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Review: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA II
Written by Rondog   
Thursday, 02 November 2006 16:15
Article Index
Review: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA II
HD Tach Performance
SiSoft Performance
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Rondog shares his thoughts on a recently replaced HDD and showing the (small) upside to hardware failure.

Where to start… The drive was free. It was replaced under manufacturers warranty from Seagate after my 300GB SATA I series 8 drive started making this weird clicking noise. So there is one less thing I have to buy should I upgrade.

Now the drive itself, it came in the standard packing, an anti-static bag inside a plastic case.

Can you hear that? Me either, the drive is silent. I powered the drive on by jumping the power supply, and not a peep was heard. Noise isn’t an issue for me, so I considered this a bonus.

When I purchased my 300GB drive back in January, it had a RRP of $300 AUD, because I bought it from work, I got it cheaper, $80 cheaper in fact, therefore costing me $220. I was pretty happy with this investment.

When purchasing the replacement drive from a random E-store, your looking at a cost of $155 AUD.

So I lost $65. Not that it matters though, got a bonus 20GB out of it.

Taken directly from Seagate’s website is a list of features shown below:

  • Perpendicular Recording - Perpendicular Recording increases data density while decreasing moving parts for a more dependable drive.
  • Serial ATA 3Gb/s (300MB/s) -  This product is configurable from SATA 1.5Gb/s to SATA 3Gb/s for easy interoperability.
  • Adaptive Fly Height - Adaptive Fly Height offers consistent read/write performance from the beginning to end of your computing workloads.
  • Clean Sweep - Clean Sweep automatically calibrates your drive each time you power up.
  • Directed Offline Scan - Directed Offline Scan runs diagnostics when storage access is not required.
  • Seagate SoftSonic - Seagate SoftSonic motor enables whisper-quiet operation.
  • Enhanced G-Force Protection - Enhanced G-Force Protection defends against handling damage
  • 5 Year Warranty - This product carries an unprecedented five-year warranty.

Physically, it looks like a standard SATA drive, the only giveaway to it being a 30GB/s drive, is the jumper on the back which limits it to 1.5GB/s application.

The features above are all fine and dandy for marketing ploys, features that actually matter more (in my opinion) include:

  • NCQ (Native Command Queuing)
  • SATAII 3.0GB
  • 16mb cache

All of these things together, tally up to one brutal hard drive.

Now down to the nitty gritty we must go, when 2 or 3MB/s makes all the difference. (I’m talking about benchmarks). Today for your viewing pleasure I will be using SiSoft Sandra 2007 and HD Tach v3.0.1.0.

The first test I ran was HD Tach. It is expected that the new SATA drive will obliterate my older IDE drive that is being used for comparison.

The test was ran twice for consistency.

Very consistent results, within 1MB/s. Not far out of spec either for SATAI. Next I ran the same test on a 120GB ATA100 IDE drive.

Overall, an average read speed of 90MB/s. Pretty good considering that this is a Seagate 7200.7 120GB ATA100 hard drive. The SATA drive (as expected) completely obliterated the older ATA100 drive, beating it consistently by 41%.

Next I ran the HDD performance test found in the SiSoft.

Again, I ran the tests twice for consistency.

The two results are completely identicial. (I'd say that's consistent -Ed)

Now, I ran the same test on the ATA100 drive used earlier for a bit of comparison.

Very similar results again on SiSoft Sandra 2007.

When comparing the all the results, they are well under 5MB/s difference on the SATAII drive. However on the ATA100 120GB, in sequential read speed, there is a massive different between the results given by HD Tach and SiSoft Sandra.

The only thing that comes to mind is that SiSoft Sandra uses a test file of 634MB and HD Tach uses 32MB. This is the only explanation I could deduce from the information I have.

For a RRP of $155 AUD from this drive is by far worth the cost. For $310, one could have a 320GB RAID 0 array setup when used on a SATAII capable motherboard. This is a cheap solution to a home fileserver or HTPC.

Questions? Comments? Discuss in the forums.
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