Seagate Barracuda 36ES SCSI Hard Drive Review

Seagate Barracuda SCSI Drive

When Seagate brought the new Barracuda 36ES to the market they set their sights on target and scored a bulls eye. The Seagate Barracuda 36ES (ST336737LW) bare internal 36.9GB Ultra160 Wide SCSI hard drive is ideal for those wanting elevated SCSI performance, without the typical lofty pricing.

This 68-pin drive features a 7200 RPM spindle speed, 2MB cache buffer, 8.5ms average access time, maximum external data transfer rates up to 160 MBytes per second and sustained data rates as high as 42.6 MBytes per second, 3.5" low profile form factor and it has a 3 year manufacturer's warranty. The 36ES represents the seventh-generation of Seagate's low-cost, entry-level SCSI hard disk solutions, which bring value and performance you can't afford to pass up!


  • Ultra160 Wide SCSI interface
  • Seagate's Advanced Multidrive System (SAMS)
  • SeaShell
  • G-Force ProtectionShockBlock mechanics
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Track to Track 0.4ms seek time
  • Average Seek Time, Read 8.5ms
  • Default Buffer (cache) Size of 2,048 Kbytes

The low down

The Barracuda 36ES is a low-cost Ultra160 SCSI disk drive with it's sights set on the entry-level SCSI markets. A sensible solution for individuals wanting the enhancements and performance of SCSI drives, without the high costs normally high cost associated with a SCSI system.

During evaluation I used an Adaptec 39160 SCSI (Ultra160) card, which is geared towards a high-end enterprise server environment. This card isn't very cost effective or practical for the home personal computer, small business system or mid-range server. So you'll want to do a little research before going out and purchasing a controller for your Barracuda 36ES.

Since Seagate drives are manufactured to a specific standard, not to a specific hardware platform, they are designed to work with any system or host adapter that is compliant with those standards. SCSI standards (with the exception of the Fiber channel interface) are all backward compatible and will automatically negotiate to the highest standards supported by all devices on the bus. LVD (Low Voltage Differential) drives like the Barracuda 36ES are backwardly compatible with single-ended devices. These drives will work on Ultra 2 (LVD) controllers, and Single-ended SCSI controllers. (SCSI 1, Fast SCSI 2, Ultra 1). You may want to keep this in mind when shopping for your controller, but also remember that you'll lose performance with anything other than Ultra160.

Yes, yes you caught me; I said home systems back there! That's one of the great things about Seagate's new Barracuda 36ES SCSI disk drive. It's affordable pricing allows everyone to benefit from the advantages of a SCSI drive. Despite it's utilization, home workstation or setting up a mid-range server the Barracuda 36ES is a wise investment regardless of purpose.

Barracuda 36ES performance

Transfer Rates  
Internal Transfer Rate (min) 308 Mbits/sec
Internal Transfer Rate (max) 498 Mbits/sec
Formatted Int Transfer Rate(min) 28.1 MBytes/sec
Formatted Int Transfer Rate(max) 50.7 MBytes/sec
External (I/O) Transfer Rate (max) 160 MBytes/sec
Avg Formatted Transfer Rate 42 MBytes/sec
Seek Times  
Average Seek Time, Read 8.5 msec
Average Seek Time, Write 9.1 msec
Track-to-Track Seek, Read 0.4 msec
Track-to-Track Seek, Write 0.5 msec
Full Disc Seek, Read 14.9 msec
Full Disc Seek, Write 15.5 msec
Average Latency 4.17 msec

Technical side note

Though this has nothing to do with the drive, I feel the need to mention it just incase some of you are using an Abit KT7A-Raid Motherboard. Please note: SCSI corruption is reported with BIOS ZT with some Adaptec cards using older BIOS versions. This can be resolved by updating the SCSI BIOS to version 2.20 or later (depending on the card). Note that version 2.57.x of the Adaptec BIOS may disable RAID on the Highpoint controller. I did not experience problems related to these reported technical issues, but it would be wise to update your KT7A-Raid BIOS to KT7A_3R and your SCSI BIOS to version 3.10.0 for the Adaptec SCSI Card 39160 (Once again, depending on the card) before starting.

This will fix problems associated with the Adaptec SCSI cards.


The Good - Pros
  • Very affordable for SCSI

The Bad - Cons
  • N/A

The Ugly - Issues
  • N/A

The Verdict - Opinion

The 36ES features a whopping two (2) platters (Stores 36GB of data) so, as one would guess, heat and noise are not an issue. The drive barely becomes even slightly warm to the touch and It's near silent operating acoustics level will have you asking "Is this thing on". The 36ES's idle noise, as well as that of seeks, is virtually non-existent.

What makes the 36ES so attractive is the price, this latest addition to the award winning Barracuda 7200 RPM disc drive family is making it possible for anyone to own a SCSI system with the utmost in performance and scalability. The Barracuda 36ES is a no-brainer recommendation to those of you looking for a well-rounded high-capacity SCSI drives at a reasonable price. It simply is the "nirvana" for those individuals seeking an entry-level SCSI drive solution for home or office. With it's low cost, high value, and excellent performance. The 36ES should be on everyone's wish list this year.

Linux Compatibility:
Cost & Value: