With the announcement and release of Seagate's new 160GB 5400.3 2.5" notebook drive, which utilizes the new perpendicular magnetic recording method, we have many questions regarding the performance of these new high density platters being manufactured for an extremely critical part of our systems. Because of this introduction to the new technology, we are also wondering what the threshold is as far as the maximum density and the performance of current longitudinal recording technology.

Seagate Technology is currently the single largest manufacturer of hard disk drives with over 40% of the market share after the acquisition of Maxtor Corporation in late December 2005. Seagate has a wide range of products from desktop external storage, all the way up to serial-attached enterprise hard disk drives, with the bulk of their sales to the mainstream market being desktop hard disk drives. Their sales have boomed with the help of a handful of third party PC manufacturers and also some technology partners who use Seagate products in their own.

After our review of the 500GB 7200.9 unit, many of you kindly requested a look at the 160GB 7200.9 Barracuda drive, which featured the new high density 160GB platter. The only other drive in the 7200.9 line that features this platter is the 80GB unit, but we decided to look at the 160GB version because we had a handful of 160GB drives to which to compare performance. The 160GB 7200.9 features an 8MB buffer, a SATA 3.0GB/sec interface and, obviously, a 7,200RPM spindle speed. Take a look at how the highest capacity platter performs compared to the others.

The Test


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  • PuravSanghani - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    Hey everyone,

    The thermal and acoustic results are now in the graphs. We pulled the article last week because of the missing data. Enjoy!

  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    Well, the thermals arn't anything special, but the accustics are the quietest ones on the cart. :) Might not be important to some, but it's got me interested. Reply
  • Lord Raiden - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    Thats what I was exactly thinking. A mistake? Or was it deliberately done?
    In my humble opinion, Seagate has the most respected drivsin the market for so many years so far. I sense some strange shifting of the mood in some reviewers articles around the world favouring the other companies in the reviews. Like Chip, the most selling, most respected magazine has monthly tables with TOP10 drives and seagate scores 9th out of 10 while his scores in particular cateories are comparative with top three every month... i laugh at that table as it is clear evidence of them being not really fair in judgements...
    Anandtech is a respectable site and to believe they wasted a whole page talking about temperature where the drive discussed won't appear at all is simply strange.
    :-) Maybe they got confused whether to add temperatures of two drives in RAID or make an average out of them... ;-)
  • Lord Raiden - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    ... like CHip, the most selling, most respected magazine in my country...
  • ATWindsor - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    Yeah, that was one of the most interesting things to know, I want to now how warm and noisy it is...
  • Ender17 - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    "We are itching to see the performance of a RAID-0 array with Raptors!"

    Didn't Anand already write an article on that back in 2004?">
    Western Digital's Raptors in RAID-0: Are two drives better than one?
  • Scarceas - Saturday, February 4, 2006 - link

    They need to compare a single drive not just to a 2 drive raid array, but 3 and 4 drives as well. And then u start getting into controller performance; it can get laborious. Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    I think the point is that those tests were done with PATA drives, where a single drive comes close to maxing up the peak theoretical bandidth. With SATA II drives, even two raptors don't come close to the max theoretical bandwidth, so you have a much bigger road to run them on. The point made in that original article still stands: By doing raid-0, you're doubling the chance of data failure and doubling your cost for only a marginal increase. And to most people, loading Quake 10 seconds faster isn't worth 600+ bucks.(now, playing it a 10 fps higher on the other hand...) Reply
  • andrep74 - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    "With SATA II drives, even two raptors don't come close to the max theoretical bandwidth"

    Especially since they're each on their own controller. Unless you're putting two drives on the same cable, not even PATA drives can come close to saturating the controllers (where I use the term "close" to mean ~90-95%). Most drives cannot even read at 70MB/sec (unless we're talking about solid-state drives). From buffer to controller is another issue entirely, but that rarely has a noticeable impact on overall performance, much less RAID performance.
  • Live - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    Well I still believe that the theoretical/syntactical performance is all that really will go up in a Raid-0. Storagereview tester Eugene made this post about Raid-0 in connection to his review of the new 150gb raptor:">

    If Anandtech now takes the position that sata/sata2 somehow changed the disadvantages/advantages of Raid-0 on the desktop I really think they should do more to prove it then just a few lines in a hard drive review. Does Anand agree with the conclusions about Raid stated in this review?

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