updated 09:05 am EST, Mon January 5, 2009
Seagate Barracuda 7200 12
Seagate today preempted CES by launching a major update to its Barracuda drives. The 7200.12 is the first desktop hard drive to fit 500GB of data on to a single platter and manages to hold 1TB by using just two platters versus as many as four on other disks. Condensing the data improves reliability by reducing the points of failure and also improves performance through sheer density. Seagate itself estimates sustained transfer speeds of 160MB per second and thus competes more closely with some solid-state drives.
The SATA II drive comes with 32MB of cache and is starting to ship the drive today in large quantities at an unmentioned price. Both 500GB and 750GB versions should also be available with 16MB and 32MB of respective cache at lower prices..