In celebration of Earth Day we have an announcement from Seagate about their new Barracuda LP lineup. The marketing checklist is very similar to the Western Digital Caviar Green series: reduced spindle speeds, low noise, even lower power consumption, and performance that is more than acceptable for the entry level, home office, SOHO NAS, or HTPC audiences.

The Barracuda LP is launching today (product availability later this week) in 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB capacities. The drives feature a 500GB per-platter design, 32MB buffer, and a 5,900RPM spindle speed. WD has never officially stated the Caviar Green's actual spindle speeds, but we think they are somewhere between 5,400RPM to 5,700RPM based on performance metrics. According to Seagate's press presentation earlier this week, the LP drives are fast enough to outperform their Caviar Green counterparts while offering improved power and noise levels.

Based on Seagate's internal testing (review samples arrive shortly) the drives are rated at 19dB(A) at idle and around 20dB(A) under load. This compares to the WD Caviar Green 2TB at 19db(A) idle and near 21db(A) under load. Power consumption is very close also, Seagate reports 3W at idle and 5.6W during operation, compared to 3W at idle and 5.72W under load for the WD drive.

Since this drive lineup will end up in external storage devices, Seagate has designed it with a rugged operating environment in mind. The drive's shock tolerance is rated to 70Gs under operation and 300Gs in power off mode.

Seagate's new Barracuda LP series looks to set a new bar in the low-power / low-noise high capacity market but you will pay for it at the upper end. Seagate quoted the suggested retail prices of $118 for the Barracuda LP 1TB, $156 for 1.5TB, and $358 for the 2TB version. Current street prices for the 1TB Caviar Green range around $100, $160 for the 1.5TB drive, and 2TB of eco-friendly storage will cost you $299.99.

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  • Zak - Saturday, April 25, 2009 - link

    I use external USB2 and FW enclosures as backup drives. Both are a bottleneck: they do less than 40MB/s. For such use, or HTPC, I don't need a superfast drive but capacity, noise, heat and power consumption are the most important spec, speed is almost irrelevant, as long as it 40MB/s or more. I'm looking forward to getting those when prices drop a bit for my backups and HTPC.

  • Mastakilla - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - link

    I'm curious to know how these work with a nice RAID 5 controller like the Areca ARC-1220/1222 or the Highpoint RR 3520...

    especially keeping NCQ enabled seems tricky for some drives...
  • ClagMaster - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - link

    Seagate is finally following Western Digital's lead in this specialty market segment.

    The Barracuda LP lineup sounds very good for mainstream desktop applications. Not only low power, but more importantly, low heat, lower noise and hopefully higher reliability. The performance is acceptable and is much better than ATA-100 drives available 3 years ago.

    Although it has lower power consumption, the power savings is about 3-4W for a single drive, compared to a 7200.12 drive. Not terribly significant considering other power drains within a PC. A four drive 1+0 RAID array would mean 12-16W savings which is more significant.

    Personally, I would like a faster drive since a 4W penalty, for me, is trivial.

    Let's pray Seagate did their homework this time on fully qualifying the firmware for these LP drives. Lets not have another another 7200.11 fiasco. I have a number of friends who have suffered from these drives.

    Gary should, with no mercy, torture test these LP drives until the truth of their reliablity is revealed.
  • icrf - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - link

    I was hoping to see some 2 TB drives down around $250. I thought WD was only at $300 b/c no one had anything else to compete. :(
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - link

    I was one of the thousands with 500GB, 1TB and 1.5TB drives that had bad firmwares that bricked their drives. Than Seagate had the audacity to ask for a couple of thousand dollars to unbrick them. They would replace them but your data was worthless to them.
  • knutjb - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    I have one of the affected Seagate drives but I waited a couple of weeks before applying the fix to make sure they got it right. Aside from that SNAFU, I have had much better luck with Seagate than WD drives, but will consider those along with Samsung or Hitachi for my next purchase. Statistically the overall failure rates are remarkably low but bad batches happen to all makers. This new drive is for a niche market and the reviews will tell if they are worth the $$$.
  • ClagMaster - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - link

    If you got burned by 7200.11 drives, then express your displeasure to Seagates mishandling of the firmware and controller the most effective way possible : Buy a Western Digital Drive as a vote of non-confidence.

    I own a couple 160 GB Seagate 7200.7 drives that worked great for 5 years. No problems, no complaints.
  • Rasterman - Friday, April 24, 2009 - link

    I've personally owned probably 15 hard drives over the years, of those around 6 have died, 1 causing major frustration (it was a my main OS install) and another causing minor data loss due to being in between backups. Hard drives are noisy, waste power, slow, and most annoyingly totally unreliable.

    For my next system I will be voting for SSD in a major way with my dollars, hoping to never have to buy another hard drive again!
  • aguilpa1 - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - link

    I did. They were replaced with WD 1TB drives instead. Its important people understand what kind of quality and service Seagate provides for them once they purchase a drive.
  • ClagMaster - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - link

    In addition to the two 7200.7 Seagate drives, I forgot to mention I also have a 500GB 7200.11 drive on a PC I keep offline for privacy. I have been operating this drive since January 2009 (after upgrading the firmware to SD1A prior to installation of Windows XP Home) and it has been working fine so far. I use this PC every day for correspondence, diary, and other projects. I even wrote a review on the NewEgg site giving this drive 5 eggs.

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