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Appeared on: Friday, February 20, 2009
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12


1. Features

Seagate is the biggest hard disk manufacturer. As a result, the majority of PC users have used one the company's hard disk drives including us. We have many of their models in our labs and we hav ebeen always satisfied with their performance and price. Recently Seagate announced the 12th series of the Barracuda har disk drives, which offer many new technologies and features.

The Seagate Barracuda 7200 drives have been strengthened and refined over 12 generations. And this latest generation is a leader in environmentally friendly storage. The new family offers capacities of 1 TB and 750 GB with 32-MB cache, and 500 GB with 16-MB cache. The Barracuda 7200.12 drive is an ideal choice for workstations, desktop RAID, gaming PCs, high-end PCs, mainstream PCs and USB/ FireWire/eSATA external storage.

Advantages of Perpendicular Recording

After years of research at Seagate, perpendicular recording is now a proven technology. It increases capacity and dependability by storing data vertically, rather than horizontally. And vertically stored data bits mean increased data density—which means higher performance to increase productivity.

Additional Features

The Eco-Friendly Choice

The Barracuda 7200.12 drive delivers excellent power savings without sacrificing drive or system performance. Seagate hard drives have long been produced with the environment in mind, and not just with low power consumption.

- Features


2. Package

Today we test the new Seagate 7200.12 (ST3500418AS) that boasts 500GB of storage and retail for just €52 (including VAT).

As usual, the disc comes inside an antistatic plastic enclosure:

The large sticker includes basic information about the device, typically found in HDDs.

Compared with Seagate's previous series of HDD (7200.11), the height of the new 7200.12 is lower, due to the single platter design of the new drive:

The available connectors include the SATAI/II & the power:

Specifications

Specifications 500 GB
Model Number ST3500418AS
Interface SATA 3.0Gb/s
Cache 16 MBytes
Capacity 500 GB
Areal density (avg) 329 Gbits/inch2
Guaranteed Sectors 976,773,168
PHYSICAL
Height (max) 20.17 mm  (0.794 inches)
Width (max) 101.6 mm  (4.000 inches)
Length (max) 146.99 mm  (5.787 inches)
Weight (typical) 415 grams  (0.915 pounds)
PERFORMANCE
Spindle Speed 7,200 rpm
Average latency 4.16 msec
Random read seek time <8.5 msec
Random write seek time <9.5 msec
RELIABILITY
Annual Failure Rate 0.32%
POWER
Maximum start current, DC 2.0 amps

3. Bechmarks

In this test we compared the Seagate 7200.11 and the latest 7200.12 series of HDD. Both drive offer the same capacity of 500GB. The comparison would be at least interesting for all those who are currently having a 7200.11 and looking for a possible upgrade to a newer model.

All tests were performed under the same testbed, benchmark software and operating system (Windows VISTA x64 SP1).

Let's start with the popular HDD Tach benchmarks.

The software showed that there is a significant difference between the performance of the 7200.11 and the new 7200.12 series in both reading/writing tests, as you can see in the graph below. On the other hand, the 7200.12 series have a slightly higher random access time, mainly due to its single platter design:

The HD Tune Pro software also confirmed the previous findings, with the 7200.12 series to be faster:

The Sisoft Sandra 2009 SP2 results were not much different:

We have also performed more tests with also ATTO Disk Benchmark. If you have time, you may download the results here.


4. Conclusion

For sure, the new Seagate 7200.12 series of HDD is significantly faster than its is predecessor, the 7200.11. Upgrading is just worthy and will boost the performance of your PC. You can easily expect a faster reading by 17MB/sec, while writing writing will be even faster. In addition, the 7200.11 series, is less noisy and produces less heat, even at full load.

The 500GB model (ST3500418AS) we tested today retails for about €52 (including VAT) and it is backed by a 5-year warranty! It is obvious that this product offers a great value for its money and it is one of the best hard disk drives available at this price range. Let's hope that it will not suffer from any reliability issues seen with the previous 7200.11 series (1~1.5TB).



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