Seagate BarraCuda 4TB
SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £97 (£116 inc VAT) from pcpro.link/274sbc
There are a number of odd things about Seagate’s entry-level drive. That its maximum capacity is 4GB rather than the 6GB norm; that this more expensive model is slower than the 3GB version, with claimed sustained read/write speeds of 190MB/sec to its sibling’s 210MB/sec; that its spindle speed is 5,900rpm against the usual of 5,400rpm for budget drives.
Where it meets expectations is a two-year warranty and a data throughput rating of 55TB/year, while the drives are designed to be powered on for 2,400 hours per year. So this isn’t a good choice for systems that are powered on all the time or hammered regularly. It’s comparatively powerefficient, with standby usage of 0.25W, idle usage of 2.5W and operating usage of 5W, all of which are slightly lower than its main competition, the Western Digital Blue.
It also beats the Blue for claimed read/ write speeds, but we found little difference in our tests. Aside from sequential read/write and access time in AS SSD, the WD Blue came out on top. The real telltale test was PCMark 8. Almost across the board the WD Blue proved nippier, with a bandwidth figure of 12.87MB/sec compared to 10.87MB/sec for the BarraCuda.
The BarraCuda’s noise level of 37dB is also higher than the Blue’s. A difference of 0.6dB isn’t huge, but it was noticeable to our ears. Making up for these deficiencies is the Seagate drives’ slightly cheaper price, so if you need capacity over every other factor then the BarraCuda remains a solid choice.