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

  • SoBizarre - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    <<I wonder how these drives compare to my Seagate X15?

    Try the link below and cry... ;)
  • mjz5 - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    would have been cool to see how long it takes to zip a folder with a 1000 of files.. Reply
  • araczynski - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    i don't quite see anything about the raptors that warrant the steep price jump, i see the typical milking of the wannabes. Reply
  • BCinSC - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I wonder how these drives compare to my Seagate X15? Reply
  • Insomniac - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link


    Could we see some type of test that shows the impact of disk defragmenting? I know it isn't exactly a hard dive test, but it would be nice to see what, if any, performance improvement it adds and how the drives perform when "optimal". Thanks.
  • MIDIman - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    IMHO - This is a market that has already been taken in-depth by another very big website that has been alive for almost as long as anandtech. Redundancy is always good though.

    We'd definitely like to see RAID array comparisons. Its definitely a big buzz word nowadays.
  • Pollock - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I really could have used this article last week in deciding whether or not the 80GB Seagate for $40 last week was fast and reliable...=( Reply
  • 00aStrOgUy00 - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I think this article was a bit lacking.
    I would have liked to see how the raptors stacked up to regular 7200RPM drives with denser platters, like the barracuda 200GB one that uses 100Gb platters, especially when the 200GB one that uses 100GB platters is stil far less expensive than either of the raptor drives.
    I would also like to see RAID performance compared to the raptor drives.
  • AnnihilatorX - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    We missed the most important test! File copy test. Say time taken to duplicate a 1GB file. It's basic but useful for those who are always dealing with large files.

    People who own high end harddisks tend to be either video editing enthuaists or server-owners. The tests covered general usage but did not well covering those areas. Harddisk and CPU limiting task such as volume batch encoding of videeo to a specific codec, say Xvid or DivX might be a useful benchmark. For servers random access time is important and might as well be tested.

    The tests we covered is not wrong, but fail as a target for really those would buy a high end harddisk. Common task such as surfing the net while compressing document; virus checking are basic usage of an average user, and mostly CPU limiting.

    While pure file copy test are likely to be harddisk limiting. The CPU ultilisation during file transfer process also indicates how good resources saving of the controllers are and has direct peoformance impact when CPU limit comes to the scene.
  • Reflex - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    I want to see a 'service' test of the venders much as is now done for motherboards. Hard drives and CD/DVD drives are by far the highest points of failure in a modern PC, it is important to know what happens when your drive fails. In the past this has been a serious sore point between myself and WD, it has often taken months for them to turn around a failed drive, and due to the extreme failure rates I have had with their drives after about a year, its a serious issue.

    Heat would also be a good test, it is the main reason that 10k RPM drives have stayed at the high end for so long.

    Murst: Most people reading this site would be using NTFS, and a few using FAT32. Under NTFS, fragmentation would not have any serious impact on performance due to properties of the file system and how it works. Unless your suggesting they test NFS and other Unix/Linux filesystems, I am not certain what other file systems you want tested. Most games are not tested under Win9x anymore, I don't see a point in testing other hardware on a 6 year old OS either...

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