It’s a four-platter model with eight heads, a spin speed of 7200rpm and 64MB cache, just like the WD Caviar Black. The acoustic figures of 28dBA (idle) and 32dBA (typical) are higher than the WD and effectively identical to the Hitachi Ultrastar's numbers, which means it's a touch too noisy for our taste.
The Barracuda XT range consists solely of this 2TB model so there are no variations that use fewer platters to create a lower capacity drive, so if you want a Barracuda XT you’ll pay a princely £225-245 for the full 2TB.
We tested the Barracuda XT using a native Sata 2.0 port on the P55 chipset and found that the performance was less impressive than we might have hoped. Although the Seagate shares a number of technical features with the WD Caviar Black, it was unable to match it in CrystalDiskMark or, more importantly, in Iometer.
Not to worry, the Sata 2.0 tests were merely the hors d’œuvres before the Sata 3.0 meat and veg. We moved the Sata cable to the Marvell controller and found it made a noticeable difference in just one regard. In HD Tach 3, the burst speed figure jumped from 199.4MB/s to 284.3MB/s, which answered our concerns that the new interface was working correctly.
The problem, in case you haven’t guessed, is that a hard drive doesn’t saturate the bandwidth of Sata 2.0 so Sata 3.0 doesn’t have much scope to show its inherent advantage.
@Reg: Tested on 2009-12-16?
If your machine's date is right, you've been sitting on this test for exactly 4 weeks before releasing it?
Request from the vendor?
Care to explain?
"it'll be years before high capacity spinning drives will be able to take advantage of SATA 3.0, RAID or not"
Not really, the next doubling of density of the disk surface should push us into SATA3.0 realms.
"How did you fit a i7 940 chip LGA1366 on a P55A motherboard LGA1156."
It's simple. You buy the LGA1156 version of the i7 940 chip.
Ivon the Terrible
How did you fit a i7 940 chip LGA1366 on a P55A motherboard LGA1156. Heavy use of the scissors?
No advantage for a RAID
"""Sticking 4 of these in a RAID array could make for some impressive speed increases."""
Actually, you're looking at either A) The exact speed increase for using the same number of drives with SATA 2.0 or B) Going to saturate your controller. Drives don't share the 3 or 6 gbit speed, they each get that much bandwidth, so as long as your drives don't saturate SATA 2.0 (Which we can see that they do not,) you'll get no speed boost from 3.0. As an example, my 5 drive software raid 5, running on my (crappy) nvidia onboard SATA 2.0 ports can easily do sequential read and write at above 300MB/s, and that's with 2 year old drives.
So to sum up: it'll be years before high capacity spinning drives will be able to take advantage of SATA 3.0, RAID or not.