Seagate is launching the industry's first 6Gb/s7200rpm 2TB hard drive today. The 2TB Barracuda XT contains a four platter design sporting 500GB each and rotating at 7,200 RPM. Seagate is including a new 64MB cache scheme, five-year warranty, maximum sustained transfer rate of ~140MB/s, and an estimated street price of $299. The drives should be available later this week in the retail channel.

The big news is full support for the SATA 6G interface along with auto-configure support for the older SATA 1.5 or 3Gb/s interfaces. Seagate is also launching a new version of their SeaTools software that will allow users to short stroke the drives for increased performance, at the cost of capacity.

Of course, one might be wondering where the SATA 6G controllers are right now. It turns out that Marvell is finally ready to start shipping their 88SE9123 controllers after several delays due to a variety of problems, most centering on dual controller designs planned for several motherboard updates in the next 60 days. We expect to see the first native SATA 6G implementation on a Southbridge from AMD early next year.

In the meantime, ASUS will be shipping their P7P55D Premium shortly with the Marvell 9123 chipset. This board features a PEX PLX8613 PCIe bridge chip that will convert four of the PCIe x1 lanes (250MB/s each) into two 500MB/s lanes. While still short of the maximum theoretical 600MB/s transfer speed of the SATA 6G specification, it will provide enough burst bandwidth for these first generation 6G hard drives. Expect to see Marvell 9123 equipped boards from Gigabyte in the near future.

We will be comparing the Barracuda XT 2TB drive to the latest WD Caviar Black 2TB shortly.


Gallery: Seagate XT
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  • DanNeely - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    It lets them fill the disk cache twice as fast. This is the same primary advantage that SATA3GB had over it's 1.5GB ancestor when it first was supported. Reply
  • Doormat - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    Its a starting point. Some drive had to be first to get to 6Gb/s, and it was Seagate.

    The most interesting feature is isochronous transfer mode - basically a mode for transferring data off at a certain rate (for movies or music). USB already has this feature.

    The only other feature is a new standardized connector for 1.8" drives.
    Reply
  • iwodo - Monday, September 21, 2009 - link

    One Port Multiple Devices can finally take off. You can use 1 SATA 3.0 port for 2 - 3 DVD / Blu Ray or other Optical Disc Devices without worrying bandwidth.

    Trim for SSD.
    Reply

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