The fourth generation of Seagate's enterprise-class SCSI hard drives has arrived in the form of the Barracuda 9LP. Originally introduced in 1993, the Barracuda was Seagate's first 7200rpm 3.5" drive. Storage Review took a look at the recent Barracuda 4XL, the ST34572W, in the 4.5 GB Ultra SCSI drive roundup. The 4XL performed admirably, finishing second in the Winbench 98 tests only to Seagate's 10,000rpm Cheetah. The next generation 9LP drive features an increased areal density, doubling the amount of data stored on each platter. Using 5 1.8 gig disks, the drive manages to pack 9 gigabytes of storage into a 1" profile, unlike the 4XL's 9GB counterpart, the Barracuda 9, which had to resort to a 1.6" (half-height) thickness. Seagate has shaved about 2 milliseconds off of the seek time in the newer drive, claiming a read/write average seek time of 7.1/7.8 ms. The buffer has also been increased from 512 kilobytes to 1 megabyte. The Barracuda 9LP will be available in Ultra SCSI, Ultra2 SCSI, and Fibre-Channel interfaces. In this review, we take a look at the Ultra-Wide version, the ST39173W.
This is a pricey drive that one isn't going to find in a retail store; mail-order will mostly likely be the only option. The 9LP arrived as a bare drive in a static bag, with a rather cryptic single-sheet detailing how to set the drive's ID and termination. No other documentation or mounting hardware is included.
ZDBop's Winbench 98 along with Adaptec's Threadmark 2.0 were both run on the unit in Windows 95 OSR 2.1 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0. The drive was partitioned into a single volume of maximum size. The average of 5 trials is presented below.