Internal hard drives have come a long way over the decades, offering increasing storage space, speed, and reliability.
If you’re in the market for a hard drive, you might be on the fence between two of the most popular hard drives: WD Blue and Seagate BarraCuda.
They’re both made by famous brands with die-hard fans and great performance for gaming and everyday uses.
Read on as this post describes how they compare and which one could be a better option for you.
Seagate BarraCuda Vs. WD Blue (Differences, Pros, Cons)
WD Blue Features
Western Digital Blue is a hard drive built especially for desktop computers that users with different purposes, including professional and gaming, purchase.
It belongs to the series of color-coded WD storage solutions, including red, green, gold, and black, each with different purposes.
For example, the WD green storage devices are eco-friendly, the Red products are for storing network-attached functions, and the Gold drives are usually used for enterprise and data-center purposes.
The WD Blue is a budget-friendly product, offering a wide range of options, making it great value for money.
It’s perfect for tasks such as gaming that require large storage space, although initially designed to be mounted in a variety of prebuilt all-in-one PCs and desktops.
Users employ WD Blue’s capabilities in other tasks with high storage requirements such as music collections, photography, videography, web design, and regular uses like saving personal photos and memories.
Since Blue was so successful and reliable, Western Digital also decided to offer it as an internal HDD for buildable PCs.
Since the WD Blue is a hard drive placed inside a computer, we don’t expect it to be visually attractive.
It comes with a bare-bones design wrapped in a metal case and a label on the top with information written on it.
The 3.5-inch hard drive is bulky, and you can only use it on a desktop as an internal hard drive.
If you want to use it for a laptop, you need to put it inside an external box or enclosure.
Since it’s bulky, it also needs considerable power to run, so you should plug it into a wall outlet.
Other colors come with 2.5” versions and can better fit laptops and notebooks.
The 2.5” is also better as a portable choice because it doesn’t need as much juice as the 3.5” version.
However, WD Blue only comes with a 3.5” form factor.
If you want to use the 2.5” Blue, you need to go for the WD Blue SSD.
It’s also very easy to set up.
All you need is to turn off the computer and plug the HDD into the motherboard by connecting its power cord and SATA connector.
Here’s where the WD Blue shines the most.
It’s one of the most affordable options on the market, with a great price per gigabyte.
Whether you get the 1TB or 8TB version, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
Naturally, the costs will vary depending on the model, RPM, and where you buy the device, but they’re generally immensely affordable based on Western Digital’s website prices.
Another critical factor is the warranty offered on WD Blue devices, which is less than other WD products.
The two-year limited warranty has been one of the biggest complaints of customers.
Many experts have tested the performance of different WD Blue models, and most of them believe that performance isn’t the biggest advantage of these drives.
Although it’s a storage solution for gaming, they believe it’s better for storing data and files, which don’t need a higher level of performance.
In most tests, the WD Blue HDD had a slow performance compared to other drives.
However, this performance depends on the model and RPM.
For example, 75,000 RPMs perform much better than those with 5,400 RPMs.
In addition, the models equipped with the NAND technology are designed to offer improved performance, working much better than their competitors.
- Greatly affordable.
- A wide range of capacities.
- Great performance for the price.
- Suitable for home uses.
- Simple to set up.
- Slow rotation speed in some models.
- Limited warranty.
- Lower cache than other WD series.
- Not suitable for fast-connectivity requirements.
Seagate BarraCuda Features
The Seagate BarraCuda involves two series in its lineup, including the BarraCuda and the BarraCuda Pro.
The BarraCuda features a wide range of capacities ranging from 1TB to 8TB, but the Pro is even bigger, with the last item being 14TB.
They also feature a SATA 3 interface and a rotational speed of 5,400 PRM.
However, the BarraCuda Pro’s rotational speed is 7,200 PRM, making it faster and better performing.
The BarraCuda features Seagate’s Multi-Tier Caching Technology that improves speed and performance and makes up for the low rotational speed.
This technology uses DRAM, NAND Flash, and a media cache that helps optimize data flow, improving performance.
The BarraCuda lineup features 3.5” hard drives (with two-year warranties) suitable for desktop computers.
They’re also great for home use and small home offices that need DAS (Direct-Attached Storage).
The BarraCuda hard drives also come in a 2.5” version suitable for laptops.
However, this version doesn’t have as many capacities—only 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB—although it features the same technologies as its 3.5” sibling.
The BarraCuda Pro comes with a bare metal cover with no paint.
It also comes with a large number of platters that increase air resistance inside the drive.
The case is sturdy enough to reduce the damages caused by shipping companies’ bad handling, which is responsible for many HDD failures.
As one of the biggest consumer HDDs on the market, Seagate promises the fastest speeds among consumer hard drives, which is almost true according to tests.
The tests performed by online users show that the BarraCuda series have acceptable performance with a fast speed.
The Multi-Tier technology makes these hard drives great for consumer use, typically featuring burst workloads.
That’s because of the inconsistent performance of the device in the sequential write function.
It’s particularly fast and great performing under a heavy workload, something HDDs aren’t so good at because of the weaker random write performance than SSDs.
In addition, Seagate offers two years of recovery service to compensate for any failure regardless of the reason.
Although Seagate BarraCuda is at the upper range of the price spectrum, it’s still among the most affordable hard drives.
The 14TB Pro has the highest price-to-storage ratio, though you may find it at different price points across platforms.
Wherever you purchase it, make sure it’s from an authorized retailer that offers the company’s warranty coverage.
- Great speed.
- Sturdy construction.
- Wide range of capacities.
- Multi-tier Caching Technology.
- 2-year limited warranty.
- Lower read speeds than write speeds.
- Inconsistent performance.
Seagate BarraCuda Vs. WD Blue
According to online reviews on Best Views Reviews, WD Blue got a higher score from reviewers, particularly for being quiet, a great value for the money, and speedy.
However, according to tests and solid data, Seagate BarraCuda and WD Blue have similarities and differences that make deciding between the two much harder.
1. Storage Capacity
Western Digital was one of the first manufacturers that made internal HDDs of up to 2TB.
However, other companies, including Seagate, caught up very fast.
Although both devices have a wide range of capacities, the BarraCuda has a higher capacity range.
You could also find BarraCuda Pro at 14TB of capacity on Amazon, making it a perfect storage solution for NAS or enterprise-level tasks, but it drives up the cost considerably.
On the other hand, the highest capacity offered by WD Blue is 8TB, which is big enough for home use and gaming purposes.
Winner: Seagate BarraCuda
If you search the internet for failure rates reported by users, you may find the same number of failures for both devices.
That’s because failure hinges on many factors, including packaging and handling by vendors and shipping companies.
In addition, environmental conditions such as temperature, the hard drive’s age, the way you handle the hard drive, and the conditions of your PC also affect the hard drive’s longevity.
However, from the data standpoint, the amount of data you write on your hard drive also affects its lifespan: the more you write data on it, the shorter lifespan it will have.
Measured in TBW (Terabytes Written), it shows how much data you can write on your hard drive, and if it goes over this limit, the hard drive will fail.
You can check the TBW values on the product itself, but Seagate generally offers a higher TBW value that reaches up to 3,600 while it’s 1,200 for WD.
That said, TBW isn’t the only factor that affects your hard drive’s longevity.
WD Blue has an amazing feature that allows data recovery from a dead hard drive.
These hard drives feature the No-Touch Ramp technology that protects data by putting the recording head outside the disk surface.
That’s why many online users have reported that they have experienced fewer failures with their WD Blue hard drives.
Winner: WD Blue
A hard drive’s price depends on the capacity, with higher capacities costing more.
The prices also vary depending on the rotation speed: For example, the WD Blue comes with 5,400 RPM and 7,200 RPM, with the latter slightly costing more.
As mentioned earlier, the price may vary depending on where you get the device.
If the only factor important to you is the price, you can shop around for the lowest per-storage cost.
One of the most important factors that make a hard drive a good choice over others is its read/write speed.
That’s because it can affect booting speed and help your system work faster.
Both products have a maximum read speed of 550 MB, and a maximum write speed of 520 MB.
However, in benchmark tests and real-life exams, the BarraCuda performed faster than the WD Blue.
Winner: Seagate BarraCuda
6. Design And Form Factor
Seagate BarraCuda comes with two form factors of 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches.
It weighs 0.91 pounds and measures 5.79” x 4” x 0.79”, ranking it among one of the bulkiest hard drives out there.
On the other hand, the WD Blue is 5.79” x 4” x 1.03”, weighing 1.52 pounds, even bigger and heavier than the BarraCuda.
Note that the weight of the hard drive can vary depending on the capacity since the number of platters differs.
It doesn’t come with the 2.5-inch form factor, making it a more limited choice as a laptop and portable HDD.
Both drives have minimalistic features in terms of design since they’re meant to go inside a desktop PC’s hard drive.
They feature SATA interfaces with the same speed of 6 GB/s.
Although looks don’t matter in this case, the only users who want a visually appealing hard drive are those with clear cases.
The BarraCuda can be a better choice since it has two color options: green and black.
Since it’s smaller, it can be a better fit in most cases.
The Seagate BarraCuda features two useful software packages that make it super-performing and easy to set up.
The multi-tier caching technology in Seagate BarraCuda boosts performance by improving application loading.
It also comes with Seagate’s DiscWizard software that allows users to quickly set up the device and format partitions the way they prefer.
It also allows you to clone the hard drive onto another hard drive, copying all its contents.
On the other hand, although WD Blue doesn’t come with such software, it’s easy to set up out of the box, and users are pretty satisfied with its straightforward setup process.
That said, WD Blue does come with optional software used for data recovery, although it’s not included in the package.
Users can clone the hard drive using the Acronis True Image software provided by Western Digital for free.
Winner: Seagate BarraCuda
8. Cache Buffer Size
This feature is highly important in giving you a smooth transfer process while copying files onto the hard drive.
Cache determines where the data is temporarily saved while you’re doing the transfer.
The larger the cache, the faster and smoother the transfer.
The Seagate BarraCuda takes the prize here since its cache is 256 MB, while this value is 64 MB for the WD Blue.
Winner: Seagate BarraCuda
Based on the comparisons and pros and cons of each hard drive, you can easily see that the Seagate BarraCuda takes the crown in most cases.
However, it all depends on your preferences, budget, and system specs.
The choice between WD Blue and Seagate BarraCuda is one of those never-ending discussions between die-hard fans of each company.
Failure is an inevitable feature of any hard drive, so you should choose one that allows you to recover your data faster and more reliably.
If reliability is an issue for you, the WD Blue can be a better choice.
Although the number of failures has dropped considerably over the past years, Seagate still has a high number of failures compared to other brands.
When it comes to speed and performance, though, the BarraCuda takes the prize.
Also, if you want a storage space of more than 8 TB, the only choice you have is the Seagate BarraCuda.
Here’s a rundown of the features of each of these two devices’ 2TB versions:
|25GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, and 14TB
|500 GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6GB, 8TB
|4,500 and 7,200 RPM
|5400 and 7,200 RPM
|Multi-Tier Caching Technology, DiscWizard
|WD Acronis True Image (optional)
|2.5” and 3.5”
|5.79 x 4 x 0.79 inches
|5.79 x 4 x 1.03 inches