Seagate Pipeline HD Pro 1TB Hard Drive

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Seagate Pipeline 1TB

Feb 15, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Seagate Pipeline HD Pro ST31000533CS
1.0TB, 7200 RPM Desktop Hard Drive
Sample Supplier
Market Price
US$140

Seagate's Pipeline series of hard drives are aimed at DVRs, HTPCs and other devices designed to serve up media. Since performance is not critical for these types of applications, we assume that such a drive would be power efficient and quiet, two qualities that are right up our alley. The Pipeline HD series are available in 160GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities, while the 1TB drive we'll be looking at today is designated as the only Pipeline HD Pro.

(Editor's Note: What's fascinating is that the smaller models run at the unique spindle speed of 5900 RPM. See my Postcript at the end of this article, on page 3.)

The Pipeline HD Pro is a 3-platter drive, but spins at the standard 7200 RPM, so we doubt it will be a threat to Western Digital's Green Power drive where it counts: power consumption, vibration, and overall noise level. However, Seagate has made some nice strides reducing the noise level of their drives as of late though so we have high hopes for the 1TB Pipeline HD Pro — if the drive has been tweaked for multimedia, it has the potential to be one of the quietest 7200 RPM desktop drives.


The Pipeline HD Pro housing is virtually indentical to the Barracuda 7200.11's.


Seagate Pipeline HD Pro ST31000533CS: Key Features & Benefits
(from Seagate's product web page)
FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT
* High capacity enables new television services, such as video on demand, high-definition DVRs and home media centers. Can hold more porn than you can throw a stick at.
* 1 TB delivers capacity for up to 200 hours of high-definition or up to 1,000 hours of standard-definition TV. See above.
* PVR acoustic profile as low as 29 dB supports bedroom and living room system usage models. 29 dB is poor in our opinion... though standards for media devices are lower with regards to noise.
* Capable of operating at drive case temperatures of up to 75°C Great for DVRs and other thermally challenging enclosures.
* Proven Seagate reliability—designed for worry-free DVR operation with segment-leading 0.62% AFR With the recent firmware problem afflicting their 7200.11 drives and the reduction of their standard warranty from 5 years to 3, Seagate's reliability has come into question.
* Low-current spin-up for ease of integration and power supply design Taken with a grain of salt. Measuring spin-up power consumption is very difficult.
* Supports up to 12 simultaneous high-definition or standard-definition video streams We'll take their word for it.
* Available Seagate Secure™ technology improves content security as part of a system digital rights management strategy. A run-down of Seagate Secure technology can be found here.
* Seagate SoftSonic™ motor technology and optimized seek profiles enable years of quiet, worry-free operation. We've found that recent Seagate samples have had very low seek noise.

Specifications: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 vs. Pipeline HD Pro (1TB)
ST31000340AS vs. ST31000533CS
Capacity
1 TB
1 TB
Cache
32 MB
32 MB
Disks / Heads
4 / 8
3 / 6
Interface SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s
Spindle Rotation Speed
7,200 RPM
7,200 RPM
Sustained Data Rate OD 105 MB/s 120 MB/s
Average Latency
4.16 ms
4.16 ms
Weight
0.64 kg
0.63 kg
Power: Idle/Seek (avg.)
8.0/11.6 W
6.9/8.8 W
Acoustics: Idle/Seek (bels)
2.7/2.9
2.9/3.1 (typical)
3.1/3.2 (max)

A run-down of the published specification tables for the Pipeline HD Pro versus the 7200.11 (1TB models) shows that the Pipeline drive is claimed to have a higher sustained transfer rate and lower power consumption. Despite the fact it one less platter than the 7200.11, the rated acoustics are higher — this seems counter-intuitive.



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