3TB Internal Drive Performance - Nothing to Get Excited About Yet

To hit 3TB Seagate had to increase the areal density of the Barracuda XT’s platters. If the 3TB drive uses 5 platters that’s 600GB per platter, up from 500GB in the 2TB version. Note that the internal Barracuda XT will most likely have a 64MB DRAM cache and other tweaks to make it more of a performer. This comparison is only useful for those folks trying to get an early jump on the internal 3TB bandwagon:

SATA Performance Comparison
  Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Seagate GoFlex Desk Barracuda XT 3TB (SATA) Seagate GoFlex Desk Barracuda XT 3TB (USB 3.0)
Sequential Read 131.8 MB/s 121.4 MB/s 151.9 MB/s
Sequential Write 132.9 MB/s 119.8 MB/s 151.2 MB/s
Random Read 0.29 MB/s 0.43 MB/s 0.30 MB/s
Random Write 1.3 MB/s 0.98 MB/s 0.93 MB/s

You’ll note that random performance isn’t really much better and sequential performance is actually down from the 2TB drive due in part to the fact that we've got a smaller cache and generally less performance optimized drive with this external 3TB unit compared to the 2TB internal drive. Over USB 3.0 we actually get much better sequential performance apparently due to some additional buffering done by the USB 3 controller.

The bottom line: when internal versions of the 3TB drives ship, don’t expect them to perform much differently from the 2TB drives we have today.

The 2TB Barrier The GoFlex Desk
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  • gigahertz20 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    The heat problem mentioned in this article makes me wonder why engineers fail to correct issues like these. It can't be that much more expensive to put a fan in the unit along with more ventilation. If it was me, I would have installed a fan inside the enclosure that would only turn on when the unit reaches a certain temperature. That way it still stays quiet, but when it gets heated up to the point where it can affect its life span, the fan will cool it down. Reply
  • MarkLuvsCS - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    lol so first they have a bit of an issue with some firmware and such, but now they decide their 3TB drives should double as coffee warmers?!?!?

    I used to consider Seagate pretty good mfg but honestly ever since their 1TB fiasco days I don't even consider them. I certainly don't want to see less competitors out there but they really need to get their acts in order.
    Reply
  • siuol11 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    I used to use Seagate exclusively... I had a RAID 0 array of 7200.10 320's, and one failed completely, erasing most of my papers and photos I'd saved from college. I also had a 500GB 7200.11, one of the few to not suffer from the .11's random fail bug- 5 months in to using it, the SATA connector snapped off (there was nothing putting pressure on it, it just snapped. I booted up my computer one morning and it couldn't find the drive). My last Seagate was a 1TB 7200.12, which started getting massive amounts of bad clusters 10 months in to using it. Thankfully it lasted long enough for me to transfer my files.
    Since then I've switched to Maxtor... I know you can't really use the retail drives in RAID arrays, but at least none of them have blown up on me.
    Reply
  • Belard - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    RAID-0 is pretty much pointless... And are more acceptable to failures.

    If your data was that important, then a backup drive should have been used, ESPECIALLY with a RAID-0 setup.

    - MAXTOR is owned by Seagate and both "brands" come off the same assembly lines... Never heard of "Can't raid a retail drive" before. Most OEMs are single drive setups... a drive is a drive.
    Reply
  • xded - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    > Never heard of "Can't raid a retail drive" before. Most OEMs are single drive setups... a drive is a drive.

    Not entirely true. The problem is that, in case of errors, the firmware on retail drives will keep trying reading the faulty sector for too long. This delay will make the RAID controller assume that the drive is gone and it will drop it out of the chain. This unnecessarily increases the load on the array due to the subsequent rebuild phase. If then another drive should fail under the increased load, you will most likely lose the whole array, while correcting the unreadable sector in the first place would have been trivial.

    This is why most manufacturers also sell "RAID edition" HDDs which, other than a tweaked firmware, also have a considerably higher MTBF.

    For further information, see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-Limited_Error_Re...

    see
    Reply
  • Belard - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    Oh... okay. I've not forgotten about enterprise class drives, for a REAL RAID setup, I wouldn't use consumer grade drives.

    But for most home users, using off the shelf is usually fine. But still RAID-0 is useless compared to the speed to todays drives. The complexity, the overheard and errors aren't worth it.

    Want to improve BOOT up time and startup of your apps, spend $150~$200 for an SSD.
    Reply
  • pcfxer - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Complexity? You must be retarded.

    You can geom Mirror, ZFS RAID-Z, HFS+ RAID or use the onboard software RAID.

    If you know what you are doing RAID is fine, but thinking RAID will improve game load speeds is lol-eriffic.
    Reply
  • siuol11 - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Man, I had completely forgotten about this comment till I came back to this thread today. Thanks for the comments guys, I'm aware of all of this. The 2 .10's in RAID 0 were 320's that I was using as data drives, I'm aware that RAID 0 on physical disks doesn't help latency.
    I'm fairly sure Maxtor ans Seagate have different QC mechanisms, which make all the difference in the world... And after failures of 3 successive generations of their drives, I think I'll pass. I'm still pissed that I lost all that stuff (and yes, yes, I know I should have had a backup. It just wasn't possible at that time).
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    Yikes, this gives me yet MORE reason to avoid "RAID" 0. Reply
  • adamdz - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    But you had a backup, right? So you were able to get all your papers and photos back, right?

    And, yeah Maxtor is owned by Seagate and it was always garbage.
    Reply

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