Storage Soup

Apr 22 2009   3:59PM GMT

Seagate boosts low-power RPM

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Seagate is claiming the world’s first 5900-RPM low-power disk drive today with the 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB Barracuda LP series. Seagate claimts its internal tests show the series draws 3.0 watts of power when idle and 5.6 watts of power when operating. 

Seagate positions the drive against Samsung’s Eco-Green and Western Digital (WD)’s Caviar Green hard drives. Seagate’s testing shows the Caviar and Barracuda drives drawing 3.0 watts when idle, while Samsung’s drive tested at 4.0 watts. In Seagate’s testing, the operating power draw for Caviar – 5.72 watts – was roughly equivalent to Barracuda, while Samsung’s drive tested at 5.5 watts during operation.

Another test by Seagate using the PCMark05 performance benchmark shows the 5900-RPM drive with a performance score of 8444 to WD’s 7802 and Samsung’s 6579. (That’s 95 MBps for the Seagate drive, for those of you keeping score at home). Seagate product marketing manager Anne Haggar said the quirky RPM – most desktop drives run at 5400 or 7200 RPM – helps the drive “strike the optimum balance between performance and power.”

Seagate describes WD’s drive as 5400 RPM, but it may be that WD has just been more coy about its spindle speed. When the Caviar product launched in January, Caviar Green product manager Mojgan Pessian said the drive’s exact RPM–somewhere between 5400 and 7200–was not being disclosed.

In any event, consumers and SOHOs will have multiple low-power suppliers in the market. The Barracuda LP is not recommended for enterprise or SMB use; for the enterprise, Seagate markets the 2 TB Constellation product line.

MSRP for the 2 TB Barracuda LP is $358; for 1.5 TB, $156, for 1 TB, $118.

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