Hard Drive Delivers SATA-III 6-Gbit/s Transfer Rate

Nov. 6, 2009
Peripheral transfer rate is the typical bottleneck for many applications, especially as processors split into multiple cores. SATA-III’s 6-Gbit/s transfer rate provides significantly more bandwidth, assuming the hard drives and motherboards can keep up.

Peripheral transfer rate is the typical bottleneck for many applications, especially as processors split into multiple cores. SATA-III’s 6-Gbit/s transfer rate provides significantly more bandwidth, assuming the hard drives and motherboards can keep up. Seagate’s 2-Tbyte ST32000641AS Barracuda XT hard drive delivers on the peripheral side. This is enough space for up to 45 hours of 1080i HD DVCPRO-encoded video (see the figure). It needs to be matched with a motherboard like the Asus P7P55D or the Gigabyte P55 series GA-P55-Extreme, which have a matching SATA-III interface.

Backward compatibility allows the Barracuda XT to work with older SATA and SATA-II interfaces but without the top transfer rate of 600 Mbytes/s. The sustained transfer rate is 138 Mbytes/s. The Barracuda XT comes with 64 Mbytes of cache, which is sufficient for desktop applications. The 7200-rpm drive has an average 4.16-ms latency.

The drive is quiet and environmentally friendly. Its average operating power requirements are 9.23 W with idle power dropping to 6.39 W. Acoustic specs include 2.8 bels in idle mode and only 3.2 bels during a seek. Pricing is expected to start at $299.

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