Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 – 750 GB

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Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 – 750 GB

Post by Devonavar » Tue May 30, 2006 6:28 pm


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Post by acaurora » Wed May 31, 2006 9:01 am

Definately an interesting read. It saddens me to hear the seeks could get VERY loud, as well as the high temperatures. On the bright side, the super high densities allow for only 4 instead of FIVE (!!!!) or even more platters, as well as the very minimal vibration.

I'm guessing in the audio samples part there are TWO of the 7K500 there as a placeholder?
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Post by limee » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:55 pm

I've been wondering whether this new storage technology is any better or worse (theoretically) at retaining data on the long term over "regular" drives. Any ideas?

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Post by jaganath » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:59 pm

limee wrote:I've been wondering whether this new storage technology is any better or worse (theoretically) at retaining data on the long term over "regular" drives. Any ideas?
Should be, see the wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpendicular_recording
The main challenge in designing magnetic information storage media is retaining the magnetization of the medium despite thermal fluctuations. If the thermal energy is too high, there may be enough energy to reverse the magnetization in a region of the medium, destroying the data stored there.

...

The true picture is a bit more complex, having to do with the use of a magnetically "stronger" (higher coercivity) material as the storage medium. This is possible due to the fact that in a perpendicular arrangement the magnetic flux is guided through a magnetically soft (and relatively thick) underlayer underneath the hard magnetic media films (considerably complicating and thickening the total disk structure). This soft underlayer can be effectively considered a part of the write head, making the write head more efficient, thus making it possible to produce a stronger write field gradient with essentially the same head materials as for longitudinal heads, and therefore allowing for the use of the higher coercivity magnetic storage medium. A higher coercivity medium is inherently thermally more stable, as stability is proportional to the product of bit (or magnetic grain) volume times the uniaxial anisotropy constant Ku, which in turn is higher for a material with a higher magnetic coercivity.

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Post by tempeteduson » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:31 pm

The article mentions that the 7200.10 was compared to the Samsung P80 as well as the other reference drives, but I don't see the data for it. Perhaps it was just forgotten?

Otherwise, an excellent review. I wasn't expecting quietness out of such a high-capacity drive, and the review confirms that I would be happier with, say, a 250 GB Samsung P120. It seems that Seagate is drifting farther and farther away from their roots as a manufacturer of quiet hard drives, and instead pushing the barriers of technology in terms of platter size and areal density.
Last edited by tempeteduson on Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by specular » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:31 pm

We were a little concerned about Directed Offline Scan, which "runs diagnostics when storage access is not required". This poses an obvious question to for low noise enthusiasts: Are the diagnostics audible? A disc-wide scan in particular could produce seek noise when the drive should otherwise be idling.

To answer this question, we contacted Michael Hall at Seagate, who responded that the feature did not affect drive noise. Furthermore, the feature has been included on Seagate drives for about four years, which means his claim is quite simple to confirm. To the best of our knowledge, nobody has reported unwarranted seek noise from Seagate's drives in the past, which suggests that the feature is indeed silent.
Actually, I own a 120 GB Seagate ST3120026A, bought in 2005, which makes a very annoying noise whenever this scan starts up, which is shortly after the drive idles for a while. I have to start looking at non-cached folders in Explorer to make it stop its rattling. I also own a Barracuda IV, which is much quieter, and was very disappointed in the newer drive's scan noise.

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Post by andyb » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:54 pm

No different from my samples (I played with 2).

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... highlight=

Near the bottom of the page I described in far less detail and far less convincingly than MikeC did, however all 3 samples, 2 of my freinds and one of SPCR's seem the same.

I will say one really good thing about the drive, if you only use the front 10% of your drive and all of the data that you use regualry is in that 10% space you wont notice the seeks at all, if you are totally anal with noise this drive creates while idling, a p150 or p180 will be suitabe. The other 623GB could be used for random rarely accesed stuff, and if derfagmented would rarely require a long LOUD seek, all of the shorter seek are whisper quiet.

A fantastic buy if you need more tan 1 drive worth of storage, or as I have mentioned above a 1 drive system, with less than perfect idle noise, but a great short seek noise, and a huge 3/4 terrabyte of storage.


Andy - As always a good comprehensive review focussing on ONLY the necessary.
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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:16 pm

Nice reivew, as always, however I was wondering if it would be possible to review lesser capacity drives? Surely there are people who need as much storage as possible, but there are also people who only need 160-300GB max and two platter 7200.10 falls nicely in that range. I was very surprised by how quiet (relatively speaking) 3 platter seagates are and I was wondering ever since how two platter seagates compare with 2 platter P120's. However, I don't own any myself and for some reasons SPCR reviews hard drive extremes - either one platter 7200.9 or four platter 7200.10. Would it be possible to test two platter 250-320GB 7200.10?

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Post by andyb » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:29 pm

I'm in aggreement, please SPCR can you review the highest capacity 7200.10 with the lowest amount of platters.

Look here.

http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datashe ... 200_10.pdf

The SATA would obviously be the one to test as SATA's have always been louder since the 7200.7 arrived (and SATA :) ).


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Post by Devonavar » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:48 pm

I'd love to review smaller drives, but to a certain extent our hands are tied. Seagate wanted to promote its flagship drive, so we got sent the big one. The single platter drives that got reviewed were special requests, but they were tougher to get hold of.

By the way, has anyone besides specular noticed the noise from the directed offline scan? If there are enough other reports it looks like I will need to revise that particular section.

@jaganath: I don't think Seagate has been drifting away from low noise any more than the other manufacturers (Samsung included). I do think that we tend to see poor samples because of Seagate's penchant for sending us their largest and loudest drives. Take a look at the 5400.3 and the 7200.1 Momentus drives, which were both fairly quiet.

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Post by Ibliss » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:58 pm

Regarding the Diagnostics noise, please see this thread:

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... highlight=

It's a really bloody annoying 'feature' of seagates hard drives, and the reason I will not be buying or recommending them to anyone.

Who ever implemented this with no way to turn it off should be fired.

When you have to live with it day in day out... :evil:

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Post by qviri » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:18 pm

I am not sure what exactly is meant by the "directed offline scan", but I did have contact with a Seagate OEM (for Dell) 160 GB drive that had the annoying constant "diagnostic" seek problem. It would be on shaking the entire case (hardmounted) for minutes after boot-up. At first I thought the OS' drive indexing was to blame, but I turned it off and the Seagate still rattled away. Very frustrating noise, especially given that you can't turn it off at all.

I would also like to support the request for including the missing Samsung P80 in the reference drives section.
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Post by Devonavar » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:08 pm

Updated the article to reflect other users' experience of Directed Offline Scan and added data for the Samsung P80.

Thanks for the corrections guys.

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Post by winguy » Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:36 am

Yeah the 320GB must be reviewed and compared too. :)

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Post by kojak71 » Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:58 am

What I find odd is how the platter densities change throughout the 7200.10 range. So either they are using different platter sizes (which would be costly on an inventory management perspective) or they are using the same platters throughout the range and using the drive's BIOS to exclude large parts of the platter. It doesn't which of these they follow, it will have a significant affect on the noise of these smaller capacity drives.

750Gb = 4 x 188Gb platters
500Gb = 3 x 167Gb platters (564Gb if they used the 188Gb platters)
400Gb = 3 x 133Gb platters (564Gb if they used the 188Gb platters)
320Gb = 2 x 160Gb platters (376Gb if they used the 188Gb platters)

So for the sake of marketing a 400Gb drive, you're losing a theoretical 164Gb! More importantly they could have a single platter drive that would have 188Gb.
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Post by lm » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:21 am

750Gb = 4 x 188Gb platters 8 heads
500Gb = 3 x 167Gb platters 6 heads
400Gb = 3 x 133Gb platters 5 heads so really it's 160GB/platter
320Gb = 2 x 160Gb platters 4 heads

All of these drives have heads for both sides of all platters, except the 400GB version, which has just 5 heads for 3 platters, which explains the 133GB per platter. In reality it's 160GB per platter but there's one side of one platter left unused.

Maybe it's the same as it's with cpu's: platter capacity varies and the best platters go to flagship products? Then those drives that have 2*platters-1 amount of heads could use one single side platter if the other side is bad. But this is just guesswork.

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Post by kojak71 » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:45 am

lm wrote:400Gb = 3 x 133Gb platters 5 heads so really it's 160GB/platter
Well spotted, I stand corrected. So it looks more than likely that they 166Gb platters for the whole range, except the 750Gb which uses 188Gb platters.
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Post by jaganath » Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:59 am

@jaganath: I don't think Seagate has been drifting away from low noise any more than the other manufacturers (Samsung included).
Um, it was actually tempeteduson who speculated that Seagate are moving their focus away from quietness in this thread, although I have remarked on the same thing in other threads, so the misattribution is understandable. With the continued progress in the 2.5" form factor we will probably end up with a situation where quiet-oriented consumers migrate to 2.5" HDD's, while monster storage users stick with the 3.5" form factor.

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Post by Devonavar » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:00 am

My mistake :wink:

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:46 pm

this is one drive i want to buy used when spcr cleans out :) i can pop this in a server machine and be done with just one drive.

too bad it isnt super quiet. could be the perfect drive.

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Post by fastturtle » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:57 pm

So it now looks like a pretty solid bet that these new 750gb drives demand extra cooling, meaning at least a dedicated fan now. Guess it goes to show that I don't want such a large drive due to heat.

Now I just had an interesting thought: Could we get the audio/heat results of some of the new CF Microdrives? I think they're finally reaching the point of enough capacity 20/40 Gb? to be looked at as primary drives if quiet enough. It's also simple enough by using one of the IDE/CF Adapters.

Hell with the increased capacity of new CF Memory cards, it may even be possible to use one for the boot drive with a microdrive for storage and if anyone ever comes up with a Sata/CF adapter, I'm just about ready to jump on that horse and ride off into the sunset.
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Post by tempeteduson » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:11 pm

While browsing the HTPCnews.com forums, I found a reference to Seagate's Directed Offline Scan in their noise reduction guide. The relevant info is reproduced here:
User experiences can uncover noise issues that quick reviews dont find. A quick example would be with my current Seagate 7200.7 drive. None of the reviews I had seen mentioned this, but the info could be found on forums. My drive has a regular self-test that it does when idle where it essentially does a end to end seek, and some random seeks, possibly checking sectors and whatnot. The details are sketchy, but it just seems to be a self-maintanence routine. It's a noise that happens after being idle for about 10 minutes, and lasts for about 30 seconds to a minute. Even though the drive is super silent the rest of the time, that self-test is annoying sound-wise. Thankfully, the 7200.7 only does it frequently for about the first month of operation, then tapers off after awhile as it decides that it's doing a good job. Six months later, I catch it doing it about once a week or so. Annoying for the first month? Yes. Releaving that Seagate thought to have a reliablity test built in? Yes. From what I have heard, the current Hitachi drives have a similar situation going on. I figure it's something that will be spreading to all drives over the next generation, it's just Seagate was first, with Hitachi following.
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Post by Techno Pride » Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:41 am

slightly off topic.

is it just me or id the SPCR front page and subsequent review pages bonked?

I am using FF 1.5.03 and there appears to be no formatting of any sort, even after disabling adblock.

They all display fine in IE6 though.
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Post by qdemn7 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:32 am

fastturtle wrote:So it now looks like a pretty solid bet that these new 750gb drives demand extra cooling, meaning at least a dedicated fan now. Guess it goes to show that I don't want such a large drive due to heat.
I think we are rapidly approaching the point where those who want it all: large drives, silence and low temps, have to seriously start considering W/C their HDs. Assuming they already have a W/C system. I'd always thought of W/C HDs as overkill, but now I'm forced to change that view. Frozen CPU has a number of HD waterblocks. I don't see any reason why you couldn't consider putting a waterblock on the drive (and let's face it, you only need one of these in a desktop) then enclose the whole thing for silence.

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Post by tay » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:46 am

What are you people going on about? Watercooling a CPU and GPU is painful enough with the constant watchfulness req'd. Everyone I know that tried watercooling gave up after a few years if they needed to do any real work with that computer. Also this drive consumes 12W on a seek which is no more than a Barracuda IV drive. Of course the 9W idle is about 3W higher than drives a few years old, but if you can't figure out a way to cool an extra 3W silently...
qdemn7 wrote:
fastturtle wrote:So it now looks like a pretty solid bet that these new 750gb drives demand extra cooling, meaning at least a dedicated fan now. Guess it goes to show that I don't want such a large drive due to heat.
I think we are rapidly approaching the point where those who want it all: large drives, silence and low temps, have to seriously start considering W/C their HDs. Assuming they already have a W/C system. I'd always thought of W/C HDs as overkill, but now I'm forced to change that view. Frozen CPU has a number of HD waterblocks.I don't see any reason why you couldn't consider putting a waterblock on the drive (and let's face it, you only need one of these in a desktop) then enclose the whole thing for silence.
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:24 am

Techno Pride wrote:slightly off topic.

is it just me or id the SPCR front page and subsequent review pages bonked?

I am using FF 1.5.03 and there appears to be no formatting of any sort, even after disabling adblock.

They all display fine in IE6 though.
Everything works fine with my FF 1.5.03 setup, with or w/o Adblock enabled.

Close the browser, clear it's cache and cookies and try again.
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Post by andyb » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:23 am

FYI, the 7200.10 750GB drives do not get very hot considering the drive capacity.

The drive gets about as hot as the 400GB 7200.9, not quite as hot as the 500GB 7200.9, and is MUCH cooler than the Maxtor DM10 300GB (or was it a DM9).

Either way, a very small amount of active cooling would be ideal, but a small amount of gentle air movement such as many cases get VIA the fan(s) at the back of the case provide.


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