Seagate Technology Ltd. has brought its desktop Barracuda drives into the ninth generation, adding a half-terabyte model and 3-Gbit SATA technology to its lineup.
The Barracuda 7200.9 drives, as they’re known, have begun shipping in 40-GB to 500-GB capacities, with cache sizes ranging from 2 to 16 Mbytes. Manufacturer suggested pricing will be $61 for a 40-Gbyte parallel drive, $75 for an 80-GB SATA drive, and $429 for the high-end 500-GB SATA drive, said Michael Hall, a Seagate spokesman.
The drive is based on an entirely new platform, according to James Knight, Seagate’s product marketing manager, in an interview. “You can address all your computing needs with this one family,” he said. Parallel and Serial ATA versions are both available. Specifically, 40- to 160-Gbyte drives will contain a 2-Mbyte cache; 120- to 250-Gybte drives will include an 8-Mbyte cache, and drives with capacities higher than 300 Gbytes will include the full 16 Mbytes of cache. The drive family supports controllers with a 3-Gbit Native Command Queuing (NCQ) interface, which can deliver improved throughput, as well as the ability to hot-swap and hot-plug the drives, with a compatible controller. The drive’s family shock ratings have been slightly improved; while the family’s 63 Gs of operating shock remain consistent with the 7200.8 family, the ninth generation has nudged its non-operating shock tolerance from 300 to 350 Gs. The drive’s acoustics remain near the threshold of hearing at 2.8 bels in idle mode, 3.2 bels while seeking.
Seagate will ship external hard drives based upon the new 7200.9 platform in November, Seagate’s Hall said.