iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Seagate Barracuda ATA IV vs. Barracuda ATA V


  Barracuda ATA IV
Barracuda ATA V
Capacity 20/40/60/80 GB 40/60/80/120/120 GB
Spindle speed 7200 RPM
Buffer size 2MB 2/2/2/2/8 MB
Heads 1/2/3/4 2/2/3/4/4
Platters 1/1/2/2 1/1/2/2/2
Latency 4.16 ms
Average search time 8.9/8.9/9.5/9.5 ms 9/9/9.14/9.14/9.14 ms

They differ mainly in the record density. Besides, the new model has a significantly lower average search time. 


The test system is standard. 

  • Mainboard - Iwill WO2-R (BIOS ver. 6.00PGN); 
  • Processor - Intel Pentium III 800EB; 
  • Memory - 256 MB PC133 SDRAM; 
  • System disc - IBM DTLA 307015; 
  • OS - Windows 2000 Professional SP2.

The test suite is the same. 

  • Ziff-Davis WinBench 99; 
  • HDTach 2.61; 
  • Intel IOMeter. 

Ziff-Davis WinBench 99

The maximum linear read speed has increased marginally. The maximum of the record density is reached apparently at the expense of the increase in the track density rather than in the number of sectors on a track. Such approach is typical of Seagate - just take the U6 model

The access time is lower with the drive size being greater. Moreover, it's lower than the specified one (9.4 + 4.16 = 13.56 ms). 

The High-End Winmark remains almost the same which proves that the density increase doesn't influence directly the performance gain. The lower scores in the Business WinMark can be explained by the fact that the cache algorithms are not adjusted for so small files. But it's only my opinion. 

Intel IOMeter

The new model leads by a small but steady margin. 


The new generation of the Seagate Barracuda ATA drives offers a higher density, a lower cost of information unit storage and a tad higher performance. But I wouldn't recommend owners of the 4th Barracuda to change it as the performance gain is not great. 

Nikolai Dorofeev  (niko@ixbt.com)

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