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  • JakeBlade - Friday, May 26, 2006 - link

    Interesting that this drive has a MADE IN SINGAPORE label instead of Seagate's usual MADE IN CHINA junk. Reply
  • ElFenix - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    no reason to upgrade from my SE16, i see.

    i'd like to see a couple more drives in tests, such as the latest hitachi.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    i'd like to see a couple more drives in tests, such as the latest hitachi.


    The reason we did not include the Hitachi unit is we have the revised 500GB unit arriving shortly and as mentioned in the article we will have a complete 500GB roundup with the new 7200.10 also. It will take some time to build the database with the revised test suite as we also have additional application timer tests coming shortly.

    The performance across most of the recently released mainstream drives is so close now that it comes down to a personal decision on warranty, reliability, thermals/acoustics, and capacity for the most part. However, drives like the Raptor and RE2 series do make things interesting for SATA on the desktop as did this drive for a PVR fanatic. ;-)
    Reply
  • ElFenix - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    i'd also like to see audio tests from a little bit further away. 5 mm doesn't give a realistic idea of how loud it will be sitting 3 feet away on the floor. plus, for all i know where you place the microphone is extremely important when at 5 mm. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    i'd also like to see audio tests from a little bit further away. 5 mm doesn't give a realistic idea of how loud it will be sitting 3 feet away on the floor. plus, for all i know where you place the microphone is extremely important when at 5 mm.


    There is no one good area to measure the acoustics as you never know where the PC will be located, what type of case, fan noise, or ambient sounds are present. I can tell you that a drive that is loud at 3mm~5mm will be loud at three feet with all things being equal. Sound tones are also very subjective, the dull thumping sound the drive has under load might be perfectly acceptable while the higher pitched clicking sound of a Maxtor will be unbearable for some people.

    We place the two mics at different points on the drive to ensure a consistent recording point, we assume most people will utilize a horizontal mounting point with the rear of the drive facing the case front, although we test the drive facing the case side also as this cage design is becoming very popular. The tone of the drive can change dramatically with the addition of rubber washers between the drive and the mount points.

    Thanks for the comments. :)
    Reply
  • jhvtoor - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link


    Temperature measurement using S.M.A.R.T. is not reliable. The sensor and electronics on the harddrive are used, en they are not calibrated.

    I am using the freeware "HDD Health" utility to monitor the SMART information. It reported the drive temperature of my desktop is 12 degrees celcius immediatly after winXP boot, while the room temperature is 19 degrees.... I am not using cooling techniques on this drive. This can only be explained by an inaccurate temperature measurement of this drive.

    I would suggest to use one an independent measurement instument in the future. Attach the sensor in the middle of the cover plate.

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    Hi,

    1. We have found S.M.A.R.T. to be "fairly" accurate along with our capture utility. We know it is not perfect but it allows us a consistent measurement of each drive in testing. In our 7200.10 test ActiveSmart reported a temperature of 26c after boot, room temp was 22c. We put the drive through 15 minutes of light usage, let it idle for 15 minutes, and then report this number as our idle number. All of the drives we have tested have followed the same pattern with a consistent idle reading after this usage, the idle temp will be the same 15 or 30 minutes later. If you stress the drive, you will see the temps rise accordingly and then fall back to the standing idle temp during the cooldown phase.

    2. One drawback is the temperatures are not "real" time, there is a delay built in, this is why on the load test (also idle) we loop PCMark05 several times and then take the reported temperature at the end of the session, generally the high temperature was actually reached in the previous loop.

    3. We have have tried using a sensor, infrared, and other methods with varying results. The problem is each section of the drive will report a different number. When we utilized a sensor on the top plate, the temps varied from drive to drive with the same model being tested. Each supplier uses different materials for their casings so that creates greater variables, it just is not consistent enough to report.
    Reply
  • toattett - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Apparently,
    If I want a speedy drive, I buy the raptor.
    If I want a super large drive, I buy the new 750GB Seagate.
    If I want good performance and good amount of stoarge, I buy the 500GB WD.
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    The pictures for the noise level are wrong. You put the dbA level as if it was a linear scale. It's not that way, the space between 0dB and 10dB should be smaller than the space between 10dB and 20dB. That way it will show more clearly the difference between the noise levels. It's a logarithmic scale. Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The pictures for the noise level are wrong. You put the dbA level as if it was a linear scale. It's not that way, the space between 0dB and 10dB should be smaller than the space between 10dB and 20dB. That way it will show more clearly the difference between the noise levels. It's a logarithmic scale.


    Our current graph engine will not allow us to do this type of scale manipulation. We will probably have to utilize a Microsoft Excel chart in the next article. We agree with you, just not possible with the internal engine at this time although we are working on a new one.
    Reply
  • Larso - Monday, May 22, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The pictures for the noise level are wrong. You put the dbA level as if it was a linear scale. It's not that way, the space between 0dB and 10dB should be smaller than the space between 10dB and 20dB. That way it will show more clearly the difference between the noise levels. It's a logarithmic scale.

    Well, you usually plot dB on a linear axis, taken for granted that the interpreter knows the exponential nature of decibels (+10 dB sounds like doubling the loudness). But since our ears/brain also interpret sound levels in an exponential fashion, its not _that_ misleading...

    If you really want to show the soundlevel in a linear fashion, you would have to measure loudness in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sone">Sone

    - Gary: Sorry if I've missed it, when you measured the loudness, was the drive secured to the case with screws, or was it suspended softly? It would be interesting to know how much of the noise was due to vibration, and how much was actual noise emission from the drive.

    Perhaps some kind of soft suspension would make the drive noise more bearable, subjectively?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    - Gary: Sorry if I've missed it, when you measured the loudness, was the drive secured to the case with screws, or was it suspended softly? It would be interesting to know how much of the noise was due to vibration, and how much was actual noise emission from the drive.


    The drives are suspended via soft rubber bushings in the drive cage in order to equalize the test results between drives (as much as possible). This drive will create an additional low pitch vibration when attached directly but nothing like the sound a Raptor produces when attached directly, subjective opinion of course. :)
    Reply
  • TonyB - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    how soon till we see 1TB hard drive. 7200.11? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    We should see a 960GB drive by Q4. We will see the 1TB+ drives in 2007, maybe earlier depending on how well the new 200GB plus platters test out. Also, if Hitachi or WD press Seagate on the issue in Q4 I am sure it be out early. ;-> Reply
  • Zaitsev - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Page 4 reads, "we decided the make the switch at this time as the performance."

    I enjoyed the article, Gary.

    "I would much rather show the benefits of RAID 5, 0+1, 10 in a separate article"

    I think that's a great idea, and am looking forward to it.

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Page 4 reads, "we decided the make the switch at this time as the performance."


    The link highlight on the word "applications" right before "we" is hiding the semi-colon somewhat. I will see if we can edit the hyperlink to correct this. :)

    Thanks for the comments. We are trying to head in a more technical direction in the storage section. We have some additional audio/video tests coming along with application timer benchmarks that should lighten up the presentation. Also, we did not report WB99, IPEAK Access, Disk Bench, IOMeter, or other benchmarks yet, still gauging what information is valuable, interesting, and required.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Actually, he was referring to the word "the" - fixed now, as it should have been "to". :) Reply
  • Zaitsev - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Sorry about that. I will be more clear next time. :) Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Sorry about that. I will be more clear next time. :)


    I will wear my glasses next time.... LOL
    Reply
  • peternelson - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link


    Hi,

    I can understand why you want to test sound levels as close as 5mm.

    However, to someone quickly looking at the results charts without carefully reading the text they might think your db(A)@5mm are comparable with db(A) measurements taken at more conventional distances like 1 metre away.

    To avoid such errors being made when comparing BETWEEN reviews, please clearly label the audio charts not just "db" but "db(A)@5mm"

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    To avoid such errors being made when comparing BETWEEN reviews, please clearly label the audio charts not just "db" but "db(A)@5mm"


    The charts have been changed. :)
    Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    I like the "db(A)@5mm" sugestion. Reply
  • FallenDeathAngel - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    The Raptor

    WD1500ADFD Western Digital
    Raptor
    WD5000YS

    Yes....
    Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    That the only drive you tested in RAID-0, was the new Seagate drive. The performace charts are kinda useless when the RAID-0 scores are included, cause it misleadingly shows the Seagate drive on top of a good portion of them. Without examples of RAID-0 performance from the WD1500 Raptor, or the WD5000YS, you are giving the impression of favoritism towards the Seagate drive.

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Good Day....

    quote:

    That the only drive you tested in RAID-0, was the new Seagate drive.


    from page 5-
    We are providing RAID 0 results for the Seagate 7200.10 for comparative results to the single drive. Seagate has recently released updated firmware for the 500GB 7200.9 that improves RAID performance; unfortunately we were unable to complete our testing with the new firmware before publication. Our RAID results for the WD1500 series will be published in our next storage article.

    quote:

    Without examples of RAID-0 performance from the WD1500 Raptor, or the WD5000YS, you are giving the impression of favoritism towards the Seagate drive.


    We will have RAID O results for both of these drives in the 500GB roundup. We are not tyring to show favoritism towards the Seagate drive. Our comments are quite clear about the effects of RAID 0 in the I/O operations that while interesting, they do not always translate to actual 1:1 improvements in application usage. Our application timing tests bear this out to some degree.

    We debated on showing the Seagate RAID 0 results as it is a no win situation. I am sure based upon the comments from our last couple of reviews that about as many people would be asking why we did not provide RAID 0 results. We are currently completing the RAID 0 results with the WD1500 drives, we ran into a couple of issues that required technical conversations with WD. Also, the sheer scope of testing every drive in RAID configurations is extremely time consuming with results that are basically the same when compared to the single drive scores.

    My personal opinion is that RAID 0 is only effective in such a limited scope of applications that we should not report it at all. However, this feature has been pushed by the core logic chipset suppliers, marketed by the motherboard suppliers, and eventually becomes a test request by the user community. I would much rather show the benefits of RAID 5, 0+1, 10 in a separate article, which we will in the future. It is difficult at times to procure three samples of each drive. ;-)

    I appreciate your comments, they will probably not be the last on this subject.
    Reply
  • srk052004 - Thursday, May 25, 2006 - link

    Hi Gary (and all). I have been told that for my purposes (manipulating 40gb SAS or SPSS data sets), RAID 0 really would be appropriate. Do you agree? Or, would you say that RAID 10 would still be preferable?

    I, too, would LOVE to see results comparing different capacities of 7200.10.

    BTW, this was an interesting review.
    Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Thank you for the quick response :)

    If you wants to show the comparision between RAID-0 and the Single drive, then have seperate charts showing just those 2. It makes the analysis of the performance much easier.

    quote:

    My personal opinion is that RAID 0 is only effective in such a limited scope of applications that we should not report it at all. However, this feature has been pushed by the core logic chipset suppliers, marketed by the motherboard suppliers, and eventually becomes a test request by the user community. I would much rather show the benefits of RAID 5, 0+1, 10 in a separate article, which we will in the future. It is difficult at times to procure three samples of each drive. ;-)


    Now THAT'S an article I'd love to read as well!

    Reply
  • Zoomer - Friday, May 26, 2006 - link

    Ditto. It would be a nice way to split up articles into _more_ managable chunks of work!

    Thanks for the review! Will be looking forward to the ibm (hitachi), seagate and WD shootout.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, June 24, 2006 - link

    We will change our format in July with the 500GB and 250~320GB roundups. I too would like to manage the chunks of work in different fashion. Reply
  • Questar - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Seagate has advertised that the 7200.10 product is quieter in comparison to Barracuda 7200.9 in both idle and seek modes due to further refinements in their "Softsonic" motor technology. During our testing we came to a slightly different conclusion based upon our test methodology. We found the drive did have slightly better acoustic results than the 7200.9 500GB drive


    Then what was different than what Seagate claimed?

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Then what was different than what Seagate claimed?
    Seagates claims are correct from an objecitve measurement, subjectively the drive was louder in our testing at full load with either read or write seeks. I added the subjective statement in this paragraph to convey what I was explaining further in the article. Thanks!! :)
    Reply
  • Questar - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Gary, I hate to nick-pick, but even the revised version doesn't read well. You start off with Seagate's claim that the .10 is quieter than the .9, you say you found something different, and then talk about the .10 compared to the other drives.

    You need to say the drive is subjectivly louder than the .9 (if it was).
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Gary, I hate to nick-pick, but even the revised version doesn't read well. You start off with Seagate's claim that the .10 is quieter than the .9, you say you found something different, and then talk about the .10 compared to the other drives.


    Sorry about that, I had the WD 500GB statement in the sentence and not the Seagate 500GB, that was confusing, read it so many times that I missed it. It should read better now. :)
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Friday, May 26, 2006 - link

    Why don't you invite more people down to down some blind comparative tests?

    That would sort out some subjectivity. :)
    Reply
  • ROcHE - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Will you guys review more standard sizes? Like 320GB or so.

    I have seen the 750GB model reviewed only so far.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Will you guys review more standard sizes? Like 320GB or so.


    We will in June, Seagate will be shipping press samples out later this month. I want to see the 200GB~320GB drive range just as much as everyone else. ;-)
    Reply
  • ROcHE - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    It's already up for sale. ???

    Buy one and be the first to review :)
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Buy one and be the first to review :)


    I already bought the the additional 750GB, WD1500, and WD5000YS for RAID results. I do not know how much more the wife will let me spend this month. ;-) Anyway, Seagate is getting ready to ship two of the 320s out to us. Hopefully, I can get the review in before Computex. I am pretty much convinced this is the drive that will define the sweet spot in the market for performance, capacity, and price.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Friday, May 26, 2006 - link

    From the spec sheet, the 400GB one seems promising to be a contender. It has a higher head to platter ratio. :) Reply
  • ROcHE - Friday, May 19, 2006 - link

    Can't wait to see the results. Reply
  • segagenesis - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    ... for when we see 1TB in a single drive. Despite the cost the sheer amount of storage available in a single drive is amazing.

    One thing I have to question though, maybe I missed it in the article, how much space do you "lose" when you format a 750GB drive? Yes I am aware of the 1000 vs. 1024 bits per byte differences... but how bad is it getting now?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    One thing I have to question though, maybe I missed it in the article, how much space do you "lose" when you format a 750GB drive? Yes I am aware of the 1000 vs. 1024 bits per byte differences... but how bad is it getting now?


    The capacity differences from the drive manufacturers and what the operating system reports are on page 5. In this case, Seagate claims 750GB, current operating systems will report and provide 698.6GB of storage capacity. :)
    Reply
  • mino - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    Actually no, there is no "capacity difference".

    750GB as SI-System Giga-Bytes means 750*10^9 B = 750.000.000.000 bytes = 0.75TB

    this will an OS call 750 000 000 000 bytes(B) = 732.421.875 kB = 715.255 MB = 698 GB = 0.682 TB

    The amount of data is the same, those are just different units.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Actually no, there is no "capacity difference".


    We know this, that is why we do not refer to the drives "formated capacity" as if the drive lost data capacity because you formatted it. He had already mentioned he knew the calculation difference so I was simply answering his question on how the OS would report the data "capacity" (probably the wrong word to use) compared to Seagate in this case. If the drive industry adhered to the standard everyone else is utilizing then life in this case would be simple. ;-)
    Reply

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