We've been hearing about Seagate's plans
to offer an unencumbered 3TB hard drive since May of last year, but despite promises of a 2010 launch and the release of similarly large HDDs from companies like Western Digital
, we're only now seeing the 3TB Barracuda XT shipping all on its own. We won't claim to have an explanation for the delay, but it's possible that the company's proprietary software -- which breaks the 2.1TB legacy OS barrier
and enables this guy to function within Windows XP -- could have something to do with it. It might be tardy to the party, but the new Barracuda can definitely hold its own when stacked against the competition -- it spins at 7,200RPM, touts a 64MB cache, and plays nice with the 6Gbps SATA interface. It ain't the only 3TB fish in the sea, but at $280, it's definitely not dead in the water.