It took decades for consumer desktop drives to reach the 1TB milestone, an unheard of capacity for those of us who can remember buying hard drives measured in megabytes, to say nothing of the gigabyte era. But even before the dust could settle on the 1.5TB drives that have since flooded the market, we're now seeing 2TB drives start to appear, like the Seagate Barracuda LP we're looking at today.
Seagate might not have been the first to reach the next terabyte milestone -- Western Digital holds that distinction -- but the company can claim the fastest 2TB hard drive on the block. Like WD's 2TB model, Seagate's Barracuda LP sports a slower rotational speed than performance-oriented drives in order to cut back on power consumption and save energy. Only Seagate didn't scale all the way back to 5400RPM, a long-time standard among low-power drives, and instead put the breaks on at 5900RPM, giving it a slight advantage over the competition. Rotational speed aside, how do the two stack up on paper?
|Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB||Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB|
| Model ||ST32000542AS||WD20EADS|
|Interface||SATA 3.0Gb/s||SATA 3.0Gb/s|
| Rotational Speed (RPM)||5900||5400|
| Power Consumption|
| Warranty||5 Years||3 Years|
In a side-by-side comparison, not a whole lot separates Seagate's Barracuda LP from Western Digital's Caviar in 2TB form other than the slight rotational speed advantage of the Barracuda. This comes at the expense of a slight hit to power consumption, with Seagate's model sipping a less than a watt more than WD's drive during read and writes, and just shy of 2 watts more when idle.
This is where our comparison of the two drives comes to an end, at least for the time being. We don't have one of Western Digital's Caviar 2TB drives on hand to run through our gamut of benchmarks, but as soon as we do, we'll update our benchmark chart on the next page.