I've always been interested in the internal workings of a computer ever since childhood, and this has stayed with me, meaning I enjoy tinkering about with different pieces of hardware and getting the best performance that I can out of whatever I can afford at the time. Before my last computer sadly passed away due to a power supply failure, I was using the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11.
Now Seagate are a well-known company in the computer industry, and especially in hard drive technology, and the Barracuda 7200 is an internal hard drive, and from the 11-generation of Barracuda hard drives and is available in many sizes ranging from 160GB up to 1.5TB. As I don't have masses of data to store, I went in the middle and purchased the 750GB one. I paid around £60 a while ago, but you can shop around on many different Internet sites, and probably find a good bargain out there somewhere. They are also regularly stocked in high street computer shops too, but will probably cost a little more.
Now for a little bit of technical stuff, feel free to skip onto the next paragraph but I'll keep it pretty simple. The hard drive is a pretty typical size, so should fit into the cases of most computers, the dimensions being 147mm x 102mm x 20mm. The drive itself has a SATA interface, and so to set up it's just a case of screwing it into position in your case, and connecting a free SATA cable to it. This didn't take me very long at all, and with the joy of modern computers, your operating system should auto detect the new drive, and run you through the installation process. The spin speed is 7200rpm, which is pretty standard for an internal hard drive, and it is compatible with most operating systems including both Windows XP and Windows 7, so should run happily enough on most modern systems, as well as many older ones as long as your motherboard has SATA capabilities. The data transfer rate is up to a sustained 120MB/s which although not superb by today's standards, will be more than adequate for most home computer systems, and it is also designed to use less power than its competitors, which in theory is a good thing, but a very difficult one for a consumer to test.
All this sounds pretty good, and it seems from the specifications that it's a pretty middle of the road sort of hard drive, but how does it actually perform? Well from my point of view this hard drive has been a little bit of a revelation. After purchasing it, I came across quite a lot of reviews of the Barracuda range of hard drives around various websites, and a lot of people seemed to be complaining about them, saying that they seized up soon after purchasing, and that they were generally unreliable. I've not found this at all. It was in my old computer for just over 2 years and I'd never had so much as a bad sector from it. The data transfer rates and boot up times were all very quick, and I am very happy with its performance levels. It should be pointed out that the drive comes with a 3 year limited warranty, however as we all know with computer hardware, this won't really cover too much if anything goes wrong after a few months. The Seagate website listed the annual failure rate of this particular drive as 0.34% which is pretty low. Of course just a recommendation from me is no excuse for not keeping up to date backups of all of your data, and even though I have confidence in this drive I still made sure to take the due precautions. After my computer died, I decided to keep hold of this hard drive, despite buying a new one with the new build, and it is now employed as my backup drive and it has happily continued its fine service for a further 6 months. I see no reason to change it in the near future and am very happy with my little Barracuda.
To sum this short and sweet review up, I would say that despite some rather iffy press and consumer reports, I've had no issues whatsoever from my Barracuda 7200.11, and its performance and reliability has come as a pleasant surprise for a drive from its middle of the range sort of price bracket. I would happily recommend this generation of Barracuda drives, based upon my experience to the vast majority of home computer users who wish to upgrade to a larger hard drive, or simply want to invest in a decent drive to act as a backup disc.
Thanks for reading this review and it may appear on Ciao under my same username.