Seagate has introduced two new hard drives—ST380020A and ST260020A — to their U Series of hard drives. Both are 5,400 rpm drives with 2 MB cache and UltraATA/100 interface. The only difference is the storage space available. The ST380020A is 80 GB, while the ST260020A is 60 GB. We tested the 80 GB hard drive. The look ‘n’ feel of the drive is like any other Seagate drive with a thick metal covering and a rubber jacket to protect it from accidental shocks. The cost per GB of the hard drive comes to around Rs 207, which is not very expensive.
We tested the drive on an ASUS CUSL2 motherboard with 64 MB RAM and Cele-ron/600 processor. We used WinBench 99 to test the seek time, transfer rates, and the CPU utilization of the hard drive. In our tests, the drive showed a seek time of 10.8 ms, which was two points more than its rated seek time of 8.9 ms. Its average data transfer rate came to 30 MB/sec, which is by far the best score we have got. However, the drive was slightly high on Disk CPU utilization with a score of 22.5 percent.
Also, if you are using Fdisk included with Windows 95/98/Me for partitioning your hard drive, the total capacity of your hard drive may be wrongly reported. This is due to the limitation of Fdisk, included with these OSs, when partitioning disk drives greater than 68.7 GB. To over come this limitation, you can download and install the Disk Manager from www.seagate.com. The problem doesn’t persist with the version of Fdisk included with WindowsNT and 2000.
Overall, the drive is good in performance and comes with a warranty of one year.
Neelima Vaid at PCQ Labs