Seagate has discontinued its Barracuda Pro family of high-end hard drives for desktops. But a replacement is coming, according to Seagate.
“Never, fear — we are in the middle of a little shuffle on that drive, but I’ll let you know when we are ready to talk about the replacement model,” a spokesman for Seagate said. “Stay tuned!”
Seagate says that it will replace its Barracuda Pro family sometime in the future and will therefore continue to address the market of high-performance desktops and workstations with its HDDs. Unfortunately, it is hard to say what exactly Seagate intends to offer. The company could certainly offer hybrid drives that use both rotating media and NAND flash, but such HDDs have never become popular. Also, Seagate could offer HDDs based on heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology that will be cheaper to make due to lower number of platters.
High-capacity high-performance hard drives for desktops is a niche market nowadays. The absence of Western Digital’s offerings of 10TB+ capacities greatly accentuates this fact. Up until recently, Seagate offered its Barracuda Pro HDD line-up of 7200RPM class hard drives based on its latest technologies. Yet, it has discontinued the line-up altogether, which is a pretty much unprecedented move. Good news is, a replacement is coming, says Seagate. Yet we do not know what it is.
Seagate’s Barracuda Pro was a series of 3.5-inch hard drives based on the company’s high-performance platforms featuring a 7200 RPM spindle speed, conventional magnetic recording technology (perpendicular magnetic recording or PMR with two-dimensional magnetic recording for high-capacity drives), helium filing, and so on. The line-up topped at 18TB and was designed primarily for higher-end desktops as well as workstations.
By contrast, Seagate’s Barracuda [non-Pro] HDDs are based on shingled magnetic recording (SMR), and feature a 5400 RPM spindle speed and top out at 8TB. While these drives are good enough to store media collections, their performance is considered too low by professionals.
Without Seagate Barracuda Pro in the company’s line-up, performance-demanding users who want 7200 RPM and CMR will have to opt for the company’s IronWolf that tops at 12TB or IronWolf Pro that has a maximum capacity of 18TB. The IronWolf series is aimed primarily at NAS and feature appropriate firmware, so they may not be very optimal for desktop usage scenarios.
It is noteworthy that without high-capacity desktop HDDs from Seagate and Western Digital, the only line-up of high-end high-capacity desktop drives that exists today is Toshiba’s X300 series.