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HD TACH RESULTS
The 7200.11 1.5TB posted a very impressive average read speed of 107.4 MB/s,
almost 20 MB/s faster than the 1 TB version and, indeed, the best score we've
ever recorded. If not for the slow random access speed of 15.3 ms, it would
be one of, if not the fastest 7200RPM drive on the market. Random access was
almost 3 ms higher than the 1TB model.
7200.11 1.5TB HD Tach results.
7200.11 1TB HD Tach results.
These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11
dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s.
We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from
the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what
we heard during the review.
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!
The recording starts with 5 seconds of ambient noise, then 10 second segments
of the drive in the following states: idle, seek with AAM enabled (if applicable),
and seek with AAM disabled (if applicable).
- Seagate 7200.11 ST31500341AS Idle: 17 / Seek: 19
- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS Idle: 16 / Seek
(AAM): 16~17 / Seek (Normal): 18~19 dBA@1m One
- Samsung F1 3D HD753LJ Idle: 16 / Seek (AAM): 18~19
/ Seek (Normal): 20~21 dBA@1m One
- Seagate 7200.11 ST31000340AS Idle: 18 / Seek: 19 dBA@1m
- Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KS Idle: 19 / Seek (AAM):
19 / Seek (Normal): 22 dBA@1m One
- Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS Idle: 21 / Seek
(AAM): 21 / Seek (Normal): 25 dBA@1m One
- Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD Idle: 16 / Seek
(AAM): 26~27 / Seek (Normal): 26~27 dBA@1m One
We view the 1.5TB 7200.11 from Seagate favorably it is
a fairly good compromise between noise and performance. Acoustically, it is
a minor improvement over their
1TB drive slightly quieter when idle with a bit less vibration, though
this may simply be a result of sample variance. Increasing the areal density
instead of the platter count played a big part in keeping noise and vibration
in check. However, without soft-mounting, the amount of vibration is still bad
enough to dramatically affect the noise level of a quiet system. We can't really
fault the drive for this however most high capacity drives exhibit a
similarly high level of vibration.
Thanks to its high areal density, it is also one of the faster
7200 RPM drives out there, at least according to HD Tach. It posted a very high
average read speed, high enough to rival the Velociraptor.
It had relatively high random access times, but considering how quiet the seeks
were, this seems like a fair trade. In fact, it more than holds its own against
drives that have AAM (Automatic Acoustic Management) enabled to reduce seek
noise. For example, our WD Caviar Black
sample had very loud seeks. We wouldn't consider using it on a day-to-day basis
unless AAM was engaged, but doing so increased its random access time to 18
ms. This put it at a disadvantage compared to the 1.5 TB 7200.11, which sounds
as though it was AAM equipped and performs 3 ms faster.
While it is no longer the biggest desktop hard drive on the market
(Western Digital now has a 2TB Green Power), at $130, it currently hits the
capacity/price sweet spot. It is very fast for the amount of noise it generates
and, while it isn't the most energy efficient, it does give you the best bang
for your buck if you're looking for high capacity storage.
There is only one factor that prevents us from giving the drive
a clear-cut recommendation and that is the recent
firmware issue with Seagate's 7200.11 drives. This issue affects most Barracuda
7200.11 models and results in affected drives coming to a sudden, complete,
and irreversible halt in operation, sometimes after months without any problems
or symptoms. Seagate has fixed the faulty firmware, but it will take some time
for these drives to make into the retail channel. It may be wise to hold off
on purchasing a 7200.11, but if you do acquire one, we highly recommend checking
with Seagate to ensure that the updated firmware is installed.
Many thanks Seagate
for the review sample.
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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
SPCR's Hard Drive Testing
SPCR's Recommended Hard Drives
WD and Seagate take steps to fix
Black: WD's Performance 1TB HDD
SE16 Caviar 640GB is now Blue
WD VelociRaptor: A Triple Crown
Samsung F1 750GB & 1TB Drives: Fast... and
Terabyte Round II: Seagate Barracuda
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this article in the SPCR Forums
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