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Test Specifications and Methodology

Test System

Due to availability of test equipment we needed to use several test beds to perform our evaluation as our primary test beds did not feature a powered eSATA port and had an un powered eSATA port.

The eSATA port we used was powered by the Marvell chipset and Microsoft Driver. For this reason our benchmark scores vary to when the same drive is tested using the AMD SATA chipset and AMD driver.

Performance and eSATA tests were conducted on the AMD FX system while Temperature tests were conducted on the AMD A6 system

To test our HDDs and the Bytepac, we installed a HDD inside the Bytepac case and placed it alongside the chassis of the test system. For temperatures we used AIDA 64 stress test to run the drive for 5 mins, let the drive cool for 5 minutes and repeat.

ProcessorAMD A6-3650 APU Quad Core 2.6GHzAMD FX-6100 Black Edition Six-Core 3.3GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte A75M-UD2H, BIOS version F5 Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7, BIOS version F8a
Memory 4 GB - 2x 2GB Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3-2133 CL9 @ DDR3-1866 CL9
Cooling Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2. Heat Sink-Fan AMD FX Liquid Cooling Solution
Graphics Integrated Radeon 6530D Gigabyte NVIDIA GTX460OC 1GB
System Drive KINGSTON HyperX SH100S3120G 120GB SATA 6Gbit/s Solid State Drive
Test Drives

Hitachi Travelstar 5K160 2.5" 160GB

Samsung Spinpoint HD502HJ 3.5" 500GB

Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3.5" 3000GB

WD Passport WDL1200XMS 120GB 2.5" External USB 2.0

WD My Book 3.0 2000GB 3.5" External USB 3.0

Case Cooler Master CM STORM Enforcer Mid Tower
Power FSP ‘Aurum Series’ AU-750M 750 Watts Power Supply
Display DELL Ultrasharp U2412M 24” LED backlit LCD Monitor
Operating System MICROSOFT Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 64bit with latest updates as of May 2012.
AMD Bulldozer Hotfixes KB2645594 and KB2646060
Graphics Driver AMD Catalyst 12.4
Storage Driver AMD SATA for AMD chipset
Microsoft SATA AHCI for Marvell chipset

Seagate Barracuda 3000GB

For this review, we will only be touching on the transfer rates and not focusing on I/O rates. In this day and age an SSD or drivers such as the new 1TB WD Raptor 3.5" for desktops or Seagate Momentus XT 2.5" can offer a high I/O rate in comparison to a standard 3.5" 7200RPM drive.

For our tests we evaluated as a secondary storage drive first and foremost.

IF you are interested in more In-depth IO rates or drive to drive comparisons of this particular drive we suggest reading the reviews of our colleagues at Anandtech, PC Perspective and Tech-Report.

We are also publishing a First-Look at the Seagate drive itself, its competitors and legacy which will including more drive centric information.

Seagate ST3000DM001 does not use the least power of any 3.5" traditional hard disk, but it is one of the most power efficient for it's performance. Although at time of writing Hitachi have just released a consumer mainstream 4TB 7200RPM drive this uses 800GB platters x 5 rather than Seagate's 1000GB x3 for their 3TB model, increasing weight heat and reducing reliability.

With 3TB and 7200RPM, this drive is not Seagate's best 3.5" drive as they offer a Barracuda XT series which we will not be looking at in this article.

The drive heads up the family of 2012 mainstream/performance Barracuda drives and is intended as a 'best fit' for Desktops, All-in-Ones, Home Servers, PC gaming rigs, Desktop RAID (which is actually interesting as Hitachi and Seagate validate RAID for their consumer drives) DAS and NAS devices.

Key Features

  • 1TB-per-disk technology
  • Up to 3TB with 7200-RPM performance
  • SATA 6Gb/s interface
  • AccuTrac servo technology, designed track widths of 75 nanometers
  • OptiCache technology up to 45% performance over previous generation
  • SmartAlign technology for simple migration to the Advanced Format 4K Sectors
  • DiscWizard software assists users install their 3TB drive in Windows even on older PCs which do not fully support 3TB drives

2012 Seagate 3.5" Barracuda Lineup - 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s NCQ Interface

Model ST3000DM001 ST2000DM001 ST1500DM003 ST1000DM003 ST750DM003 ST500DM002 ST320DM000 ST250DM000
Cache 64 MB 16 MB
Avg Seek Read < 8.5 ms < 11 ms
Avg Seek Write < 9.5 ms < 12 ms
Average Read Write 156 MB/s 125 MB/s
Max Sustained Read 210 MB/s 144 MB/s
Heads/Disks 6/3 6/3 4/2 2/1 2/1 2/1 2/1 1/1
Start/Stop Cycles   50,000
Load Cycles 300,000  
Power On Hours 2400
Startup Power 2 A
Typical Power 8 W 6.7 W 5.9 W 6.19 W
Average Idle2 Power 5.4 W 4.5 W 3.36 W  
Average Idle Power   4.6 W
Standby Power 0.75 W 0.63 W 0.79 W
Sleep Power 0.75 W 0.63 W 0.79 W
Height 26.11 mm 20.17 mm 19.98 mm
Weight 626 g 535 g 400 g 415 g
Opticache Y N
AccuTrac Y N
SmartAlign Y

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