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Seagate Barracuda 7200.8

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I am now looking forware to Storage Reviews review on the new Samsung P120 range of drives, with "Seek noise" listing with AND without AAM enabled.

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Me too.

According to a review by a norwegian web site it's an order of magnitude quieter than the 7200.7, which says a _lot_.

Currently the 200GB model is dirt cheap around here, but the 250GB model comes at a 50% price premium. According to some test results I've seen on German mesageboards the 200GB models are utilising 100MB platters and have a max STR of 60-something MB/s, while the 250GB models with 125GB platters deliver ~70MB/s.

With the horrible seek times currently delivered by the newest models from Seagate and Maxtor, the P120 seems to at least not degrade as much from the P80 models as well.

BTW, whats up with the StorageReviw crew? One post in the forum every other mont doesn't exactly convey much enthusiasm about the site.... The reviews and articles are excellent, but some progress to the community would be nice.

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Hi all

I have 2 x 250Gb Seagate 7200.8 drives, which feel quite fast, but the access times

as on the testbed are slow.

Now it would seem that there is 2 versions of this drive, a quite version and a

performance version.

It looks like most of the drives are shipped in the quite version, not the performance

version.

The following pdf file gives this information :-

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/manual...da_72008_pm.pdf

Has anyone got any comments on this ?

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I have sold 25+ 80GB PATA 7200.7 Seagate HDD's, make in different countries, and they have all been set to the slow - quiet seeking.

I have bought and supplied 3 PATA 7200.7 200GB drives and they have all been quiet, I have supplied 2 (one for me) 7200.7 SATA drives, they are both loud.

Most people have found the same thing as above, and I suspect (but don't know) that Seagate will continue the same trend with the 7200.8.

Regardless of an SP review of the Samsung 200GB P120 SATA drive, I have ordered 1 and I hope to get it tomorrow to replace my stand in 80GB 7200.7, if the AAM is set to fast - loud, I will change it to slow - quiet seek, as I am in the process of making my PC as quiet as posible without impacting performance.

I will give you my impressions compared to the above mentioned drives, and just for a laugh, the loudest drive I have EVER used (a 120GB PATA DM9, louder than most DM9's by a fair margin).

Andy

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Far from any SR equivelent testing, here is what I could counjure up in 10 minutes with the drive, I will give more info tomorrow once I have imaged my 80GB 7200.7 PATA to my new 200GB Samsung SP120 SATA.

The early indications are NICE motor, comes with a molex to SATA power cable, and screws, not bad for an OEM drive.

It's quiet, in my office (not quiet), the spindle noise just doesnt exist, when I take it home I will either confirm or deny this, it also has extremly low vibration, this is probably due to the acclaimed Nidec motor.

The seek noise as I received the drive although not audiable is quiet, I checked the Acoustic Management using Hitachi's tool, it was dissabled, I then set the Acoustic Management to the quietest setting, it was even quiter. The seek noise is still audiable at about 1ft in open air with the ear pointing toward the drive.

The seek noise of the Samsung drive (my first Samsung) is quite "chirpy", i.e. highish pitched without squeeling, or soundng mechanical. Compared to a quiet Seagate, its high pitched, however the seagate sounds more internally resonant, deeper, throatier, and more..... just rougher, more vibrational. The samsung seems to be a more distinct seek, but it's the only noise coming out of the drive, (barely any coresponding vibration) and thats not a lot.

Andy

More to follow.

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Seagate decided to disable option to control the AAM of the drive and they are NOT going to enable it back. I've checked that out with their support team. Instead, they have built in some kind of internal acoustic management which turns the performance mode on if the drive's working in NCQ mode (means - the chipset and SATA controller are compatible with NCQ and NCQ's been turned on) - or turns it off and switches to accoustic mode if the platform does not support NCQ (or NCQ has been disabled).

Con anyone confirm this? My current mobo does not support NCQ, so, according to this, my drive should be in quiet mode, but I'm unable to do any tests.

Seagate support told me this drive cannot be used in quiet mode whatever the controller mode, but this answer could just mean they don't want to talk about AAM due to legal problems.

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Well, this is the "conversation" between me and Seagate Support Team.

Originally, in reply to my complains I got this e-mail:

> The acoustic management will not be added any longer. If you feel this

> drive is louder than a normal you should exchange the drive for an other

> one. These drives should not be any louder than the previous models of the

> drives. [...]

Then I sent an e-mail in which I stated that without the AAM they (Seagate) lost the trump (silent performers) and in result I got this:

> These drives are designed for NCQ configurations. Check to see if you have

> met the NCQ requirements for this drive.

> In order to take full advantage of Native Command Queuing, you must have

> the following:

> NCQ supported hard drive

> Motherboards or PCI controllers with NCQ support

> Verify NCQ support through your motherboard and host adapter

> manufacturer

> Multi-threading software

> If so then note the drive will operate in performance mode but may appear

> a bit louder.

To me it's a kind of a camouflaged hint that something like AAM is still present in the firmware but int's not accessible to the user in a direct way. Luckily, guys from Seagate bothered to show the way how to make sure that the drive is working in a semi-silent mode. I checked that out (by turning the NCQ off in my NF4-based ABIT AN8 motherboard) and after the reboot of the system the seeks stopped bothering me. One puzzling issue is that it seems that it happened not _right_ after the restart but a couple of minutes (hours?) later. But I may be wrong (about the period of time - it's just that when I noticed the absence of those seeks it was some time after the restart). Anyway, the drive is silent now but I'm not able to use the NCQ which sucks and makes me thinking about the purchase of the other drive.

Cheers,

cYb

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To me it's a kind of a camouflaged hint that something like AAM is still present in the firmware but int's not accessible to the user in a direct way. Luckily, guys from Seagate bothered to show the way how to make sure that the drive is working in a semi-silent mode. I checked that out (by turning the NCQ off in my NF4-based ABIT AN8 motherboard) and after the reboot of the system the seeks stopped bothering me. One puzzling issue is that it seems that it happened not _right_ after the restart but a couple of minutes (hours?) later. But I may be wrong (about the period of time - it's just that when I noticed the absence of those seeks it was some time after the restart). Anyway, the drive is silent now but I'm not able to use the NCQ which sucks and makes me thinking about the purchase of the other drive.

That seems consistent with another report I got from another forum: silent drive with NCQ disabled -> then NCQ enabled -> loud as hell -> NCQ disabled -> still loud as hell... probably this hours period was not passed yet.

This may also account for the differences in various reviews about seek noise: in some reviews 7200.8 is considered very silent, in others very loud.

In my case (NCQ disabled), I've found the drive to be not much louder than a Barra IV.

Anyway this definitely confirms AAM is still present but hidden... we can only hope for a 3rd party utility in the near future able to toggle AAM.

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Anyway, the drive is silent now but I'm not able to use the NCQ which sucks and makes me thinking about the purchase of the other drive.

Cheers,

cYb

Well, it is a round-about way to enable AAM, but when you think about it, it makes sense. If you're enabling AAM, you don't care that much about performance so why be concerned about what little you're losing with NCQ disabled?

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Apparently SR.com's reviewers don't bother to check with the mfr. when their results don't jibe with what common sense tells them ought to be the case...

This drive's top performance is only available in Queued mode. If you aren't running in queued mode, you are running in aam! Duuuuh. No wonder SR's results don't agree with the tests others have done.

SR's rep ought to take a hit for this boner.

.bh.

:rolleyes:

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Well, it is a round-about way to enable AAM, but when you think about it, it makes sense. If you're enabling AAM, you don't care that much about performance so why be concerned about what little you're losing with NCQ disabled?

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Other manufacturers managed to provide the user with both: NCQ and AAM (Samsung with their P120 line for example). If I knew that these new Barracudas lack such a feature then I'd never buy one. Sad thing is that no reviewing site bothered to notice and/or comment on the issue which somehow embarrasses their efforts. To many of my friends the way how the drive behaves (noise levels) is one of the most important factors when choosing one for their workstations.

Regarding low efficiency of NCQ. I think that it's going to change, have you seen the review of dual-core CPUs on Anandtech? Some of the benchmarks they did showed that in multi-core configurations NCQ can bring much bigger improvement than in single-core systems. So I wouldn't disregard NCQ ;)

Cheers,

Pawel

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Anyway this definitely confirms AAM is still present but hidden... we can only hope for a 3rd party utility in the near future able to toggle AAM.

I don't think it's going to happen. Seagate removed AAM on purpose and I don't think that it's probable that such a "feature" is going to be turned on by third party tools. The question remains: why Seagate removed such a feature and why is trying to wipe out every trace of past achievements on that field. Just wondering...

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AAM isn't removed - it's the default. If you have TCQ support on your machine, you can get full speed/noise mode... Still not a very bright move by Seagate to remove any level of user control. Doesn't cost anything to leave it in (except a minor update to their tweaking utility).

.bh.

-----------------------

Anyway this definitely confirms AAM is still present but hidden... we can only hope for a 3rd party utility in the near future able to toggle AAM.

I don't think it's going to happen. Seagate removed AAM on purpose and I don't think that it's probable that such a "feature" is going to be turned on by third party tools. The question remains: why Seagate removed such a feature and why is trying to wipe out every trace of past achievements on that field. Just wondering...

204529[/snapback]

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AAM isn't removed - it's the default. If you have TCQ support on your machine, you can get full speed/noise mode... Still not a very bright move by Seagate to remove any level of user control. Doesn't cost anything to leave it in (except a minor update to their tweaking utility).

.bh.

-----------------------

Anyway this definitely confirms AAM is still present but hidden... we can only hope for a 3rd party utility in the near future able to toggle AAM.

I don't think it's going to happen. Seagate removed AAM on purpose and I don't think that it's probable that such a "feature" is going to be turned on by third party tools. The question remains: why Seagate removed such a feature and why is trying to wipe out every trace of past achievements on that field. Just wondering...

204529[/snapback]

204558[/snapback]

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OK, not a 7200.8 but...........

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would get back to you RE: the 200GB SATA Samsung P120.

After using it for sometime, it's seek noise, is amongst the quietsest I have ever encountered, very arguable, but having listened quite intently to various drives, it's a toss up between the P120, the Baracuda IV, and the PATA 7200.7 (not the SATA, it's just not in the same ballpark).

It's vibration is very small............. as above.

It's seek vibration is lower than the 7200.7, but more than the Cuda IV, mounting will make the difference.

Compared to my experiences of the competition.

I dont use WD due to issues..............

Maxtor DM9......................... your joking right.

Maxtor DM10....................... louder seeks, more vibration, slight high pitched whine.

Samsung P80 Range............. no first hand experience.

Seagate 7200.7 PATA............ generally quiet, some are quiter than others.

Seagate 7200.7 SATA............ quiet spin noise, DM10 like seek.

Most laptop drives are quieter than the quietest desktop drives, but you loose out on performance, capacity, and price, only for the bold.

It's about the same speed as my 7200.7 200GB PATA (not scientific), so about 10% off the mark, not bad for a quiet drive.

I like it, a SATA drive thats quiet, really quiet.

I would recommend this drive too anyone who whants a large(ish) drive thats SATA, quiet, and reasonably fast.

BTW: The seek noise became quieter and quieter over the first week of usage, spindle noise did'nt change, my drive has a Nidec motor.

Andy

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The review of the 7200.8 by the UK computer magazine 'PCPro' was very positive.

PCPro Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 Review

Comments anyone?

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it's very strange that the reviews are somewhat contradictory

maybe it has issues whit some controllers or multiple firmwares are out there?

i ordered one (P-ATA), so if all goes well i post some tests this weekend

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I do not know what to say about Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 ST3400832A 400 GB version, then this I purchased this HD 4 days ago and I have to say I'm not so happy with that because after 4 days HD just quit working, my opinion Seagate lost a lot on quality

Edited by AvramovicB

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i've got the 300GB P-ATA version and after soms emailing i've found out it's NOT compatible with a Promise Ultra133TX2 controller, which i found strange

it works perfect with my onboard controller, but that's only ATA66

the average seek times i get are 15.2ms (HD-Tach), not that good, but not as bad as some reviewers get

i wanted the disk for storage, so i do not really care about the speed

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Help! I'm kind of a newbie, dealing with hardware...I am trying to decide between two 400GB drives: Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 & the Hitachi 7k400 deskstar. I'm trying to increase the storage on our departmental intranet server (lots of images and video) before I leave for school. I really want to minimize the panicked phone calls I get from the people in the office, requiring me to come running pell-mell back here again.

Therefore, the absolute, hands-down most important factor is reliability. I am reading about a lot of problems with the Seagate locking up, etc. Is it really less reliable than the Hitachi? Even if they do have a 5-yr. warranty, drive failure is really not something that this office will be able to handle, even with weekly backups to an external hard drive. Then again, I am also reading complaints about the Hitachi running really hot; how could it be less prone to failure if it that's true? I really don't want to have to buy and install a fan, too. :(

Any help would be vastly appreciated!!! You can also email me at yahoo (same handle).

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My 7K250's do not get to hot running without fans, however running consumer grade drives in a server (your on shoe string budget?) might not be the best idea from a reliability standpoint, you did say that you don't want to run back from school all the time right, perhaps a real enterprise solution would be in order? I would not be too worried about Seagate or Hitachi both are good drives, of course you may hear horror stories about certain 'lemons' but in general both are good drives.

Might want to try this link out:

http://sam.seagatestorage.com/

Also read this:

Also, Personal Storage drives are designed for a typical desktop or mobile environment, not for a mission critical, 24/7 enterprise environment, therefore the warranty is only valid if the drive is used in proper applications as outlined in Seagate's Storage Application Module (SAM).

That five year warranty does not cover you when using the drive incorrectly (24/7 server environment).

http://www.seagate.com/support/service/warranty.html

Hope this helps. :)

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Also let me add:

All Seagate enterprise products (SCSI and FibreChannel interface products) ship with a 5 year limited warranty. Warranty begins on the date of shipment by Seagate.

Found here also.

Link:

http://www.seagate.com/support/service/warranty.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Hitachi:

Warranty Period–

Ultrastar Products - 5 years

Deskstar Products - 3 years after April 25, 2005

Deskstar Product, all 8MB cache buffer models – 3 years

Deskstar Products, 512K or 2MB cache buffer models sold between November 15, 2002 – April 24, 2005 1 year

Deskstar Products, 512K or 2MB cache buffer models sold prior to November 15, 2002 - 3 years

Deskstar Products, 7K250 2MB cache buffer models sold between November 15, 2002 and April 24, 2005 (not including Deskstar 180GXP or prior products) (2 years for Europe)

Deskstar Products, 512K, 7K250, or 2MB cache buffer models sold on or after April 25, 2005 – 3 years

Travelstar Products, 1.8" form factor - 1 year ( 2 years for Europe)

Travelstar Products, 2.5" form factor - 3 years

Microdrive Products – 1 year ( 2 years for Europe)

Link:

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/warranty/english.htm

So as you can see using 'real' solutions from Hitachi would also benefit you with the warranty peace of mind you seem to be looking for.

Extent of Warranty

The warranty does not cover the repair or exchange of a Machine resulting from misuse, accident, modification, unsuitable physical or operating environment, improper maintenance by you, or failure caused by a product for which Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is not responsible. The warranty is voided by removal or alteration of Machine or parts identification labels.

Also found here:

http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/warranty/english.htm

This could very well mean misusing a consumer grade drive in a 24/7 environment, so if you need a warranty, the enterprise drives from Hitachi or Seagate seem to be the way to go, you will not be covered under warranty with consumer grade.

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About the noise level and performance of the 7200.8

I spent a lot of time reading mostly at Tom's Hardware, and a little at Anandtech to choose my new drive: a 250Gig 7200.8, which I've now had for about 4 days. It's my 4th or 5th Seagate, and my previous one a 40 gig 7200.7, about 2 years old has been flawless in every way and so silent that you can't even tell if it's busy seeking with your ear anywhere except in full contact with the case! Basically the 7200.7 was never audible, and the new 7200.8 has two sounds: a muffled seek sound which isn't bothering me yet, with my summer air conditioning during the afternoon, and even in the quiet morning time. (more on the second sound later.) I've spent a good bit of time and money on this, my second silent computer (A64 3000, with sweet qualities).

But the advantage to the 7200.8 here is exactly that I can tell when it's busy, and thus what's going on when my computer pauses. This has become really important to me actually. With the 7200.7 I never knew, and often wanted to know what the heck was causing my computer to pause -- drive bottleneck or some strange system or software thing (I don't know why my nice quality case doesn't have a hard drive light, lol). When you can hear the drive working, then you can know. So that's a plus for the 7200.8, with it's gentle access sounds.

But....the second sound.....it has at times had an off and on high-pitched pure tone, very high, medium loud, and piercing. Currently though it has been quite now mostly (98% of the time) for the last hour, which come to think of it, has happend before. Perhaps it matters how long the system is on, and if the drive is fully warm. Perhaps there's a break in period. Overall, since I like the access noise, if the high pitched thing reduces some more, I'll be satisfied quiet satisfied (pun intended).

Performance wise, with very careful testing on my identical software and system after the change over, I find that on the whole average overall the 7200.8 is perhaps slightly faster than the 7200.7 during most days use, and even slower a little on some specific things like bootup (just 3 seconds though). It's a wash, since the bootup and come out of hibernate lack of better performance are important enough to balance the superior large file (read video) performance.

But....the drive is mainly to record and work with video from my TV-capture card as my PVR, so....since it is faster for large file read and and write (significantly, especially for write -- 10 seconds less to write to hibernate for example), I'm pleased enough with the performance on the whole -- it's excellent where it counts and close in the other most other areas, according to about 5 reviews, which hightlight a good performance, echoing mine, with large file loads and writes.

So....good qualities as a large video file drive, and let's face it, that's the only reason most of us have for going over 80Gigs to start with!

! Excellent in the only place it really matters for many of us speed wise.

Now I'm thinking I'll bring back the 7200.7 as the system drive for bootup (where it is a tiny bit faster anyway, and use the 7200.8 as the data drive just for video and backups, and get some advantage from using 2 channels anyway. So frugal though I am, I'll not be donating the old 7200.7 to someone else after all. If I scrape together another system for a friend, they'll just have to shell out $60 for their drive! :)

Fingers crossed about the high pitched, which has been blissfully silent now for a good while.

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This high pitched pure tone, near the top of human hearing range, near but below a silent (to humans) dog whistle to try to describe it. It is not loud. All other non-computer noises need to be off to hear it. It is repeating right now (I turned everything off in my very quiet room so that I could monitor it). When it happens it lasts about 2 seconds and repeats about 6-20 seconds later, at roughtly equal intervals. Such a marginal kind of noise from such a machine as a hard drive must be temperature and humidity dependent and must also physically change over time as the machine breaks in and wears. So it can't be predicted yet and the jury is still out. It seems to be absent at times too, as noted before, so I'll report again soon on it.

And.... my case is like a guitar sounding board almost. Ridgid aluminum and even slightly loose joints for the front and side panels. If there is a vibration, even a little, it will show up dramatically for me. I already retired a cpu fan and returned a 200gig hard drive because of their minor vibration, which another case might have dampened enough.

This 7200.8 Sata has zero vibration.

Well, the drive is totally silent now but for the quiet seek sounds....

I will update re this in a couple of days and in a couple of weeks if I get responses here (monitoring thread). For now I'm optimistic about the drive.

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