SEA­GATE BAR­RACUDA PRO 12TB: Speedy, spa­cious proof that THE HARD DRIVE ISN’T DEAD

With 250Mbps trans­fers and 12TB of space, there’s plenty to love.

PCWorld (USA) - - Reviews Core I7- 8700k - BY JON L. JACOBI

Sea­gate’s Bar­racuda Pro 12TB re­minds us why at least some hard drives can re­main rel­e­vant de­spite the swift en­croach­ment of SSDS. Un­til we reviewed its pre­de­ces­sor the Bar­racuda Pro 10TB ( go.pc­world.com/bp10) last year and tasted its 250Mbps read per­for­mance, we hadn’t given hard drives much thought for a while. To be blunt, year af­ter year of 120Mbps - 150Mbps trans­fer rates had be­came bor­ing in a world of blind­ingly fast Ssds—even with the steady and enor­mous in­creases in ca­pac­ity.

The Bar­racuda Pro 12TB reviewed here is just a hair faster than the 10TB version, but the ad­di­tional 2TB of ca­pac­ity is truly a fan­tas­tic

thing. We can re­mem­ber $800 4GB hard drives, so color us in­trigued to see just how far Sea­gate and the in­dus­try can take things.

SPECS AND DE­SIGN

The Bar­racuda Pro 12TB is a 7,200 rpm, 3.5-inch hard drive with 256MB of on­board cache. It em­ploys a SATA 6Gbps in­ter­face, uses PMR (Par­al­lel Mag­netic Record­ing), is filled with he­lium for less drag, and is said to draw 7.8 watts—a rel­a­tively small amount of juice for a hard drive.

Sea­gate war­ranties the Bar­racuda Pro for hefty five years, and there’s two years of Sea­gate Res­cue data re­cov­ery in­cluded. Be­yond that, it’s just your run-of the mill hard drive in size and ap­pear­ance.

PER­FOR­MANCE

We test us­ing the AS SSD and Crys­tald­iskmark bench­marks. To those syn­thetic tests we add real-world copy­ing of a sin­gle large 20GB file, as well as a 20GB mix of smaller files and fold­ers.

The thought of a hard drive

trans­fer­ring large amounts of con­tigu­ous data at 250Mbps was fan­tasy not so long ago. The Bar­racuda Pro 12TB does it, and in our test­ing, it did so con­sis­tently. Even small 4K per­for­mance is con­sis­tently 30 per­cent to 100 per­cent im­proved over the old school.

AS SSD (not shown) ac­tu­ally rated the Bar­racuda Pro 12TB a bit slower than Crys­tald­iskmark did, but CDM’S rat­ing is ac­tu­ally closer to what you’ll see in the real world. This is re­in­forced by our 20GB copy tests, which pretty much flat-lined (in a good way) at 250Mbps, both read­ing and writ­ing.

Note that with all hard drives, trans­fer rates vary ac­cord­ing to where the data is on the plat­ter. As the outer sec­tors are filled, and more data is writ­ten to the drive, speeds may drop as the in­ner sec­tors come into play. With the rel­a­tively small amounts of data we used, this phe­nom­e­non won’t show up.

We haven’t tested the lower-ca­pac­ity 8TB, 6TB, 4TB, and 2TB drives, but the per­for­mance claims de­crease pro­gres­sively, al­beit mod­estly—most likely be­cause they have fewer plat­ters for dis­tribut­ing data. Hav­ing ver­i­fied the 250Mbps and 220Mbps claims for the 12TB and 10TB models, we don’t hes­i­tate to be­lieve the 195Mbps spec for the $130 2TB drive, which is a more likely to fit the aver­age user’s budget.

The he­lium-filled Baracuda Pro 12TB ran only mildly warm dur­ing our tests, and it’s also rel­a­tively quiet. You can hear the heads seek­ing, but buried in a sys­tem the noise level is more than ac­cept­able—if you even care about such things. We don’t hear it in the noisy city, but we hear quite of­ten from read­ers who do.

CON­CLU­SION

If you have a lot of dig­i­tal stuff, there’s no vaster or faster hard drive to store it on than a Bar­racuda Pro 12TB. But it’s not cheap, and its size and price bring up an­other con­sid­er­a­tion: Backup. Sure, we’ve reviewed plenty of good Win­dows backup soft­ware ( go.pc­world. com/wibs) and on­line backup so­lu­tions ( go. pc­world.com/baso), which you could the­o­ret­i­cally use with this drive. Given the amounts in­volved, how­ever, the only truly vi­able way to safe­guard 12TB worth of data is to buy two drives and mir­ror them. That’s an in­vest­ment of over $1,000 for your stor­age. You could skip the mir­ror drive if you’re not

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