Seagate announced on Monday the "world's first" 2TB hard drive with full support for the third-generation SATA interface and moving data at 6Gbps, double the rate of previous controllers.
The 3.5-inch Barracuda XT drive spins four 500GB platters at 7200RPM, and offers a 64MB cache.
Seagate says the Barracuda XT promises a sustained transfer rate of 140MBps (600MBps/4.8Gbps is possible), and a MTBF of 750,000 hours.
To take advance of the new 6Gbps throughput speed, the Barracuda XT needs to be installed in a computer with a 6Gbps SATA controller, which is available now.
According to Marvell, a maker of hard drive controllers, the first SATA 6Gbps controller is now incorporated in high-end motherboards from Asus and Gigabyte, such as the Asus P7P55D Premium or the GA-P55-Extreme. There will soon also be expansion cards that add the new controller to existing computers.
However, the new drive is backward-compatible with previous versions of the SATA standard, including the SATA 1.5Gbps and SATA2 (3Gbps). This means you will be able to use it with your current computer at the speed of the current controller. Nonetheless, it's predicted that by the end of next year, the new SATA3 will be the mainstream standard that replaces the existing SATA2.
The Barracuda XT arrives on store shelves this week for $299 and carries a five-year warranty.