The Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB is a low-power, two terabyte hard drive, meant to conserve power.

The Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB spins at a possibly unique speed of 5900 rotations per minute, as against prevailing speeds of spinning at 5400 and 7200 RPM, and has a 32MB buffer.

It is a cousin of the mainstream Barracuda 7200.12 series of drives, and thus stores 500GB per platter, using 4 platters in total - similar to all other 2TB drives on the market currently. Conventional wisdom would say that more platters equates to more heat generated but the Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB drive barely got warm to the touch.

Vibration is almost non-existent in single-drive configurations, but pairing this drive with another similar one caused a fair bit of vibration in a desktop PC, although still tolerable. The Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB drive, although fast, is not targeted at the performance market, and is good for use in HTPC (home-theatre PC), NAS boxes, and other such purposes where the drive's data capacity is important. Seagate claims power usage of 3.3W at idle and 6.8W during operation, which is good for saving power if you are replacing multiple smaller drives with this one.

The Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB spins at a lower speed than the Barracuda 7200.12 series, so we didn't expect it to get anywhere close to their performance numbers, but we were pleasantly surprised. We run synthetic benchmarks and real world tests on a high-end testbench to eliminate bottlenecks.

We measured a read speed average of 91.9 MB/s, and write speed average of 89.5 MB/s. Real world file read/write speeds stood at 104.35 MB/s for a single large file (6.42 GB), but fell to 72.3 MB/s as expected, when copying multiple smaller files (1287 files totaling up to 2.33 GB). Transferring files from the first partition to a second on the same drive was at a poor speed of 13.79 MB/s. Read and write access times averaged 15.8 ms and 8.97 ms (milli-seconds) respectively. These performance numbers are good and are only slightly lower than today's best mainstream desktop hard drives. To get a rough idea of what the performance of this drive could have been if it spun at a normal 7200RPM, you only need to take a look at the Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB.

Due to the difference in the way drive capacities are calculated (decimal by manufacturers, versus binary by your PC's OS), all 2TB drives on the market only provide 1863 GB. This increasing gap between decimal and binary capacity gets quite shocking as you reach higher capacities, and the same "calculation policy" is now being applied to SSDs as well. It will be interesting to see what solution is worked out by the storage industry. Seagate offers a five-year warranty on this drive.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

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Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB: Specs

  • Internal hard drive
  • 102x147x26mm
  • 0.66kg
  • 3.5in x 1/3H
  • 2TB
  • Serial ATA-300
  • Buffer Size: 32MB
  • Drive Transfer Rate: 300MBps (external)
  • Internal Data Rate: 95MBps
  • Average Latency: 5.5ms
  • Spindle Speed: 5900rpm
  • Non-Recoverable Errors: 1 per 10^14
  • Start/Stop Cycles: 50,000
  • Expansion/Connectivity
  • Serial ATA-300 - 7 pin Serial ATA
  • Internal hard drive
  • 102x147x26mm
  • 0.66kg
  • 3.5in x 1/3H
  • 2TB
  • Serial ATA-300
  • Buffer Size: 32MB
  • Drive Transfer Rate: 300MBps (external)
  • Internal Data Rate: 95MBps
  • Average Latency: 5.5ms
  • Spindle Speed: 5900rpm
  • Non-Recoverable Errors: 1 per 10^14
  • Start/Stop Cycles: 50,000
  • Expansion/Connectivity
  • Serial ATA-300 - 7 pin Serial ATA

OUR VERDICT

Those who want to say “I have a multi-Terabyte hard disk” would be quite pleased with the Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB drive. A single HDD with such high densities is also useful for those building themselves a HTPC/NAS box. It sips less power than normal 7200RPM drives, without very much of a hit to performance. But the high capacity definitely incurs a price premium, costing slightly less than the price of three normal 1TB hard drives.

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