Hard-disk drive maker Seagate has started shipping a drive targeted at PC video applications that offers 400GB of storage space, the biggest in its class the company claims.

Increasing popularity of PC-based multimedia applications, particularly home video editing and downloading of movies and TV shows from peer-to-peer networks, is driving demand for larger capacity hard-disk drives in the PC space.

In addition to high-storage capacities, such drives need to be able to read and write data to the drive fast enough to keep up with real-time video.

The drive is the fourth member of Seagate's Barracuda 7200.8 series of drives and is available in two versions, one with an Ultra ATA/100 interface and one with a Serial ATA interface. The rotational speed of the disc is 7200rpm, with an average seek time of 8ms.

The latter version supports a Serial ATA technology called Native Command Queuing, which allows the drive to manage multiple commands from the PC in whatever order it deems most efficient.

Until now, drives have handled read and write requests in the order they have been received. The NCQ technology means users of the Serial ATA version of the Barracuda drive with systems that support NCQ will see performance closer to that of a 10,000rpm drive than that of a 7,200rpm, according to Seagate.

The disc includes three media platters, each capable of storing 133GB of data, which is a record for a PC-targeted drive, according to the company. Pricing was not announced.