Seagate bites the competition with BarraCuda, FireCuda 2.5-inch hard drives

Kevin Parrish
Digital Trends
Seagate bites the competition with BarraCuda, FireCuda 2.5-inch hard drives
Seagate has increased the capacity of its BarraCuda and FireCuda lines of hard drives with new 5TB and 2TB models, respectively. These are 2.5-inch drives ideal for laptops and all-in-one desktops for PC gaming and professional applications.

Seagate introduced 1TB platters for 2.5-inch hard drives in January and now the company is injecting this technology into two hard drives for laptops: the 5TB BarraCuda and the 2TB FireCuda. The latter model includes 8GB of flash memory to enable faster boot times and quicker program loads. This flash component is backed by special firmware that controls data management and storage when programs are in use and during system-based tasks.

“We’ve also developed highly sophisticated caching algorithms that continuously analyze how you use your system,” the company said on Monday. “These algorithms then get to work tweaking every aspect of FireCuda’s operations so that the drive is always perfectly synchronous with the unique way you work and play. We call it Multi-Tier Caching and it would be like owning a smart car that continuously tunes itself up as you drive — always performing at peak efficiency for the task at hand.”

Related: Seagate dazzles the Flash Memory Summit with a massive 60TB solid state drive

The BarraCuda hard drive is offered in six capacities: 5TB, 4TB, 3TB, 2TB, 1TB, and 500GB. The specs are mostly the same across the board save for their power management and acoustics. Here are the specs for the new 5TB model:

ST5000LM000
Bytes per sector (logical/physical) 512/4096
Interface SATA 3 (6Gb/s)
Data transfer rate Up to 140MB per second
Cache 128MB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Load/unload cycles 600,000
Read/write power 1.9/2.1 watts
Idle power 1.1 watts
Size 0.59 x 2.75 x 3.9 inches
Limited Warranty Two years

According to Seagate, this new BarraCuda drive is ideal for laptops, all-in-one desktops, and as an external storage solution. It’s the “fiercest hard drive you’ve ever met,” and the company suggests the BarraCuda line is perfect for PC gaming too.

The same goes for the FireCuda line as well, which offers “ferocious” speed thanks to their Solid-State Hard Drive (SSHD) nature. Seagate now serves up FireCuda in three flavors: 2TB, 1TB, and 500GB. Seagate believes that the drives are ideal for not only PC gaming, but high-performance PCs, workstations, and creative professional applications.

Again, like the BarraCuda line, the specs of all three FireCuda models are identical across all capacities three save for power usage and acoustics. Here are the specs of the new 2TB model:

ST2000LX001
Bytes per sector (logical/physical) 512/4096
Interface SATA 3 (6Gb/s)
Data transfer rate Up to 140MB per second
Cache 8GB Flash
Spindle speed Not listed
Load/unload cycles 600,000
Read/write power 1.7/1.8 watts
Idle power 0.5 watts
Size 0.276 x 2.75 x 3.951 inches
Limited Warranty Five years

Seagate said that when comparing the FireCuda drives against standard 2.5-inch 5,400RPM and 7,200RPM hard drives, customers will see up to 140 percent faster game loads, up to 450 percent faster program loads, and up to 35 percent faster Windows 7 boot times. Even more, these 2.5-inch drives a relatively cheap, making them a great upgrade from the current hard drive if you are not ready to jump on the SSD bandwagon just yet.

As for pricing of these drives, here is what we found via PC Connection:

500GB 1TB 2TB 3TB 4TB 5TB
BarraCuda $46 $60 $104 $141 $188 $235
FireCuda $58 $75 $120 n/a n/a n/a