AnandTech Forums Database Server Performance

For our final performance test we have a trace of all I/O operations that occur during our AnandTech Forums DB Server trace. For those of you that aren't familiar with this test, we've historically used it in only our enterprise server CPU and platform reviews, but we decided to introduce it here because of its relevance to the topic at hand.

Here's a description of the test:

The database we tested is the Forums DB, which is by far the most transaction intensive database in the AnandTech Network. While the vast majority of the requests to the DB are in the form of selects (users reading categories and threads), there are significantly more inserts and updates (posting, thread/post counts, etc…) than in either of the other DBs. This database is also our largest, weighing in at just under 3GB during the testing and well over 10GB today (we used an older version of the DB from over a year ago).

We recorded a 30 minute trace of all activity to the AnandTech Forums DB Server, and used that as an input to our I/O trace recording. The end result, is what we have here today:

AnandTech Forums SQL Server Disk Performance
Performance in I/O Operations per Second (Higher is better)
Maxtor Atlas 10K IV (36GB U320 SCSI)

Seagate Cheetah 10K.6 (36.7GB U320 SCSI)

Western Digital Raptor WD360 (36.7GB SATA)

IBM Deskstar 180GXP (185.2GB PATA)

Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB (120GB PATA)

Western Digital Raptor BETA (36.7GB SATA)

Seagate Barracuda ATA V (120GB PATA)

Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 (80GB PATA)

Seagate Barracuda Serial ATA V (80GB SATA)











This is a teaser of what is to come in Part II of our coverage of the Raptor, here we see that it is faster than all ATA/SATA drives, but it is still a bit slower than the two SCSI offerings. Since WD is targeting the enterprise market, performance in these tests is critical to finding out how well they deliver on the "similar performance to SCSI, but at a lower cost" promise. We will reserve judgment in that area until part II, where we focus exclusively on enterprise performance, we just wanted to give you all an update right away on the drive's performance in our original suite.

General Usage Performance (continued) Final Words


View All Comments

  • rhinofishing1 - Monday, November 17, 2003 - link

    I have a AOpen AX4SPE-Max Motherboard which has SATA and Raid support. I was thinking about getting 2 of these drives and setting them at Raid 0 for my system drive. I plan on doing a lot of video editing and using a 200GB drive for my A/V content on a regular IDE master channel. Do you see any problems, or have any suggestions with my setup? Thanks in advance... Reply
  • FASE77 - Sunday, November 02, 2003 - link


    I have a WD800JB and WD1200JB, i'm really glad to see the WD1200JB performing too well in the test, the only thing I don’t like about the drive is that it has no heat sensor! unlike my older Seagate Barracuda drive (ST360021A).

    I really hope Western Digital will start embedding heat sensors into their drives soon.
  • mrHand - Thursday, October 30, 2003 - link

    Re: Post on Aug 3, 2003: I have never had a Western Digital drive lose a single bit of my data. Other manufacturers, yes, but not this one.

    I have a WDC1600JB that walks all over this SATA drive (I bought one and tried it out). Anybody had a different experience? It could be a BIOS setting...
  • mrHand - Thursday, October 30, 2003 - link

  • Anonymous User - Monday, August 25, 2003 - link

    Please compare Raptor single drive performance with two Raptors in a Raid 0 configuration. Please compare also with two PATA drives in Raid 0 configuration.

    Is there a problem with excessive heat being generated by these units.

  • Anonymous User - Sunday, August 03, 2003 - link

    But how is the reliablilty going to be, maybe its just me but western digital drives are notorious for being unreliable Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 02, 2003 - link

    I have a question about write caches: I have read that many SCSI drives do not by default enable their write caches (enterprise may want safety over performance). Are the two 10K SCSI drives in this article run with their write caches enabled to make the comparison more fair? Given the dramatic increase in the SATA drive's performance with write caching, it could be a significant factor.

    Another comment: WD's drives looks more like the next generation high performance desktop drive, not a low-cost enterprise alternative to SCSI. Perhaps the follow up benchmarks (4 months in the making?) will shed light on this.

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