The Test

Our test bed specs have been laid out below. Since our test bed has remained untouched from our look at Seagate's 400GB Barracuda article, we will include our results of the drives that we looked at then.

Our test bed:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2Ghz)
Giga-byte GA-K8NXP-SLI
Western Digital WD1600JS
NVIDIA 6600GT SLI Edition (single 128MB card)
1GB (512MBx2) Corsair XMS4400

Our motherboard is an nForce4 based board that features support for the SATA II standard, up to 3Gbps/sec SATA transfer rates, and NCQ and TCQ.

We used the following nForce platform drivers in conjunction with our testbed:

nForce4 Chipset Driver 6.66
Nvidia graphics driver 71.89
Windows XP SP2 w/out further updates

AnandTech Storage Tests
Business Winstone IPEAK a playback test of all of the IO operations that occur within Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation IPEAK a playback test of all of the IO operations that occur within Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004
SYSMark 2004 the official SYSMark 2004 test suite
Business Winstone 2004 the official Business Winstone 2004 test suite
Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 the official Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 test suite
Half-Life 2 Level Load Test Half-Life 2 level load time test
Doom 3 Level Load Test Doom 3 level load time test
Command & Conquer: Generals Level Load Test Command & Conquer: Generals level load time test
Real World File System Task Tests timed tests of basic file system tasks including zipping/unzipping and copying files
HDTach Synthetic test for transfer rate of hard disk during a full disk read
Service Time and Transfer Rate Tests Synthetic tests for average service time and transfer rate of hard disk during a full disk read
Business Winstone 2004 Multitasking Test Synthetic tests for overall system multitasking performance
Real World Multitasking Test timed tests of basic multitasking processes, timing a file zip operation while importing Outlook data

More details about each individual test will appear in the section of the review dedicated to that particular test.

The 7200.9 Series

Capacity Platter Density # of Platters/ Heads Spindle speed (RPM) Average Seek Time Average Latency Interface Buffer Sizes
40GB 80GB 1 / 1 7200 8.9ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 2MB
80GB 160 GB 1 / 1 7200 8.9 ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 2, 8MB
120GB 120GB 1 / 2 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 2, 8MB
160GB 160GB 1 / 2 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 2, 8MB
200GB 100GB 2 / 4 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 8MB
250GB 125GB 2 / 4 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 8MB
300GB 100GB 3 / 6 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 16MB
400GB 133GB 3 / 6 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 16MB
500GB 125GB 4 / 8 7200 8.5ms 4.16ms PATA / SATA 16MB

The 500GB 7200.9

Click for high resolution version.

The Circuitry

Click for high resolution version.


Index Pure Hard Disk Performance - IPEAK
POST A COMMENT

46 Comments

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  • jeffrey - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I agree, the 160gb would have been a good review due to the platter density. The 400gb would have been a good review due to the combination of higher density and higher cache.

    A true Anandtech Quality article needs not only to be a report, but an inquisition.

    Great review idea:
    160gb drive 160gb platters 8mb cache
    400gb drive 133gb platters 16mb cache
    500gb drive 125gb platters 16mb cache

    The way I see it the perfect follow-up is already 1/3 done.
    Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Did anyone else notices how the load times in bold print for both Word 2003 and Photoshop CS are not the minimum load times of all drives tested?
    Reply
  • Lord Zado - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Yeah, I noticed that as well. Was coming here to make that same comment. Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I got a bit happy with the bold button with the Sox in the World Series! This has been fixed. Reply
  • Lonyo - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    It says evaluation version for non commercial use only in the SS of the HD Tach titelbar, are you guys doing osmething illegal?
    I'd call Anandtech a commercial venture :P
    Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Good eyes. Reply
  • Basilisk - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Last paragraph of article: why on Earth is "cost-effective" linked to M$ Retail Management System Solutions? Or, for that matter, why is "Western-Digital" linked to Yahoo!! Shopping (as opposed to AT Shopping) in a sentence unrelated to pricing? Curiouser and curiouser.... Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    It's some ad thing called intelitext. It sucks. Click here to disable it:

    http://www.anandtech.com/siteinfo.aspx?intelli=y">http://www.anandtech.com/siteinfo.aspx?intelli=y

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • kd4yum - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Thanks, Kris
    Reply
  • Anemone - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I've had dozens of WD drives over the years and only 2 (1 was 10+ years old, the other a 6mo old raptor) have ever gone bad. I've killed several IBM drives and a couple Maxtor's along the way.

    The raptor is really noticeably faster in day to day use than any other drive I've seen in action. The tests really don't tell the entire story. With several of the drives in my systems virus scans have gone from a couple hours down to 20-30min. It's really that noticeable. What I'd like to see on that front however is for WD to up the drive to 148mb, bring us a genuine native NCQ, and SATA II. The last two features just to bring it up to date, since I'm not yet convinced they make a stunning difference in performance. SATA II may be a technology that will serve better when all drives are 10k standard and raptor types are 15k, meaning when the native ability of the drive itself begins to get a bit better.

    Thanks for the detailed review!
    Reply

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