Next-gen hard drive

Next-gen hard drive

Seagate's Barracuda 7200.10 750GB drive sets new standards for capacity, price and performance.

It achieves its high capacity by incorporating perpendicular recording technology, which allows the magnetic data to be stored much closer together on the platters. The form factor of the drive is 3.5-inch, the same as every other desktop drive on the market, but it holds four 188GB platters to achieve its market-leading 750GB capacity.

The drive spins these platters at a speed of 7200rpm and it has a cache size of 16MB. Its Serial ATA interface supports 1.5Gbps and 3Gbps speeds, and it has a jumper setting that allows you to switch between these two speeds. We tested the drive with the jumper set to 3Gbps and connected it to a high-end Intel-based desktop.

The drive performed brilliantly in all our tests and is the fastest 7200rpm desktop drive we've seen. Repeated transfers of large multimedia files from one folder on the hard drive to another garnered a transfer rate of 28.73MBps (megabytes per second).

The drive did not warm up terribly during testing and remained stable at around 40C. It was also a fairly quiet operator when reading and writing data. Because of these traits and, of course, its immense capacity, it would make a great drive for a media centre PC. Likewise, it's suitable for a high-end PC but it costs close to $1000. Multiple drives are still a much cheaper to reach a 750GB. Three 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 drives can be bought for under $500.

Verdict: It features the highest capacity currently available in a single high-performance drive, but should only be considered if cost is not an option.

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