expect out of the new Barracuda XT.