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Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB review

Tom Morgan
22 May 2011
Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
200
inc VAT

One of the best workarounds we’ve seen in a 3TB disk, but the price leaves a lot to be desired.

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Specifications

3TB sata hard disk

Ultra-high capacity internal hard disks are slowly entering the mainstream, despite their associated hardware limitations. The Barracuda XT, Seagate’s first 3TB disk, doesn’t include a hardware workaround to prepare it for use with older operating systems; instead, a downloadable software utility is available from Seagate's website.

DiscWizard is a straightforward tool that partitions and formats the disk from within Windows, enabling support for 32-bit operating systems including Windows XP, which can’t natively recognise disks with capacity higher than 2.2TB. Much of its functionality is built into Windows 7, so we didn’t need to use it when installing the disk in our test system. One benefit of installing the software is that it can clone an existing disk onto the Barracuda, which should make system upgrades much simpler.

Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB

With SATA3 support and 64MB of cache, we expected decent performance from the disk. It was very quick at transferring large files, writing them at 125MB/s and reading at 141.6MB/s; by themselves, these results make it the fastest 3TB disk we’ve tested, but small files were noticeably slower. Write speeds of 74.5MB/s are average, but 32.7MB/s read speeds were very disappointing.

Performance aside, the Barracuda XT impressed us with its straightforward setup. Anyone using an older operating system may be put off buying an ultra-high capacity disk because of compatibility issues, but Seagate has produced a comprehensive software tool that makes installation a breeze.

It’s unfortunate that it costs so much more than other 3TB disks, effectively pricing itself out of the competition. Buy the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB instead.

Basic Specifications

Rating***

Storage

Capacity3TB
Formatted capacity2.72TB
Price per gigabyte£0.07
InterfaceSATA3
Power connectorSATA
Spindle speed7,200rpm
Cache64MB
Seek time8.5ms
Platters5
Heads1
Bearing technologyfluid dynamic
Noise (in normal use)29dB(A)

Buying Information

Price£200
Warrantyfive years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.misco.co.uk
Detailswww.seagate.com

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