by eugene

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7


Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Capacities
Model Number Capacity
ST340014A 40 GB
ST38001xA(S) 80 GB
ST312002xA(S) 120 GB
ST3160023A(S) 160 GB
Lowest Real-Time Price:


Introduction

Over the last three years, hardware enthusiasts have watched with increasing disappointment as Seagate took the respected Barracuda name and slapped it onto successive series of drives featuring more and more mundane performance. Though the Barracuda ATA IV and V featured impressively low noise floors, their performance trailed category leaders Western Digital and Hitachi by significant margins. A user purchasing a Barracuda ATA drive did so for its low noise, not its leading performance.

With the serial ATA 'Cuda V, Seagate finally debuted a drive featuring an 8-megabyte buffer as well as the only drive to eschew a PATA-to-SATA bridge. While this first attempt exhibited some improvement over the standard parallel ATA (2-meg) unit, the SATA Barracuda nonetheless trailed WD's and Hitachi's disks by a significant margin.

In a fashion that surprised some watchers, Seagate quickly followed up on the Barracuda ATA V with the Barracuda 7200.7. The former series, with its 60 gigabyte platters, represented somewhat of a transitional product as Seagate ramped up production of units with 80 GB platters, a size regarded as more "standard" by the industry.

Top of the driveThe Barracuda 7200.7 family delivers a somewhat confusing array of varying configurations. All feature 80 gigabytes per platter and specified 8.5 millisecond random read seek times. The standard ATA-100 units, available in sizes from 40 GB to the flagship 160 GB, come with a 2-megabyte cache. The ATA-100 "Barracuda 7200.7 Plus" comprises 120 GB and 160 GB models with 8-megabyte buffers. Finally, serial ATA versions spanning 80 GB to 160 GB come standard with 8 megabytes. Notably absent on the 7200.7 is the "SeaShield," a metal plate found on earlier models that protected electronics mounted along the underside printed circuit board. Keep in mind that the SATA 7200.7 does not feature a traditional 4-pin molex power connector but rather requires the new L-shaped SATA power connector either incorporated on the power supply (rare) or through an adapter (found in some retail SATA controller kits).

These days, warranties covering ATA drives confuse many readers. According to Seagate, the Barracuda 7200.7 Plus (model numbers ST3120026A and ST3160023A) come backed by three-year programs. All other 7200.7's, including the serial ATA models, are protected by a standard one-year warranty.

Back of the driveWe offer a qualified apology for the length of time between the 7200.7's appearance in the channels and the publication of this review. According to Seagate, ATA drives are now on a very lean "build to order" program that makes it more difficult to supply samples to the press. After an extended delay, we decided to use SR's scarce financial resources to secure an ATA-100 unit for review. Ironically, about two weeks after we concluded formal testing on our own unit, Seagate finally delivered an ATA-100 sample. The numbers that follow were drawn from our purchased unit.

Figures for the SATA unit were procured from a sample graciously provided by long-time sponsor HyperMicro. Keep them in mind for your next storage purchase and be sure to mention StorageReview.com in your HyperMicro order for free UPS ground shipping.

Results for the standard ATA-100 and serial ATA 7200.7s follow. Though we have yet to put a 7200.7 Plus to the test, it is reasonable to assume that results for the SATA drive represent the performance that one may expect from the Plus series.





Low-Level Results

For diagnostic purposes only, StorageReview measures the following low-level parameters:

Average Read Access Time- An average of 25,000 random accesses of a single sector each conducted through IPEAK SPT's AnalyzeDisk suite. The high sample size permits a much more accurate reading than most typical benchmarks deliver and provides an excellent figure with which one may contrast the claimed access time (claimed seek time + the drive spindle speed's average rotational latency) provided by manufacturers.

WB99 Disk/Read Transfer Rate - Begin- The sequential transfer rate attained by the outermost zones in the hard disk. The figure typically represents the highest sustained transfer rate a drive delivers.

WB99 Disk/Read Transfer Rate - End- The sequential transfer rate attained by the innermost zones in the hard disk. The figure typically represents the lowest sustained transfer rate a drive delivers.

For more information, please click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Service Time Graphs (in milliseconds)
Average Read Service Time
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 12.9|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 13.5|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 13.6|
|
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 13.7|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 13.8|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 13.8|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 14.0|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 14.2|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 14.7|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 14.8|
|
ST3160023AS Average Read Service Time

ST3160021A Average Read Service Time

The PATA 7200.7 turns in a rather disappointing average read access time of 14.7 milliseconds. Accounting for the rotational latency of a 7200 RPM spindle (4.2 ms) yields a measured average read seek time of 10.2 milliseconds- nearly 2 ms off of Seagate's claim.

On the other hand, the SATA 'Cuda fares better. With a measured access time of 13.6 milliseconds, its 9.4 ms seek time is off the firm's spec by "only" a millisecond or so.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Transfer Rate Graphs (in megabytes per second)
Transfer Rate - Begin
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 60.1|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 59.2|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 57.7|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 56.5|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 56.5|
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IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 56.2|
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 55.6|
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 55.6|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 43.8|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 43.8|
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Transfer Rate - End
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 36.2|
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Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 34.3|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 33.7|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 33.1|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 32.8|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 32.8|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 32.5|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 30.7|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 24.7|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 24.7|
|

With transfer rates that hit 55.6 megabytes per second on its outer track, the 7200.7 delivers significant improvements in sequential transfer rates over its predecessor. It is a welcome increase, especially in light of the negligible increase in STR when the 'Cuda V replaced the IV.





Single-User Performance

StorageReview uses the following tests to assess non-server use:

StorageReview.com Office DriveMark 2002- A capture of 30 minutes of actual computer productivity use that exactingly recreates a typical office-style multitasking environment. The applications include: Outlook XP, Word XP, Excel XP, PowerPoint XP, Calypso (a freeware e-mail client), SecureCRT v3.3 (a telnet/SSH client), CuteFTP Pro v1.0 (an FTP/SSH client), ICQ 2000b), Palm Hotsync 4.0, Gravity 2.3 (a Usenet/newsgroups client), PaintShop Pro v7.0, Media Player v8 for the occasional MP3, and Internet Explorer 6.0.

StorageReview.com High-End DriveMark 2002- A capture of VeriTest's Content Creation Winstone 2001 suite. Applications include Adobe Photoshop v5.5, Adobe Premiere v5.1, Macromedia Director v8.0, Macromedia Dreamweaver v3.0, Netscape Navigator v4.73, and Sonic Foundry Sound Forge v4.5. Unlike typical productivity applications, high-end audio- and video- editing programs are run in a more serial and less multitasked manner. The High-End DriveMark includes significantly more sequential transfers and write (as opposed to read) operations.

StorageReview.com Bootup DriveMark 2002- A capture of the rather unusual Windows XP bootup process. Windows XP's boot procedure involves significantly different access patterns and queue depths than those found in other disk accesses. This test recreates Windows XP's bootup from the initial bootstrap load all the way to initialization and loading of the following memory-resident utilities: Dimension4 (a time synchronizer), Norton Antivirus 2002 AutoProtect, Palm Hotsync v4.0, and ICQ 2000b.

StorageReview.com Gaming DriveMark 2002- A weighted average of the disk accesses featured in five popular PC games: Lionhead's Black & White v1.1, Valve's Half-Life: Counterstrike v1.3, Blizzard's Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction v1.09b, Maxis's The Sims: House Party v1.0, and Epic's Unreal Tournament v4.36. Games, of course, are not multitasked- all five titles were run in a serial fashion featuring approximately half an hour of play time per game.

For more information, please click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Desktop Performance Graphs (in I/Os per second)
SR Office DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 431|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 429|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 418|
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Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 407|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 400|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 391|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 366|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 329|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 313|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 312|
|
SR High-End DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 429|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 427|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 403|
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Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 400|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 388|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 382|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 355|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 321|
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 307|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 285|
|
SR Bootup DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 397|
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 394|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 391|
|
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 373|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 348|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 338|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 313|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 307|
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 259|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 251|
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SR Gaming DriveMark 2002
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 551|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 546|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 528|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 528|
|
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 527|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 508|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 480|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 419|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 399|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 395|
|

The PATA 7200.7, equipped with its two-megabyte buffer, turns in a rather uninspiring StorageReview Office DriveMark 2002 of 313 I/Os per second, virtually identical to its predecessor. The SATA version, however, manages some measurable gain over its own forerunner by hitting the 400 I/O per second mark. While still not quite up to the level of the best-of-class Caviar WD2500JB, it's nonetheless nice to see Seagate finally back in the ballpark.

Our High-End DriveMark once again finds the PATA 7200.7 bringing up the rear of today's drives, though this time around it manages to elevate itself somewhat over the 'Cuda V. The SATA version, on the other hand, manages 403 I/Os per second and places second only to WD's flagship Caviar JB drive.

Due to optimizations found in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, the SR Bootup DriveMark features unusually high queue depths for desktop operation. The PATA Cuda 7200.7 turns in a forgettable score. The SATA model, though, nips at the heels of the WD2500JB.

Finally, in the Gaming DriveMark, a normalized average of results from five popular PC games, the competition catches up with the SATA 7200.7. Though its scores aren't near the top of the heap per se, the SATA 'Cuda nonetheless manages another competitive showing. The PATA version, on the other hand, does not.





Multi-User Performance

StorageReview uses the following tests to assess server performance:

StorageReview.com File Server DriveMark 2002- A mix of synthetically-created reads and writes through IOMeter that attempts to model the heavily random access that a dedicated file server experiences. Individual tests are run under loads with 1 I/O, 4 I/Os, 16 I/Os, and 64 I/Os outstanding. The Server DriveMark is a convenient at-a-glance figure derived from the weighted average of results obtained from the four different loads.

StorageReview.com Web Server DriveMark 2002- A mix of synthetically-created reads through IOMeter that attempts to model the heavily random access that a dedicated web server experiences. Individual tests are run under loads with 1 I/O, 4 I/Os, 16 I/Os, and 64 I/Os outstanding. The Server DriveMark is a convenient at-a-glance figure derived from the weighted average of results obtained from the four different loads.

For more information click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Server Performance Graphs (in I/Os per second)
SR File Server DriveMark 2002
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 131|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 129|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 126|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 125|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 123|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 121|
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Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 117|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 116|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 114|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 110|
|
SR Web Server DriveMark 2002
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 134|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 128|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 125|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 124|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 121|
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Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 120|
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Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 119|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 119|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 119|
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Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 115|
|

When it comes to server applications, the SATA 7200.7 again outclasses its PATA brother, though this time by virtue of its superior access time rather than larger buffer size. Even so, however, the competition offers better performance for building a server on the cheap.

As an interesting aside, StorageReview's web server uses an 80-gigabyte PATA 7200.7- by our ISP's choice and not our own. The machine also features 1.5 gigabytes of RAM, however. As is often the case, gobs of memory can alleviate much of the bottleneck presented by a sluggish drive.





Legacy Performance

eTesting Lab's WinBench 99 Disk WinMark tests are benchmarks that attempt to measure desktop performance through a rather dated recording of high-level applications. Despite their age, the Disk WinMarks are somewhat of an industry standard. The following results serve only as a reference; SR does not factor them into final judgments and recommends that readers do the same.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Legacy Performance Graphs (in megabytes per second)
ZD Business Disk WinMark 99
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 16.4|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 16.3|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 16.2|
|
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 16.0|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 15.9|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 15.7|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 15.7|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 12.6|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 10.7|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 8.8|
|
ZD High-End Disk WinMark 99
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 45.0|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 44.9|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 39.2|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 38.5|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 36.9|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 36.7|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 34.1|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 30.5|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 29.4|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 28.1|
|





Heat and Noise

Idle Noise- The sound pressure emitted from a drive measured at a distance of 18 millimeters. The close-field measurement allows for increased resolution between drive sound pressures and eliminates interactions from outside environmental noise. Note that while the measurement is an A-weighted decibel score that weighs frequencies in proportion to human ear sensitivity, a low score does not necessarily predict whether or not a drive will exhibit a high-pitch whine that some may find intrusive. Conversely, a high score does not necessarily indicate that the drive exhibits an intrusive noise envelope.

Net Drive Temperature- The highest temperature recorded from a 16-point sample of a drive's top plate after it has been under heavy load for 80 minutes. The figures provided are net temperatures representing the difference between the measured drive temperature and ambient temperature.

For more information, please click here.

Note: Scores on top are better.
Heat and Noise
Idle Noise (in dB/A @ 18mm)
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 37.8|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 39.9|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 40.1|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 41.0|
|
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 41.8|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 44.7|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 45.5|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 46.7|
|
Net Drive Temperature (in degrees celsius)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB ATA-100) - 19.5|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000BB (200 GB ATA-100) - 19.6|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB (200 GB ATA-100) - 19.7|
|
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 [8MB, 80GB/plat] (160 GB ATA-133) - 19.7|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB ATA-100) - 19.9|
|
Western Digital Caviar WD2500JB (250 GB ATA-100) - 19.9|
|
Maxtor MaXLine Plus II (250 GB ATA-133) - 20.1|
|
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 20.1|
|
Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120 GB SATA) - 20.2|
|
IBM Deskstar 180GXP 8 MB (180 GB ATA-100) - 22.1|
|

Ever since the 'Cuda IV, the Seagate Barracuda ATA series has set a standard for quiet operation. The 7200.7 series continues the trend. Though its score of 39.9 dB/A at a distance of 18 millimeters is a bit higher than that of the 'Cuda V's, the PATA 7200.7's objective idle noise measurement nonetheless remains exceptional. Make no mistake -- anything below 40 dB/A is very, very quiet. Note that the SATA drive's native power connector prevents it from powering up using our standard AT power supply- it needs an active controller signal to spin up. We're investigating potential solutions at this time. Subjectively speaking, however, the SATA drive's idle noise is identical to that of the PATA unit. Seek noises for both drives are very muted and barely audible over the testbed's quiet CPU and power supply fans.

As illustrated above, today's 7200 RPM ATA drives all fall within a pretty tight range of operating temperatures. Generated heat simply is not a differentiating factor between disks. The Barracuda 7200.7, like the competition, can be easily integrated into any system featuring adequate ventilation.





Reliability

The StorageReview.com Reliability Survey aims to amalgamate individual reader experiences with various hard disks into a comprehensive warehouse of information from which meaningful results may be extracted. A multiple-layer filter sifts through collected data, silently omitting questionable results or results from questionable participants. A proprietary analysis engine then processes the qualified dataset. SR presents results to readers through a percentile ranking system.

According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 is more reliable than of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation.

According to filtered and analyzed data collected from participating StorageReview.com readers, a predecessor of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7, the Seagate Barracuda ATA V , is more reliable than of the other drives in the survey that meet a certain minimum floor of participation.

Note that the percentages in bold above may change as more information continues to be collected and analyzed. For more information, to input your experience with these and/or other drives, and to view comprehensive results, please visit the SR Drive Reliability Survey.





Conclusion

Both the parallel ATA and serial ATA versions of the Barracuda 7200.7 extend the series' legendary reputation for whisper-quiet operation. While the standard parallel ATA version also continues the line's tradition of lackluster performance, the serial ATA unit, equipped with its 8-megabyte buffer, turns in much more appealing numbers. We have every reason to believe that the PATA Barracuda 7200.7 Plus, also outfitted with 8 megs, would turn in numbers similar to that of the SATA unit. Seagate finally has a drive on its hands that approaches the speeds delivered by Western Digital's latest Caviars.

The SATA and Plus models, when first introduced, carried a significant price premium over the relatively inexpensive standard PATA 7200.7. At the time of this writing, however, the difference has narrowed somewhat- expect to pay ten to twenty percent more for a 7200.7 with an 8-megabyte buffer. Competitive speed combined with exceptionally quiet operation earn the SATA 7200.7 and the 7200.7 Plus a StorageReview Safe Buy designation.

Unlike previous-generation Barracuda ATAs, such as the IV and V, the standard 2-megabyte 7200.7's low noise floor no longer lets it stand out from the crowd in the face of increasingly quiet designs from manufacturers such as Maxtor and Hitachi. Those interested in the standard 'Cuda would be better served by considering the competition or Seagate's own SATA and Plus models.

  Review Discussion