Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

We already wrote about the new system of names in the range of Seagate HDDs last year . The same material was mentioned, and that the “tops” at that time of three (and now four, but this will be discussed a little later), rulers with a capacity of 10 TB, are collected in a separate series of “guardians of data.” The most interesting for us (and, we hope, not only for us) is one of these models – a representative of the BarraCuda Pro series.

This is not the first “helium” “ten” on the market, but, in fact, the first “helium” disk officially designed for personal computers. And one of the first for the mass market in general: it appeared later than WD Red 8 TB , but the latter is designed for NAS and has a reduced speed. In addition, 8 TB is not 10 TB. 10-terabytes basically still “live” in corporate lines, which, of course, does not prevent willing (and ready to pay) to purchase them for installation in regular PCs, but formally the positioning is different, as well as (possible) Or other usage scenarios. Meanwhile in Seagate already believe that the time of helium has come – at least, where it is difficult to do without it. And how it all works in practice, we will check today.

Seagate BarraCuda ST3000DM008 3 TB

Reanimiruya brand BarraCuda, in Seagate about the rotational speed of these disks did not say anything, emphasizing at the same time that in BarraCuda Pro – 7200 rpm. It was possible to conclude that the “usual powder” is less “revolving”, but in practice this is not the case: in the ST3000DM008, three plates (on a terabyte each) rotate at a speed of just 7200 rpm. Add to this the SATA600 interface, 64 MB of cache and … I remember 2013 when we tested ST3000DM001 – a hard drive having the same TTX and belonging to the Barracuda family. Another thing, the old. In general, the processes in the field of hard drive construction have slowed down so much that any progress is noticeable only in the field of high capacities. A capacity of 3 TB and about that high is no longer, so you can continue to produce “new old” models.

Happen at the same pace as 10 years ago – there would not be such HDDs anymore, but there would be, for example, two 1.5 TB plates. But they are more expensive in production, and 1-2 TB drives are quite in demand for economical buyers (that is, there is no incentive to increase the minimum capacity either), so high-capacity plates are used in 10 TB models, where they can not be dispensed with, and only. Thus, in the performance characteristics of the ST3000DM004 it is unlikely to detect anything new: such devices are available for about five years. But this is what we are interested in today – as a benchmark for comparison, thanks to the current version of the methodology, we have not yet tested it.

Seagate BarraCuda Pro ST10000DM0004 10 TB

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

But this is just the pride of the company and the top of the lineup of desktop hard drives, however … Again, a bit familiar to us. At least for the basic TTX, it repeats the already studied Enterprise Capacity HDD ST10000NM0086 : seven plates rotate at a speed of 7200 rpm in a body filled with helium; All this is equipped with 256 MB of dynamic cache memory, and with the host system “communicates” via the SATA600 interface. The firmware of the devices is, of course, slightly different, which can affect performance in some scenarios, but hardly radically.

Simply, the company based on the experience of producing helium corporate disks came to the conclusion that it’s time to launch this technology on the mass market as opposed to tile recording (SMR), which did not come to the desktop models of hard drives and is no longer needed: helium allows Install in the same case a little more slightly less dense PMR-plates, which turns out to be somewhat faster on the recording operations, and more economical. Helium “tens” fit in 7 W even under active loads, and “air” Seagate NAS on 8 TB in the same conditions require about 9 W. In both cases, this is less than the official passport values, but the ratio is similar in their case, so in general it can be assumed that the top-of-the-line BarraCuda Pro is as economical as the younger BarraCuda models, despite the doubling of the number of disks.

At the same time, it will probably work faster, and a five-year guarantee is more pleasant than just two years ago. Prices, however, also vary significantly – but after all, the capacities are very different. Most economical users are not offered such models (and they do not need them), but those who need to work with large amounts of data, at the same time “in the load” will add everything that is possible at the modern level of technology.


For comparison with BarraCuda and BarraCuda Pro, we decided to take the previously tested “consumer” models of WD Black hard disks by 6 TB and Toshiba X300 5 TB – of course, the capacity differs from BarraCuda Pro, and the technologies are used somewhat different, but from the point of view The buyer is a hard drive of the same class. But Seagate Enterprise Capacity with a capacity of 10 TB – on the contrary: it differs for its intended purpose, but, as already mentioned above, technically it should be extremely close to BarraCuda Pro. Up to identity, that’s why we need it today, too.

Methodology of testing

The procedure is described in detail in a separate article . There you can get acquainted with the hardware and software used.

Productivity in applications

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

It is clear that the role of the “main and only” drive in the system can be claimed, perhaps, that the younger BarraCuda (and even that is limited – as already mentioned above, economical users cost “terabytes” and not necessarily new ones, and others add to the system a budgetary or not Very SSD), but not hard drives at 5+ TB, which makes the results of high-level tests synthetic.

On the other hand, low-level ones are, by definition, always such, so to consider one more scenario (once a very typical one) is useful. But also not too interesting. Attention is caused by the lag of the “triter” from all participants of the test (even WD and Toshiba drives on similar plates), as well as a small win of the “tens” not only among the mentioned, but also the nearest relative. As you can see, the identity of the TTX does not always lead to a performance identity – modern hard drives are already so complex devices that this or that optimization of firmware can make a difference.

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

As well as at a lower level – everything that has changed here, so this lag in the “triter” from all the others has increased. What’s even offensive – as mentioned above, he has more chances to meet with such loads.

The previous version of the test package does not bring new information – only the absolute results change, but not the relative location of the participants.

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

And the detailed results of the PCMark traces clearly demonstrate that in a number of the most important scenarios from the point of view of interactive work at the computer itself, the mechanics itself is already a bottleneck, which strongly hurts the prospects of hard drives as system drives.

However, in this there is nothing new – all the same, 2017 in the yard. But when processing data, even their potential capabilities are not fully utilized by the software – so it’s not necessary to rush to transfer the entire data storage system to solid-state devices at all.

Sequential operations

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

As for linear operations, then at the same speed of rotation the main value is the longitudinal recording density. Somewhat disappointing, it is true, is that the gain from the new high-capacity plates is not so great as one might suppose a priori. Another argument in favor of continuing the operation in the entry level hard drives of “old” and well-established terabyte plates.

Access time

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

And access time gives a hint of why BarraCuda on 3 TB in high-end tests turned out to be a clear outsider – delays are the maximum; Especially when recording. On the other hand, BarraCuda Pro is also not a leader, and Enterprise Capacity low latency does not help. This is exactly what we warned above – modern hard drives have become so complex that it is already impossible to foresee only low-level tests: how they will behave in complex scenarios. Significance has already and electronics, and even firmware – sometimes defining. On the other hand, they still do not change the state of affairs: all the drives of the same class and the performance look similar in the same year.

Working with large files

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

And even where there is no particular complexity, there may be a different behavior. However, of course, “pure sequential” reading or writing does not apply. But if the task is to work in several threads or, for example, to record simultaneously with reading, and not with sequential, but with (pseudo) random access, nuances are already possible.

And those that choose an unambiguous leader does not come out. Unless “ordinary” BarraCuda is almost an unequivocal outsider, but according to the previous tests, we expected something like this.


Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

In general, according to low-level results, BarraCuda at 3 TB is far behind any modern top hard drives. However, we do not think that this can seriously upset potential buyers: after all, this is the cheapest solution (from today’s heroes), but with more than enough capacity for the average user (as it has been repeatedly said, “multi-terabytes” Still need not all, but only the most demanding users).

And to these most demanding users Seagate offers a series of BarraCuda Pro. And its main advantage is now logical to consider not productivity or capacity (high – but you have to pay for it accordingly), but a five-year guarantee. In today’s market it is a rarity, unfortunately.

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD

Although with the performance of BarraCuda Pro, everything is not bad – if it means results in tests not only low, but also high. In fact, BarraCuda Pro at 10 TB is the fastest of the “classic” hard drives we tested at the moment (hybrids are faster, but they do it for them). But the usual BarraCuda managed to fall behind and helium WD Red, so that even the good old approach to choose a hard drive primarily on the speed of rotation is just as “useful” as the choice of a video card for memory capacity 🙂 Although both, in general It matters.


In general, nothing radically new we saw – just “helium” discs began to gradually penetrate into the mass sector. On performance, this did not affect too much: the firmware in BarraCuda Pro is clearly optimized for “personal scripts”, just imagine a person using a single 10 TB hard drive in your computer, our imagination is not enough 🙂 Actually, that’s why the performance of hard drives has long ceased to interest many Users: “thrifty” are happy with what they “give”, but they do not buy top-end drive models, and everyone else has decided this problem for themselves in a different way.

In addition, the products of all manufacturers (of which there are almost two) are not too different from each other – even if we compare models of different (but close) classes. Therefore, Seagate’s partitioning of BarraCuda and BarraCuda Pro lines looks very logical: either a small capacity (although whether it is possible to consider this as 3-4 TB is a very controversial issue) with a limited warranty period, or 6+ TB thanks to the latest technologies and a five-year warranty, but already At an appropriate price. And that the second line also works a little faster – it’s just a nice free bonus, nothing more.

Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB and BarraCuda Pro 10 TB: Comparative Testing HDD was last modified: March 23rd, 2017 by Tomas Shellby