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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120GB (SATA)
By CPU-zilla
Category : Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 2nd July, 2003
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

Barracuda 7200.7 Does SATA

We recently reviewed the 2MB buffer version of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 which was supposedly a lower-cost variant of their 7200.7 series. In that article, we saw a not-so-exciting performance of the new Barracuda 7200.7. Basically, much of its advantages brought about by the larger 80GB per platter technology was not truly realized due to its smaller cache size.

Today, we'll look at the flagship model of the series which comes with a large 8MB buffer. The 8MB version of the Barracuda 7200.7 comes with two different offerings, one based on the Ultra ATA-100 interface and the other for the new Serial ATA standard. The SATA version is the flagship model which we'll be reviewing in this article today.

Similar to most of Seagate's SATA models, the Barracuda 7200.7 comes with only the SATA data and power connectors. If a SATA power cable is not bundled with your motherboard, you'll need to purchase one from the store as this particular model does not support legacy 4-pin power connectors. We think it's a slight inconvenience as not all boards or power supplies have fully embraced the Serial ATA standard. So in that respect, Seagate's design is a little unfriendly to users, unlike those offered by Maxtor and Western Digital. Of course, on the other side of the coin, Seagate's design is safer and it does not confuse users with two power connectors - which could lead to disaster when both legacy and SATA power connectors are connected at the same time.

In the previous article, we mentioned that SeaShield was no longer a part of their design and it's again the same with their SATA model. However, Seagate told us that the omission of SeaShield was not so much of a cost-cutting measure but due to the fact that they have managed to build extra features which didn't require the use of SeaShield. Some design enhancements include a deeper recessed PCB and lower motor housing which help reduce handling damage which often happen to the sensitive components on the PCB side of the drive.

Let's make a closer inspection of the Barracuda 7200.7's technical specifications before we look at some performance results in the next few pages.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (8MB-SATA) Technical Specifications
Interface Serial ATA
Capacity 120 GB
Model No. ST3120026AS
Number of Disks 2
Number of Heads 3
Bytes per Sector 512
Average Read Seek 8.5 ms
Track-to-Track Seek N/A
Full Stroke Read Seek N/A
Average Latency 4.16 ms
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM
Data Transfer Rate 150 MB/sec (external); 683 Mbits/s (internal)
Buffer 8 MB
Power Requirements 12.5 W (seek), 7.5 W (idle), 0.7 W (standby)
Weight 635 g

The drive supports only the SATA power connector.

The Barracuda 7200.7 SATA model uses a single Hynix 64Mb 166MHz SDRAM part.

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