Seagate is overhauling its legendary barracuda line of hard drives by using the same technology on every barracuda drives, notably a 7200 rpm of rotational speed, 6Gb/sec SATA and the same DicsWizard driver for 2TB drives. This effectively leads to a single family of products that will only scale in capacity: from 250GB to 3TB. With this streamlined line-up, Seagate also makes it easier for PC manufacturers to qualify its hard drives because they all use the same technological building blocks, but for the end-users, the ease of choice, capacity and performance will be the main selling points.Talking about performance, the new Seagate drives will use a consolidated 64MB cache that should be much easier for the internal controller to manage. Normally, disk caches are often divided in much smaller blocks, which makes them more complex to manage efficiently.

As a result of this change, the “green” line of Seagate hard drives will be retired. The previous idea was that drives optimized for lower performance and consumption were a good thing, but in Seagate’s own analysis, they saved about $0.20 per year. On the other hand, the slower performance was probably costing in terms of productivity.

Overall, this seems like a good move for everyone involved: users get faster and bigger drives along with a lower cost per gigabytes. PC Makers spend less time to qualify the products, and Seagate has less variety of hardware to worry about. I’m curious though: what is your main priority when it comes to storage?

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