From sizes in megabytes before the turn of the century to gigabytes a decade ago, and now terabytes, data needs have geometrically multiplied. Thanks to ultra-high definition video content, and ever-growing software and game file sizes, the need for more storage is an unending road.
Today we’re going to be looking at the most recent addition to my desktop computer, an 8-terabyte Barracuda drive from Seagate.
Design and Package
The hard-drive form factor has largely remained unchanged over the past decades, with the internal recording technology changing. The Barracuda drive features the standard 3.5-inch form factor.
When purchased online from Amazon, it comes in a sealed antistatic cover, comfortably packaged, and cushioned in a cardboard box.
Specs and Performance
The Barracuda series is available from sizes of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, and 8TB. The unit being reviewed here is the 8TB drive.
It features a platter rotation speed of 5400 RPM, which means less heat generated. Interestingly though, performance is similar to some of the older Seagate 7200 RPM drive I still own and use in this system.
On the drive are two connectors — one for power and the other being a SATA interface connector for data.
- Interface: SATA 6 Gbps
- Buffer: 256 MB
- Rotation Speed: 5400 RPM
- Recording Technology: Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)
The Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology allows for higher data density on drives, surpassing the physical limitations of previous Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology.
Unfortunately, SMR comes at a performance handicap, being slow at Random Read and Write; but is perfectly suited for sequential reading and writing, such as data backup, or surveillance recording. The larger 256MB buffer helps boost transfer seeds for short bursts or regularly accessed data.
Average transfer speeds when copying large files like ISO’s or MKV Movie files from another internal hard-drive was steadily between 122 MB/s and 129 MB/s.
Benchmarking results on CrystalDiskMark indicated similar write speeds, and read speeds in the 181 MB/s range.
The drive is plug-n-play, hook it up, and when you boot into Windows, you’ll be able to find it in Disk Management. From there you can partition, format, and mount the drive.
You can also use Seagate’s SeaTools software to check the condition of the drive, get various drive operational specs, and do some low-level recovery and fixture steps as well.
The Barracuda 8TB drive retails for P12,400 at PC Express, and for a little bit more at Villman Computers.
Considering that you can get a Seagate Barracuda 4TB HDD for around P5,000, two such drives can be had for less than 1 8TB drive; that means you’re paying a premium for the 8TB drive.
So, if you need the storage space, but have multiple free SATA ports and power connectors, it would be cheaper to buy two 4TB drives. Not to mention the benefit of redundancy with two drives versus one.
Seagate offers a two-year warranty with its Barracuda series, but the actual warranty offered by the store of purchase will also come into play.
Not everyone needs an 8TB drive. For most people who stream their media content, a simple 1TB drive should be just fine, allowing for all regular day to day use. If you need an 8TB drive, you already fall into the niche. As a specialized customer who has demanding data storage needs, Seagate’s 8TB offering is perhaps godsend.
If you can stomach the price, the Barracuda offers good transfer performance, even at 5200 RPM. This also means less heat and better longevity. Beware though of the limitations of SMR recording; while it’s great for backup and sequential read and writes, it’s not well suited for random read and write.
Verdict: For the discerning digital data glutton