Seagate Barracuda 3TB: 1TB Platter Behemoth

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Acoustics & Power Consumption


The Barracuda 3TB idled at 16 dBA@1m and produced 16~17 dBA@1m when seeking.

The Barracuda 3TB was easily the quietest high capacity 7200 RPM drive we've tested, measuring 16 dBA@1m when idle and 16~17 dBA@1m when seeking. It emitted a very soft hum without so much as a hint of whine and the seeks were almost unnoticeable. The drive has a hollow sound character that can be masked by pressing against the casing, similar to some single platter models lacking sufficient structural support. Like the Barracuda Green 2TB, the level of vibration was minimal, scoring a low 8 on our subjective scale. It's an impressive accomplishment considering the Barracuda 3TB spins at 7200 RPM rather than 5900 RPM (the platter count is the same and the casing is similar if not identical).

Drive
Mfg date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001
November 2011
firmware CC47
8
Idle
16
6.4 W
(5.6 W >30 secs)
(3.9 W >50 secs)
Seek
16~17
9.9 W

The drive's power levels were interesting as we found it had three different idle power states. When seeking it almost hit 10W which is high but not overly so for a high performance hard drive. Immediately after a seek was performed we found the drive idling at 6.4W. After 30 seconds elapsed we heard a sound similar to a head parking on a Caviar Green drive, and the power consumption dipped to 5.6W. After 50 seconds it seemed to do it again, lowering to 3.9W.

It is quite possible that with the extinction of the Barracuda Green line Seagate has added head-parking to their 7200 RPM models to try to find a happy medium but we find it odd that there is nothing in their literature describing any new power saving features. In any event, the responsiveness in the latter deep idle state was no worse than a Caviar Green with its head parked so we have no complaints, only curiosity.

HIGH CAPACITY DESKTOP DRIVE COMPARISON
Drive
Mfg date
firmware version
Vibration
1-10
(10 = no vibration)
Activity State
Airborne Acoustics
(dBA@1m)
Measured
Power
WD Caviar Green
2TB WD20EARS
August 2010
firmware 01.00A01
9
Idle
12~13
2.8 W (2.4 W heads unloaded)
Seek
6.5 W
Samsung EcoGreen F4
2TB HD204UI

August 2010
firmware 1AQ10001
7
Idle
13
4.0 W
Seek
15
5.6 W
Hitachi 5K3000 2TB HDS5C3020ALA632
April 2011
firmware 580
7
Idle
14~15
4.1W
Seek
15
5.6 W
WD Caviar Green
3TB WD30EZRS
September 2010
firmware 01.00A01
8
Idle
14~15
4.1 W (3.7 W heads unloaded)
Seek
7.5W
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB ST2000DL003
November 2010
firmware CC31
8
Idle
14~15
4.6 W
Seek
17~18
7.3 W
Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001
November 2011
firmware CC47
8
Idle
16
6.4 W
(5.6 W >30 secs)
(3.9 W >50 secs)
Seek
16~17
9.9 W
WD Caviar Black
2TB WD2001FASS

August 2010
firmware 01.00101
6
Idle
16
6.3 W
Seek
21~23
10.5 W
Seagate Barracuda XT
2TB ST32000651AS

May 2010
firmware CC13
7~8
Idle
17
7.0 W
Seek
18~19
7.9 W

The Barracuda 3TB was faster than the WD Caviar Black 2TB in our performance tests and had a clear environmental advantage as well. The vibration level, noise, and energy efficiency all favor Seagate.



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