Seagate has just announced a simplification of its range of 3"1/2 hard drives. The manufacturer has stopped its Green and XT ranges and will have just the Barracuda range going forward. The Greens have been definitively stopped but the XTs should be back sometime in the months to come as a hybrid 3"1/2 series.
Available in 250 GB to 3 TB versions, the Barracudas all have the same rotation speed (7200 rpm). The 250, 320 and 500 GB models have 16 MB of cache and access times of under 11ms for an average speed of 125 MB/s and a max of 144 MB/s. They use a single 500 GB platter.
The 750 GB, 1 TB, 1.5 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB versions all have 64 MB of cache, access times of under 8.5ms and average speeds of 156 MB/s and a max of 210 MB/s. Note the introduction of 1 TB platters, with notably just one platter used for the 1 TB drive (ST1000DM003) and three for the 3 TB version (SD3000DM001). Bizarrely, the 2 TB version (SD2000DM001) is announced as having the same level of performance, which leads one to think it uses two platters, but Seagate says that it uses three platters with both heads being used. The same goes for the 1.5 TB version that we expected to see in a two platter, three head version and which has in fact been announced as being a two platter, four head drive.
The end of the production of Barracuda Green 5900 rpm drives is slated for February and would seem to be going against the current trend towards drives with lower rotation speeds designed for storage. Seagate is highlighting the advantages of this simplification of its range in terms of reduced manufacturing costs, fewer references to manage for distribution lines and an easier choice for the consumer.
From our point of view, the fact that they are stopping this line isn’t really an issue as in our latest 2 TB drive roundup
the Green range was measured as consuming only 2W less than the XT range and wasn't much better in terms of temperatures and noise either. Other so-called green drives did much better.
This reorganization of the Seagate range is however likely to have far less of an impact in the months to come than the consequences of the recent floods in Thailand. As you’re no doubt aware, hard drive production has been seriously affected and prices in shops have gone up by a factor of two to four times as a result of fears of a drought (of HDDs!) in the months to come.