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  • gutharius - Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - link

    Wanted to ask if during the benchmarking your removed the jumper that sets the Barracuda to SATA150 as opposed to SATA300? Seagate manufactures this drive with the drive set to run SATA150, for compatibility reasons with the VIA chipset. Please check this as I think this drive would fair much better if it were set to run in SATA300 not SATA150. Reply
  • ROcHE - Friday, February 10, 2006 - link

    This is getting confusing with all those platters size. Would be great to have these compaired. Reply
  • kd4yum - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Hey
    The whole NCQ process has its 'glamour' from SCSI. But really, SCSI just brought it down from Mainframe tech. IF you got 100+ people working a DL/1 or DB2 database, then 'Elevator' queuing pays. Maybe also in a file server (SCSI). But forget it in a Personal Computer! Who you gonna queue?
    Its like trying to do file compression in software during a backup. You lose more in computation than you gain in I/O.
    sorry for the flame
    Reply
  • eastvillager - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - link

    You know how your mouth starts to water right before you're about to vomit? :-) Reply
  • Peter - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    yeah right ... I was so bored with those results I started drooling. Reply
  • formulav8 - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I really do not care for the style of this article/review from this new guy. (I am guessing he is new? Don't reconize the name?)

    I can definitely tell if Anand himself his the author of the article/review or if its one of his fill-in guys. But they do seem to be getting better with time.

    And as many others has said, the title of this article is completely 'false' since the review clearly shows the drive to be average at most. This drive is dissappointing for the features it has. High density platters and 16MB cache and it still gets beat by the older 8MB Cache/Lower Density platter drives. Unless I am looking at the graphs wrong??


    Jason
    Reply
  • Scrogneugneu - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Unless I am looking at the graphs wrong??


    Well, look at the graphs the way you want, the middle will always stay in the middle...
    Reply
  • tomoyo - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Well first of all, I fully agree that the title "mouthwatering" makes no sense whatsoever. Even the conclusion is so-so at best...if the seagate drive had beaten all the other 7200rpm drives..that would be true mouthwatering numbers. It's not even a winner in terms of storage since there's already 500gb drives out there. Nor does it advance platter sizes like the single platter design. So that title is completely false in my eyes.

    Secondly, I've noticed the writing and analysis has gone greatly downhill since Anand himself hasn't been writing as much. Anand tends to have some insightful commentary on the new technology involved and explainations of the numbers. There's at best shallow explanations of numbers and nothing really distinguishing what's really happening with the benchmarks. And as noted, there's nothing that explains all the different platter sizes in any depth, nor into what pluses or minuses the full SATA 2.5 interface might have in terms of benchmarks and usability. I have to say this is a very disappointing overall job, and I hope the writing and analysis increase by a magnitude of at least 10 to keep up to anandtech standards.
    Reply
  • Veerappan - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    On the final words page is a pic of a read speed test that was performed on this drive.

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/storage/seagat...">http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/sto...eagate_b...

    Maybe I am seeing this wrong (or it could be a program limitation), but why is this program reporting that the theoretical limit was 150MB/s? If this drive was being tested at 3.0Gb/s, shouldn't that figure be roughly double what it is?
    Reply
  • kd4yum - Thursday, October 27, 2005 - link

    Yeah
    Reply
  • MCSim - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Seems to be a very performer in multitasking situations. Reply
  • ElFenix - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    seagate has had 133 GB platters for a while now. could just be the same drive stuck into a new box. the 160GB platter model is the only one that seems worth reviewing, the higher areal density should translate into better performance. Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    hey Seagate, why not put 4 160Gb platters into one drive? 4x160 = 720Gb, a new record capacity. If you can put 4 125's in one drive, 4 160's should be doable. Reply
  • Concillian - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    quote:

    hey Seagate, why not put 4 160Gb platters into one drive? 4x160 = 720Gb, a new record capacity. If you can put 4 125's in one drive, 4 160's should be doable.


    First, 4x160 = 640 not 720.

    Second, I bet nobody ever thought of that, you're a genious.

    My guess is that there are issues with 'wobble' causing higher densities to be more challengineg in a stack of 4 than a single platter. Hitachi's 500 GB drive is 5 platters, while their smaller drives use 125GB platters. Seagate is already packing the most in the least, so to speak.
    Reply
  • Anton74 - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    When a gigabyte of RAM can be had for less than $90, why is it that a 16MB buffer (1/64th of 1GB) is considered generous for a hard drive? Especially for higher priced large high-end drives, why not use a substantially larger buffer, like 64 or 128MB? Wouldn't the modest price increase ($10? $30?) be well worth the additional performance?

    Also, with the very slow progression of hard drive performance, why is everyone stuck at 7,200 RPM (Raptors and SCSI etc. excepted of course)? Perhaps moving up to 10,000 RPM would be too expensive for now, but how about 8,000 or 8,400 RPM as the next step up? Every bit helps.

    Is it technically feasible to allow simultaneous use of all drive heads, as opposed to 1 at a time?

    I would think things like these would set a drive apart quite noticably in the current field of mediocricy.

    On another note, what is wrong with (current implementations of) NCQ? It is easy to understand how it would not really help for relatively light (typical desktop) loads, but how can an efficient re-ordering of IO requests hurt performance like it does some of the time? Currently, it seems as if enabling NCQ simply alters the "performance profile" of a drive, gaining some of the time, and losing some of the time. Could it be that the nForce4 chipset is to blame here? Just a hunch.

    How about enabling write caching? I'd be very interesting to see benchmarks showing what that can do (and yes, I realize the risk of data loss - it's called "UPS" :).

    Anton
    Reply
  • Concillian - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    quote:

    When a gigabyte of RAM can be had for less than $90, why is it that a 16MB buffer (1/64th of 1GB) is considered generous for a hard drive?


    Because more wouldn't necessarily help. Where we see a delay with a hard drive is when we're loading a large amount of sequential data (like loading a level in a game or an application). These will not be in the cache anyway, nor would it be practical to have enough RAM to cache them, because it's not really predictable. Cache in a hard drive has never been proven to increase performance as far as I know. It's mostly a 'checklist' item that MFRs have to have on there because some consumers think it matters.

    quote:

    Also, with the very slow progression of hard drive performance, why is everyone stuck at 7,200 RPM (Raptors and SCSI etc. excepted of course)? Perhaps moving up to 10,000 RPM would be too expensive for now, but how about 8,000 or 8,400 RPM as the next step up? Every bit helps.


    I think this is mostly because the market for such drives is quite small. The vast majority of drives are going into Dell/HP/Compaq computers to people who only care how many megabytes they have, and don't care about hard drive speed. Raptor is in a pretty unique market segment, and while they may be popular with the type of people who read AT, I'd be willing to bet it's one of the smallest volume drives WD makes.

    There's no technical reason MFRs couldn't make 15k RPM ATA drives like they do with SCSI drives now. The question is whether it's monetarily feasible for them to do so or not. Clearly MFRs have seen the Raptor alone in the ATA @ 10k space for quite some time, and nobody else has decided to move there. I assume there are financial reasons for this, as it's definitely technically possible. As an enthusiast you just have to come to terms with the fact that you are not the market that most HD MFRs cater to.

    quote:

    Is it technically feasible to allow simultaneous use of all drive heads, as opposed to 1 at a time?


    My guess is no. I think positioning mechanisms are constantly making small adjustments to keep the head on track. It's impossible to expect more than one head in the stack to be centered on track at any given time. Keep in mind there are thousands of tracks in one inch, and the adjustments made may only be a fraction of a thousandth of an inch. One head works because it gets close, then the formatting info feeds back to the positioning mechanism to tell it 'a little to the right' or 'a little to the left' several times each rotation to keep it centered on each track. It's impossible to expect multiple surfaces to stay on track, as they would all need independent mechanisms for that fine adjustment.

    quote:

    I would think things like these would set a drive apart quite noticably in the current field of mediocricy.


    I think people often have unrealistic expectations of drives. Check the gigabyte iRAM review here on AT to see what the ultimate performance could be. This review showed me that there really aren't huge performance benefits to be had through storage improvements.
    Reply
  • hoppa - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    "Mouth-watering benchmarks," yet you can't even recommend it?

    The benchmarks are good on this thing, yes, but they don't make it the best drive (which is what, 2 years old at this point?), and with new releases coming out in CPU/Video/RAM which routinely clobber the past competition, this is really kinda sad. I understand all the technology very well, and it has been clear for a while that today's model of the hard-drive won't see any real speed improvements without some major ideas, and no one is coming up with them.

    -andy
    Reply
  • thatsright - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    How is this 'Mouthwatering?'

    Just another okay-average HD. The title really is misleading......
    Reply
  • SlinkyDink - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    on the "Application Load Times (average, seconds)" graph on the Photoshop CS benchmark:

    Wy is the Seagate with 8.024 highlighted instead of the Hitachi with 7.984?
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Being the newest and highest capacity in Seagate's line of hard drives, we chose to look at it exclusively


    Why is Anandtech like this now? How about reviewing the other capacities, especially one around 250GB that most people would tend to buy? It's getting a bit ridiculous around here with all the reviews ONLY focusing on the largest, most expensive part available. :[
    Reply
  • 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
  • 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
  • Spacecomber - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    The results from these benchmarks were about as mouthwatering as a rice cake with nothing on it. Reply
  • jeffrey - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Titling the article "Mouthwatering Benchmarks" and then reading the mid-pack performance lowers the author's credibility.

    The drive is big, but it uses lower density plattters, has the highest idle heat, has the highest heat under load, and is 2.6 decibels louder than a 10Krpm Raptor when transferring. Overall performance was mid-pack and not mouth watering.

    ****************************************************
    It would have been a solid review without the title.
    Much better than recent video card reviews.
    ****************************************************
    Reply
  • ss284 - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Pretty dissapointing figures considering all the marketing crap that was posted a couple weeks back as a full fledged preview on anandtech. The drive neither runs cooler or quieter or faster than the previous generation of drives. Other than the 5 year warranty this drive has nothing over a model from a competing manufacturer, most notably hitachi. Im also suprised that the 160 gb model wasnt tested, since it has 160 gb platters, instead of the 125 in the 500gb model. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Other than the 5 year warranty this drive has nothing over a model from a competing manufacturer, most notably hitachi.
    One other thing that it has over Hitachi: Seagate (along with WD and Maxtor) offer advance replacement in the event of failure. Hitachi, unfortunately, does not.

    It may sound like a minor gripe, but if I'm trying to save a client's data off a failing drive, it's nice to have the replacement drive handy. Since I've also had a drive company lose a drive on me in the RMA process (not a common occurrence, but I've had it happen) I feel far more secure having advance replacement. I do agree though that performance specs are not as good as expected; the difference is small enough that I'd save money and buy the previous Seagate 7200.8 drives.
    Reply
  • smn198 - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    Please benchamrk the 160GB model Reply
  • Penth - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    "you're better off working with a 15K RPM Raptor for now."

    I think you meant 10K RPM Raptor, unless WD just dropped a bomb.

    First Post.
    Reply

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