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
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46 Comments

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  • Googer - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Once again NCQ did not aide these drives to deliver higher performance. It is my speculation that we will need an Operating System that can take advantage of NCQ before we could see any performance gains from it. Untill then Keep it disabled. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    NCQ is very vendor specific. Some drives benefit more than others from it.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    NCQ is actually beneficial in server applications where disk requests are occuring very frequently as opposed to a desktop PC scenario where disk access is not as critical.

    We are trying to research ways to benchmark this but if any of you have any suggestions, please feel free to send an email with any ideas you have.

    Thanks,

    Purav
    Reply
  • Byte - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    with an icredible 5 year warranty i exclusively use seagate. Suprisingly i've never had a chance to test out Seagates replacement steps. I've returned dozens of WDs, Maxtors, and IBMs. Looks like seagates on a role. Reply
  • Griswold - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Such is life. I've seen quite a few Seagates die, yet, never had a problem with WD in more than 10 years of using them.

    One persons experience is hardly statistically correct. :)
    Reply
  • DrZoidberg - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I own a 200gig Seagate 7200.7 SATA, and though the synthetic benchmarks like Winstone, Sysmark, Seagate is like at middle of pack most of the time, when it comes to like Real world tests like loading game levels Seagate is generally faster, sometimes even better than WD Raptor. The File zip times are pretty good as well.

    I'm always suprised at this, something that is average in synthetic benchmarks to do quite well in real world tests.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I think its time to start shipping hardrive coolers standard with drive purchases like they do CPUs. hehe Reply
  • Scrogneugneu - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Well, I still wait the moment I'm supposed to say "Oh dear God this hard disk is fast!"...


    It qualifies in the middle of the disks, and under some conditions (in fact, only during the DOOM III loading test) stands out... but it falls short (VERY short) of impressing me...


    Did you ever noticed that, for example, during the zip test, the vast majority of the disks differ only by 4 or 5 seconds on a minute of encoding? And in the case of unzipping, it's down to 1 or 2 seconds? Where am I supposed to notice the greater speed?


    "I got the fastest hard drive in the world, I can zip my 300 MB files 3 seconds faster than you! You're jaleous, aren't you?"
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Yes, after the earlier promotional article about this drive, and now the title "Mouthwatering Benchmarks", I was expecting to be blown away by the blisteringly fast speed of the drive. It seemed pretty average really, nothing special at all apart from a high capacity (matched by a high price). Reply
  • blackbrrd - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I completely agree, having a title like "Seagate 7200.9 500GB: Mouthwatering Benchmarks" for this review is just wrong. Anandtech might get more hits in the short run, but looses credibility while doing so.

    I really don't like review sites that have misleading titles.
    Reply

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