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Seagate 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11

Last updated June 01, 2009 - Send Feedback

The Seagate 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 is not an enterprise-class drive, but performs exceptionally well singly or in a striped RAID for sustained data transfer. It was a solid performer in Photoshop tests, though not as fast as the Western Digital RE3.

The 7200.11 is very quiet, with head seeks barely audible. Except for the fact that it’s not an enterprise-grade drive, this drive is very appealing: it offers exceptionally high performance and class-leading capacity.

Drive failures

Caution is advised, as this page will attest. See also Seagate firmware fix bricks Barracudas and also Tick tick tick... significant number of Seagate hard drives failing, Take two of the Seagate saga, and Seagate continues to communicate bad news,

Seagate’s response of providing a firmware update is a grossly unfair imposition on customers. Mac users are left in the cold. Are we to all install BootCamp (after buying Windows), and then flash each and every drive? I have eight Seagate drives and I want them replaced with non-defective units.

However, there have been reports of 20-30 second “stalls” when Mac OS X file journaling is enabled. The original reports indicated that no harm ensues, but later reports indicated total data loss, with drives showing 0=byte capacity. In reality the data is allegedly still there, but inaccessible—little solace for anyone who needs their data now, or data they’d rather keep private, etc.

Seagate drive serial number
Finding the drive serial number

Seagate has acknowledged the issue, and customers are advised to contact Seagate with their drive serial numbers for a firmware update of the drives or see the Seagate support page.

To find the serial number of your drive on a Mac, use About This Mac, then choose More Info to bring up the Apple System Profiler. Select Serial ATA and the drive in question. As shown here, the drives are Western Digital models , but the process is the same for any model drive.

Flashing your drive’s firmware on a Mac

Seagate supplies a FreeDOS boot disk which will start on an Intel Mac. The drive whose firmware is to be updated must be connected via eSATA; it won’t work via USB or Firewire. See Seagate’s notes and notes about Mac compatibility.

Raw data

Test mule: MacPro quad-core 3.0GHz
SATA card: Sonnet E4P
Enclosure: FirmTek SeriTek 2eEN4
Driver: SoftRAID 3.6.7
Drive model: ST31500341AS
Date code: 09144
Site code: TK
Firmware: SD17

# single drive
$ disktester run-area-test -i 3 -c 1M -t 1G  sg1_5

=====  Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:32:45 AM PT, volume "sg1_5" (1.36TB)  ====

--------------- Write Details for "sg1_5" (1GB/1MB, 3 iterations) --------------
Area (1.36TB)    Slowest    Median    Fastest    Average    Range
       0%         123.3      123.3     123.6      123.4      0.26
      10%         113.1      120.6     120.8      118.1      7.73
      20%         114.9      115.4     116.4      115.6      1.50
      30%         112.1      112.4     112.5      112.3      0.36
      40%         106.4      108.6     109.4      108.1      3.03
      50%         101.2      103.0     103.5      102.6      2.32
      60%          96.4       96.7      97.8       97.0      1.39
      70%          87.5       88.2      89.7       88.5      2.17
      80%          81.6       82.1      83.0       82.2      1.45
      90%          71.7       72.0      72.3       72.0      0.56
     100%          77.7       78.8      79.0       78.5      1.31

--------------- Read Details for "sg1_5" (1GB/1MB, 3 iterations) ---------------
Area (1.36TB)    Slowest    Median    Fastest    Average    Range
       0%         121.4      121.6     121.8      121.6      0.36
      10%         118.0      119.2     119.6      118.9      1.65
      20%         115.6      116.0     116.6      116.0      0.99
      30%         109.9      110.2     111.1      110.4      1.18
      40%         107.3      107.8     108.0      107.7      0.75
      50%         100.9      102.0     102.7      101.9      1.77
      60%          94.8       95.8      96.9       95.9      2.09
      70%          87.2       87.9      88.0       87.7      0.81
      80%          80.8       81.4      81.7       81.3      0.86
      90%          69.0       69.2      69.8       69.3      0.74
     100%          77.6       78.0      78.8       78.1      1.19

----------------- Averages for "sg1_5" (1GB/1MB, 3 iterations) -----------------
Area (1.36TB)    Write MB/sec    Read MB/sec
       0%            123.4          121.6   
      10%            118.1          118.9   
      20%            115.6          116.0   
      30%            112.3          110.4   
      40%            108.1          107.7   
      50%            102.6          101.9   
      60%             97.0           95.9   
      70%             88.5           87.7   
      80%             82.2           81.3   
      90%             72.0           69.3   
     100%             78.5           78.1   
Average write speed across the volume: 99.9MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 99.0MB/sec


# 4-drive stripe
$ disktester run-area-test -i 3 -c 1M -t 4G  sg4

======  Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:14:28 PM PT, volume "sg1_5" (5.46TB)  ======

--------------- Write Details for "sg1_5" (4GB/1MB, 3 iterations) --------------
Area (5.45TB)    Slowest    Median    Fastest    Average    Range
       0%          459        475       481        472       22.4
      10%          465        466       476        469       11.5
      20%          449        462       462        457       12.7
      30%          432        443       444        440       12.0
      40%          409        418       424        417       15.5
      50%          397        405       405        402        8.7
      60%          374        377       384        378        9.1
      70%          351        352       361        355        9.7
      80%          324        327       328        326        4.1
      90%          282        283       285        284        2.7
     100%          237        237       238        237        1.5

--------------- Read Details for "sg1_5" (4GB/1MB, 3 iterations) ---------------
Area (5.45TB)    Slowest    Median    Fastest    Average    Range
       0%          438        464       472        458       33.7
      10%          459        470       471        467       12.3
      20%          442        443       451        446        9.0
      30%          413        425       439        426       26.5
      40%          413        413       423        416        9.6
      50%          393        394       401        396        8.3
      60%          365        372       376        371       11.2
      70%          349        353       353        352        4.0
      80%          317        318       319        318        2.2
      90%          278        281       281        280        3.5
     100%          224        231       233        229        8.9

----------------- Averages for "sg1_5" (4GB/1MB, 3 iterations) -----------------
Area (5.45TB)    Write MB/sec    Read MB/sec
       0%             472            458    
      10%             469            467    
      20%             457            446    
      30%             440            426    
      40%             417            416    
      50%             402            396    
      60%             378            371    
      70%             355            352    
      80%             326            318    
      90%             284            280    
     100%             237            229    
Average write speed across the volume: 385MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 378MB/sec

Up to 960GB of Storage!

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