5900rpm Seagate Hard Drives: Barracuda LP, Pipeline HD .2

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Seagate Barracuda LP and Pipeline HD .2 Series

October 11, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Barracuda LP
2TB 3.5" HDD
Pipeline HD .2
1TB 3.5" HDD
Pipeline HD .2
500GB 3.5" HDD
Market Price
US$175~200 US$?? US$??

Like Western Digital's Caviar Green and Samsung's EcoGreen lines, the three Seagate drives under review here have reduced rotation speeds compared to the 7200rpm "standard." WD and Samsung's energy efficient drives spin at 5400rpm to reduce power consumption and noise. Seagate has chosen 5900rpm for their standard, perhaps betting that the slightly higher speed will provide a performance advantage without sacrificing noise or energy efficiency.

Three 5900rpm Seagates.

Two of these drives are from the second generation of the Pipeline HD line, marketed for multimedia/DVR type applications. The Pipeline HD .2's have twice the cache (16MB vs. 8MB) and platter size (500GB vs. 250GB) compared to their ancestors. We have a 2-platter 1TB model and a single-platter 500GB model. The smaller of the two is also physically smaller, slimmer by 5.9 mm, and lighter by 220 grams.

Pipeline HD .2 casings (singe-platter on the left).

Seagate's first 2TB desktop drive, the Barracuda LP also sports 500GB platters, but has 32MB of cache to put it on even footing with Western Digital's flagship drive, the 2TB WD20EADS.

Seagate Barracuda LP: Key Features & Benefits
(from Seagate product web page)
Super-low power consumption reduces power costs over the life of the system up to 50% over those of standard desktop drives Okay.
Leading performance in the low power category That remains to be seen.
Cool drives provide long-lasting benefits to the PC or external drive, reducing some component and maintenance costs. Lower temperatures are always welcome.
Delivers true greenness without a performance trade-off Does an extra 500rpm compared to the competition, may give it a slight edge.
Built to exacting Seagate green standards:
o Complies with RoHS directive
o Typically 70 percent or more of the materials used to build the drive can be recycled.
o Designed, built and delivered using best-in-class, environmentally friendly processes
Good on them.
Engineered by the world leader in desktop hard drives with 13 generations of technology advances We don't know if each generation truly represents a "technology advance" but okay.

Seagate Pipeline HD .2: Key Features & Benefits
(from Seagate product web page)
Sweet spot capacities points of 160GB, 250GB 320GB, 500GB and 1TB, meet the needs of entry level systems as well as high definition media center applications The 1TB limit is not particularly big these days.
Tuned to balance high-performance with low power consumption, Pipeline HD drives can support a minimum of 10 simultaneous streams of HD content Okay.
Eco-friendly, best in class power performance is easy on the environment while also enabling strict energy conservation programs such as Energy Star Good on them.
Seagate Soft Sonic™ motor technology enables years of ultra-quiet, worry free operation with acoustic performance as low as 1.9bels Like every other Seagate produced in the past 8-9 years.
Designed for cool, quiet, worry free, 24x7 operations 365 days a year. Always on, always reliable Okay.
Seagate Think Green certified, Pipeline HD drives are more than green - with improved reliability, low power consumption, leading recycling programs, RoHS compliance, PVC free and available and low- halogen designs Okay, now they're just repeating themselves.

Model Number ST32000542AS ST31000424CS ST3500414CS
Capacity 2TB 1TB 500GB
Cache 32MB 16MB 16MB
Disks / Heads 4 / 8 2 / 4 1 / 2
Interface SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3GB/s
Spindle Speed 5,900 rpm 5,900 rpm 5,900 rpm
Sustained Data Transfer Rate 95 MB/s 120 MB/s 120 MB/s
Average Seek <16.0 msec <14.0 msec <14.0 msec
Average Latency 5.5 msec 5.1 msec 5.1 msec
Weight 655 grams
(1.444 lb)
600 grams
(1.323 lb)
380 grams
(0.838 lb)
Power: Idle / Operating 5.5W / 6.8W
3.8W / 4.1W (no published data for individual models)
Acoustics: idle / max in bels 2.5 / 2.8 2.1 / 2.3 1.9 / 2.1

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