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9/20/2006
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Review: Seagate Packs 750 Gbytes Into a Single Hard-Disk Drive

A mere decade ago, 1-Gbyte hard drives were priced at nearly $1,000. Fast forward 10 years, and Seagate has introduced a 750-Gbyte hard drive, the Barracuda 7200.10 750 GB, for $590.

A mere decade ago, 1-Gbyte hard drives—considered state-of-the-art at the time—were priced at nearly $1,000. Fast forward 10 years, and Seagate has introduced its 750-Gbyte hard drive, the Barracuda 7200.10 750 GB, for $590. This means that the same 1 Gbyte of storage space of yesteryear now costs less than $1. Seagate's timing is good, as hard drives are being used in a lot more than just desktop PCs, and no amount of storage space seems to be too much.

The first desktop hard drive on the market to reach 750 Gbytes in capacity, Seagate's entire Barracuda 7200.10 line of hard drives use perpendicular recording technology to reach new levels of areal density and capacity. Offered in capacities ranging from 200 Gbytes to 750 Gbytes, the Barracuda 7200.10 maintains a data density of 130 Gbits per square inch and up to 188 Gbytes per disk platter. With the introduction of the Barracuda 7200.10 family of desktop drives, Seagate's perpendicular recording technology is now used across its complete range of hard drives.

At one time, the only way to give a system three quarters of a terabyte of storage space was to install multiple drives. But using multiple drives increases cost, complexity and build time, and multiple hard drives generate more heat than a single drive. Removing that extra heat is typically done by adding more cooling fans, but that only helps to increase a system's cost, complexity and build time. Perpendicular recording leaves data bits standing on end (like dominos) rather than flat to the surface—as is the case with longitudinal recording—a benefit in that it improves performance without increasing spin speed and power consumption. The more tightly the bits are packed, the more data can pass under the drive head in the same amount of time.

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