Feeds
50%
Seagate Barracuda XT

Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Sata 3.0 HDD

The first hard drive with the new bus standard

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Review The Seagate Barracuda XT is the latest 2TB hard drive to land on our test bench, following on from the WD Caviar Black and Green and the Hitachi Ultrastar. It’s the largest capacity Seagate we have seen since the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 so you may think that Seagate was as keen as mustard to scatter review samples to the waiting world.

Seagate Barracuda XT

Seagate's Barracuda XT: Sata 3.0 supported

In fact, our Barracuda XT came from an unusual source. It was sent to us by Gigabyte, the manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards. The explanation for this unusual state of affairs is that the Barracuda XT is the first hard drive that supports 6Gb/s Sata 3.0.

Sata initially had a nominal bandwidth of 1.5Gb/s which was increased to 3.0Gb/s with Sata 2.0. Now we have Sata 3.0 and a further doubling of bandwidth. There’s potential for confusion as Sata encodes eight bits of data as a ten-bit symbol so the ‘true’ bandwidths for those SATA standards are 150MB/s, 300MB/s and 600MB/s, respectively.

Naturally enough, you need a suitable controller to support the new Sata standard and this is where Gigabyte enters the equation. There is no system-logic chipset at present that natively supports Sata 3.0 and we don’t expect to see native support until 2011. In the meantime, we have to rely on motherboards from the likes of Gigabyte that have been updated with a discrete Sata 3.0 controller.

The Gigabyte P55A-UD6 incorporates a Marvell 9128 Sata 3.0 chip, along with an NEC USB 3.0 SuperSpeed controller to deliver the features that will be coming our way in 2010. The P55A-UD6 is an impressive piece of hardware that packs in stacks of features such as 24-phase power for the LGA1156 CPU socket, all of which goes some way towards explaining the whopping £205 price tag.

Gigabyte P55A-UD6

Gigabyte's P55A-UD6: Marvell Sata 3.0 controller on board

With a 2.93GHz Core i7-940 plugged in the P55A-UD6 and Windows 7 installed on an Intel SSD we took a closer look at the Seagate Barracuda XT.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.