Hard drive maker Seagate has begun shipping what it claims is the world's highest capacity PC hard drive: a 400GB beast that's also the first drive of its class to hold up to 133GB on a single platter.
At its announcement last June, the Barracuda 7200.8 was also said to offer "the industry's first native Serial ATA interface with native command queuing". Clearly, some crafty rival has got there ahead of Seagate. Now the 7200.8 is actually shipping, the company simply refers instead to its "most advanced single-chip native Serial ATA (SATA) interface with native command queuing".
NCQ allows drive read and write commands to be re-ordered to minimise the movement of the drive heads. The upshot is faster access and reduced wear and tear, boosting the drive's longevity.
Indeed, Seagate claimed the 7200rpm 7200.8 is able to match the performance of a 10,000rpm Serial ATA, thanks to NCQ and the use of asynchronous I/O.
The 3.5in 7200.8 ships with either 8MB or 16MB of cache, and comes in 200, 250 and 300GB flavours in addition to the 400GB model. Each offers an average seek time of 8ms. Seagate is also offering Ultra ATA versions as well as the native Serial ATA units. ®
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