by Rob Williams on May 17, 2006 in Storage
Seagate has introduced to us once again the largest consumer drive available, and we have it on our testbench. Surprisingly, not only does it have much more space than the previous 500GB model, it also proves to be much faster. Let’s take a close look at the drive, and see just what perpendicular magnetic recording can offer us.
To perform real world testing, I took a huge conglomerate of files and timed the copies using the Windows clock on another PC. Regretfully, the 750GB tests did not use the same file set as the previous two, but they are still there to get a hint of differences.
Seagate Barracuda 750GB
- 1) Copying 2,353 Files worth 2.58GB – 115 Seconds
- 2) Extracting 92 RAR Files worth 4.29GB – 253 Seconds
- 3) Copying 1 File worth 4.29GB – 134 Seconds
- 4) Copying 21,499 Files worth 7.44GB – 373 Seconds
Seagate Barracuda 500GB
- 1) Copying 1,693 Files worth 3.05GB – 117 Seconds (44.4% faster than the 160GB)
- 2) Extracting 92 RAR Files worth 4.26GB – 217 Seconds (1.38% faster than the 160GB)
- 3) Copying 1 File worth 4.31GB – 167 Seconds (19.7% faster than the 160GB)
- 4) Copying 24,379 Files worth 9.57GB – 574 Seconds (14.28% faster than the 160GB)
Western Digital 160GB
- 1) Copying 1,693 Files worth 3.05GB – 169 Seconds
- 2) Extracting 92 RAR Files worth 4.26GB – 220 Seconds
- 3) Copying 1 File worth 4.31GB – 200 Seconds
- 4) Copying 24,379 Files worth 9.57GB – 656 Seconds
Looking at the 750GB tests, 21K files in slightly over 6 minutes time is -very- nice to see. The speed of the drive in the real world tests showcase it’s power better than the synthetic benchmarks.
I have said it before, and will say it again: Seagate is impressing everyone. Since last fall, they have made a couple huge bangs, and show no sign of slowing down. Their 500GB drive came and impressed techies everywhere, especially with it’s insane burst rates. Then came the largest mobile drive available, the 160GB Momentus, which to this day still has no competition.
So we have this huge 750GB drive, which should prove far more than enough for anyone unless you are a hardcore media buff. I can say right now that this drive is awarded a 9 out of 10 and our Editors Choice award, and it well deserves that title. However, this is not a drive for everyone. Not everyone will remotely need 750GB of storage, myself included. However, if you do have such a need, then this drive is perfect for you.
The price will be another factor that may sway you from a purchase. The price will not hurt the score however. Why? Because this is the -only- 750GB drive available on the market, and it has no competition. A quick look at an e-tailer shows that the previously reviewed 500GB currently sells for $0.55 per GB, while the 750GB sells for $0.66 per GB. This is actually not that much of a hike, considering you are paying for the top drive available.
Due to the high price, you may be better off putting together a RAID of dual 500GB drives, which would give you 1TB and cost only $50 more than the 750GB single drive. That could also result in a speed bonus. As it stands though, a 500GB vs. 750GB, the 750GB comes out at the top in most of our performance tests.
There’s a couple things to also note. First, due to that problematic 1024 byte per megabyte, the 750GB drive is essentially 750 Billion bytes. In terms of real GB’s, it turns out to be 698GB total. Also, this drive get’s very HOT. The 500GB easily got up to the 47°C mark, but this 750GB sits at around 53°C. Though these drives are designed to handle this heat, 53°C is still too high for my liking. After throwing on a hard drive cooler, it brought the drive down to a much more comfortable 40°C. I highly recommend you plan on having sufficient cooling if you purchase this drive.
If you are in need of mass storage and have a deep wallet, you cannot go wrong with Seagate’s 750GB drive. It’s not only the largest drive on the market, but offers speed that consumers and enthusiasts alike can appreciate. So.. when’s our 1TB drives?
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May 17 Addendum: It seems as though this drive has a S-ATA switch that I was not informed about. Due to this, the benchmarks were all completed using the 1.5GBps switch and not the 3GBps switch. Re-running a few quick benchmarks shows that the 750GB’s burst rate doesn’t only keep up to the 500GB, but surpasses them. All other figures remain the same. So please keep in mind that the burst rates are equivelent to the 500GB in the charts, though they don’t reflect it. Thanks to Blackened in the forums for pointing this out.