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SeagateST3750330AS

For most of us (HD Video enthusiasts excluded) long gone are the days of racing to replace your SATA Hard Drive because you are out of space. So frustrating was the lack of space and glacially slow access times that a new hard drive was always at the top of my PC upgrade wish list. So what happens when your old hard drive is working fine and seems good enough? Well, you wait until enough things change in the newer model to peak your interest to do another review. In my case that was 50% larger capacity, and cache levels doubled (32 vs.16 mb). It also didn't hurt that the Seagate ST3750330AS is nearly half as cheap as the Seagate ST3500641AS was at the time we reviewed it, which I felt was quite a bargain. The drive we are testing today--a 750GB 32MB cache model--was provided us by Geeks our main site sponsor.

Seagate Top     Seagate Backside

The Seagate ST3750330AS is factory re-certified drive and ships bare in OEM packaging. After fielding a few questions after our past review about the reliability of re-certified drives I would like to state that after nearly two years of 24/7 usage I am still using the Seagate ST3500641AS. It has neither failed nor shown any errors with S.M.A.R.T. monitoring. So my personal experience is positive, although somewhat limited in scope.

Seagate Box

Specs:

If the graph below looks familiar to you, it might be because I err, ummm, "borrowed" it from the Seagate site. As for you die-hard fantasy baseball/football stat hounds reading, here is a link to the Product Overview, and the Data Sheet .pdf both also found on the Seagate site for your further reading pleasure.

Seagate SPecs

Regarding the hard drive noise levels, I broke out my Radio Shack db meter and attempted to get some objective readings, the results were frustrating, according to my db meter there was no difference (o db) in the sound levels between the ST3750330AS and the older ST3500641AS drives. That finding strongly contradicts my subjective judgment that the ST3750330AS was much quieter than the ST3500641AS. In fact, with the side panel on I could not hear the ST3750330AS. The ST3500641AS, though, was very noticeable. With the side panel off my case the ST3750330AS was just barely audible, while the ST3500641AS was easily identifiable by its somewhat high-pitched sound. It appears that my db meter is not sensitive enough to measure hard drive noise levels over the ambient noise level of my PC.

While making a few preliminary testing observations I noticed that the Seagate ST3750330AS burst rate seemed to be abnormally low. At first I couldn't discern why this was but after a little more poking around I discovered the drive was operating in SATA I mode. To switch it to SATA II mode meant removing the world's smallest jumper that was so tiny and pushed to the back of the block I had completely missed it in my earlier visual drive inspection, but taking the jumper off solved the low burst rate situation.

Test System:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+
ASUS M2N-E Motherboard
4096MB Corsair XMS DDR2 6400
Seagate ST3500641AS 500GB SATA HD
Seagate ST3750330AS 750GB SATA HD
Lite-One SHM-165S6S DVDR
XFX GeForce 8800 GT ADE (625/1800)
Thermalright SI-128 SE HSF
OCZ ModStream 520W PS
Win XP Home – SP3

Benchmarks:

HDtune 2.55
WinBench 99 2.0
SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP2

Seagate Graph 1     Seagate Graph 2

The newer ST3750330AS loses to the older ST3500641AS in the burst rate, as well as the CPU utilization portion but loses big time in the transfer rate section.

Seagate WB

The ST3750330AS is at times essentially twice as fast as the ST3500641AS. Quite an old benchmark here, but still quite useful results.

Seagate Graph 1     Seagate Graph 2

The older ST3500641AS (on the left) here doesn't do bad in this test, but the ST3750330AS (on the right) nearly keeps pace with the 10,000 RPM Western Digital drive.

Conclusion:

With the exception of the firmware issue discussed below there really isn't much to dislike here. The Seagate ST3750330AS hard drive is in nearly every way superior to the ST3500641AS. Data transfer rate were faster, seek times were better, the drive was quieter, temps were lower, and on top of that it was cheaper. If I were to nitpick, I guess I could complain about the slightly lower burst rate, and the slightly higher CPU utilization; however, both are IMO minor issues.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Cheap
  • Quiet
  • Five year warranty (If new)

Cons:

  • May need firmware update

I would like to thank Geeks for providing us with the Seagate ST3750330AS 750GB HD for review. This item can be purchased at Geeks for 65 usd.

Geeks

By now you have likely heard about the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive series firmware problems. It seems several models including the ST3750330AS have been having power on issues. Although no data is lost certain affected drives may refuse to boot or even be recognized by the BIOS at all. I haven't experienced this problem first hand; although using an affected model I did update my firmware just to be safe. If buying one of these drives I would check that it has the newer firmware, and if not, consider updating it if you are an advanced user.

Added: January 26th 2009
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 9  
Related Link: Seagate
Hits: 7866
Language: english

  

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