The Contenders

For this review, we decided to focus on the drives that users may currently have, instead of only the latest and greatest. We basically broke the contenders up into three categories: 10,000RPM Raptors, current generation 120GB 7200RPM 8MB cache drives, and older generation 7200 RPM 2MB cache drives.

The specific drives that we used are listed below:

Western Digital Raptor 1st Generation - 36GB (10,000RPM/8MB/SATA)
Western Digital Raptor 2nd Generation - 74GB (10,000RPM/8MB/SATA)

Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 - 120GB (7200RPM/8MB/PATA)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 - 120GB (7200RPM/8MB/PATA)
Western Digital Caviar SE - 120GB (7200RPM/8MB/PATA)

IBM Deskstar 75GXP - 30GB (7200RPM/2MB/PATA)
Maxtor D740X-6L - 80GB (7200RPM/2MB/PATA)

We will be testing more drives with our new benchmark suite as time goes on, so if there's a drive that you'd like to see reviewed, please let us know.

Index The Test


View All Comments

  • T8000 - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    One point I did not see in the review was the partition information.

    This may be important, because smaller partitions usually perform better, because of their smaller allocation table and possibly even a smaller cluster size.

    It would be best to use a drive image that fits on all drives and load it on each drive for testing, to make sure smaller drives are not given an advantage over bigger drives and fragmentation is the same for all drives.

    Did you use this method?
  • broberts - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    It would be nice if you included the actual model numbers of the tested drives.

    Perhaps I'm missing something but ISTM that comparing benchmarks of SATA drives against those running at PATA-100 is questionable. Especially since most of the numbers reported are within 5% of each other. Why weren't SATA models of the 8MB/7200 drives used?
  • jrphoenix - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I have submitted my request to Anand. I would like to see the new Seagate and Hitachi drives. The new 7200 rpm Seagates (shipping this month) support NCQ and are supposedly quicker than the raptors at a lower price!!! :) Reply
  • Crassus - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link


    I would have liked to see also the performance of 2 Raptors of both generations in RAID 0, at least with the integrated controllers (ICH5 etc.).
  • Nighteye2 - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    It's good to see this test, but why are the raptors the only SATA drives? It would be good to add in a SATA WD 7200 RPM 8 MB drive (80 GB, 120 GB, or another size)
  • trexpesto - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    Since with buying technology part of the equation is how long to hold off, it would be cool to get a head's up on stuff in the pipeline like the NCQ/TCQ drives.
  • Apologiliac - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I was startled how quiet the seagate was, because i was wating for it to turn on (?...!) I was also laughing out loud after the new raptor played because it immediately followed by gangsters paradise by weird al on my playlist :p Reply
  • deathwalker - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I am somewhat dissapointed that this review did not include at least a couple of competing SATA drives...such as maybe a Seagate and Maxtor drive. The majority of the community already assumes the advantages of SATA over PATA!! Reply
  • Blain - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    A 75GXP? You gotta be kiddin'
    Why not run the other drives against a new Hitachi?

    For crying out loud! :o
  • Z80 - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    Your review was right on target for my needs. I was considering upgrading my 120GB Maxtor to a new WD 74GB Raptor. Looks like I can save my money now or spend it on an upgrade that gives more bang for the buck. Thanks Reply

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