Summary: Although the 7200.11 represents a step forward for Seagate's acoustics (the first in a while), it's still not quite good enough to compete with the quietest drives. A year or two ago, the single decibel difference between idle and seek noise might have been noteworthy, as would the 25 dBA@1m maximum noise measurement. However, times have changed, drives have gotten quieter, and Seagate still finds itself trying to recapture the acoustic goodness of the Barracuda IV.
Summary: This difference in areal density proves to be a fatal flaw for Hitachi’s drive, and the Caviar GP’s speeds are constrained by its focus on energy savings. The result? Seagate’s 7200.11 terabyte drive is the fastest we’ve yet tested in the Lab, hands down. It doesn’t come with any additional features—no encryption, no power-savings, no backup—just speed. Although we’d welcome the others, speed is our primary concern.
Pros: You’re staring at the fastest terabyte drive on the market.
Cons: The Barracuda’s burst speeds aren’t quite on par with Western Digital’s. That’s a minor detail, but a detail nonetheless.
Excerpt: Seagate was surprisingly late to join the small, but elite club of storage manufacturers shipping one terabyte (1TB) class hard drives. Somewhat expectedly, the first out of the gate was Hitachi, who made it to market several months beforehand with a high-density five-platter 1TB hard disk design.
Pros: Massive Storage Capacity, 32 MB Onboard Cache, Near Inaudible Acoustics, Low Power Consumption / Heat Production, Five Year Warranty
Cons: More Expensive Per GB Compared To Competition, Somewhat High (~12ms) Seek Times, Set to SATA-150 Mode By Default
Summary: With 250GB platters, 32MB of cache, and a 7,200-RPM spindle speed, the Barracuda 7200.11 should be the fastest high-capacity drive on the market. Except that it isn't. Results from our performance testing are mixed at best, with the new 'cuda excelling in some tests but faltering badly in others.
If we just relied on HD Tach, the drive would look like a winner, with pack-leading transfer rates and a very quick random access time. That isn't the whole story, though.
Summary: While it was slower than expected in our file transfer tests, there's a lot to like about this drive. It's good for a gaming PC due to its solid read and write performance scores, and its quiet and relatively cool operation also makes it suitable for a home theatre PC.