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Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (ST3120026A) Hard Drive Hard Drives

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (ST3120026A) Hard Drive

Price:
 $45.00
The Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus 120 GB ATA-100 Hard Drive is fully compatible with PC systems.The Hard Drive connect by: DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra) for Internal utilization. Spinning up to 7200 RPM and offering capacity as large as 120 GB
Lowest Price: Server Supply   $45.00
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Author's Rating: Rating: 4/5 stars
8 Reviews from Epinions.com

By:   Gr8ful
Mar 3, 2006
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120 GB,Internal,7200 RPM,3.5" (ST3120026A) Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda ST3120026A: Decent speed and capacity at a decent price

Author's Rating: Rating: 4/5 stars

Pros: Decent storage capacity, decent speed, decent price

Cons: Not the latest or fastest technology

The Bottom Line: 
...

Author's Review
Last summer my mother’s computer bit the bullet. The hard drive died and it was a good enough reason for me to convince her it was time to upgrade. She had been using a 20GB Maxtor ATA66 hard drive for several years and on several occasions I had to burn a lot of her files to CD to make room on the drive. She had been running out of space for a few years but her argument was always, “I can just burn the stuff to CD and make do with what I have”. Well, it finally died and gave me the opportunity to get her a bigger and faster hard drive. Her computer was fitted with an ATA133 controller card in 2002 but it had never been used at that speed; but then speed isn’t her main concern. Her main concern is cost with capacity as a minor secondary concern.


Seagate Barracuda ST3120026A

The hard drive is fairly fast for an older design, running at 7200 RPM and transferring 100Mbps. It is one of the few drives still backed by a three year warranty, although I got this one as a refurbished item with a 90 day warranty. The drive is quieter than the previous Maxtor drive but still a little louder than my Hitachi 500GB SATA drives (man these drives are quiet!). It runs at approximately 104 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius) which is a good temperature for a hard drive. I have had Maxtor drives in the past run as hot as 128 degrees which is within specs but can be detrimental over long periods of time.


Features

* Spindle Speed: 7200 RPM
* Interface: IDE/EIDE
* Drive Dimensions: 3.5" half-height (low profile)
* Height 1.02 inches
* Width 4.02 inches
* Depth 5.79 inches
* Weight 1.32 lb.
* Capacity: 120GB
* S.M.A.R.T Technology
* Internal Data Transfer Rate: 683 Mbps
* External Data Transfer Rate: 100 MBps
* Seek Time: 8.5ms
* Buffer Size: 8MB
* Average Latency: 4.17 ms
* Interface: DMA/ATA-100 (Ultra)
* MTBF (duty cycle): 600000 Hours
* Sound Emission: 37 dB
* Warranty: 3 Years (On new drives only)


Installation

Installation is fairly routine, although you do not want to use the software provided with the hard drive. Simply install the drive as either master or slave as you wish and use your operating system to partition and format the drive. With Windows XP this is real easy using the Disk Management tool. If you are installing a fresh copy of Windows, boot to the CD and let it partition and format the drive before installing the operating system.

If you are installing the drive on a Linux system, use the console to add the drive and format it with the proper command lines. If you are installing a fresh copy of Linux on the drive, it will partition the drive and format it during the install process.

Which ever way you plan to install the disk, just don’t use the Seagate software because I have had trouble with it working with Windows XP and it is just plain easier to use the operating system to set up and format the disk.


Performance

I won’t bore you with statistics and benchmarks and quite frankly there isn’t any need to do so because there are faster drives out there. The real question is does it keep up with the programs and tasks that it is required to run? The answer is definitely yes. My mother uses the computer basically for playing bingo online and emailing her friends. But from time to time she enjoys some digital music or video as well. The drive plays digital video very well without any lag and can be defragged in less than half an hour even at half capacity.

Compared to the old Maxtor 20GB drive this drive is much faster and so far it has been very reliable. Even though it is a refurb we have had no problems with the drive and it hums along happily doing its job as if it were a new drive. It has been installed in my mom’s computer now for about a year and has never lost any data nor has it ever overheated.

The drive is running at about half capacity now (60GB) and still works without slowing down. The seek time doesn’t seem to have changed after filling half the drive and transfer of data from one location on the disk to another is also pretty fast. Since installing this as mom’s primary drive, I made the old Maxtor a secondary hard drive for her to keep personal files on and when she downloads pictures and such to the primary drive; I usually transfer them for her to the secondary drive. The data transfer from drive to drive is a little slower than I would have expected but I am pretty sure it is due to the speed of the Maxtor drive (it is only ATA66 running at 5400 RPM). The larger the amount of data, the slower the transfer goes.

The odd thing is, it seems to transfer large files faster than several small files. In other words, it transfers a 50MB file faster than it will transfer several small files totaling 50MB. Again I am pretty sure it is due to the nature of the older Maxtor drive. I also noticed that virus scans are much faster now as well on the primary drive.


Conclusion

If you have a small hard drive and need more storage space, this is not a bad choice for the price. There are faster drives with more capacity but for a lot more money. If you don’t feel like spending a whole paycheck on a hard drive, this Seagate is a really good buy. I got this one last year for about $80 but you can find them now as low as $60 if you look around.

This drive is not the most up to date technologically, but it isn’t outdated and is a solid performer. Seagate drives have been around for as long as I have been in the computer business and have come a long way in the last twenty years. The quality is high and the price is low, what more could you want for storage?


Thanks for reading,

Gr8ful :-)
 


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