Last week, Seagate officially announced their 7200.9 desktop hard disk drive line, which brought 3.0Gbps transfer rates, a barrage of SATA features, and a new capacity to bring Seagate to share the top of the mountain with Hitachi. We promised benchmarks and we like to keep our promises.

As soon as we ended our call with Seagate, we went ahead and placed the order for the 500GB version of the 7200.9 with 16MB of cache. Being the newest and highest capacity in Seagate's line of hard drives, we chose to look at it exclusively. For now, we will compare the 500GB drive's performance to some of its older predecessors, like the 7200.7 120GB model, and the 7200.8 400GB model that we looked at a few months back, both with 8MB cache and the first generation 1.5Gbps transfer rates.

We've expanded a few of our original benchmarks and have added a few new tests to make this the most extensive review of a hard drive yet. Take a look at how Seagate's 500GB 7200.9 desktop drive performs.

The Test
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  • 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.
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    NCQ is very vendor specific. Some drives benefit more than others from it.

  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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. :)
  • 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.
  • imaheadcase - Monday, October 24, 2005 - link

    I think its time to start shipping hardrive coolers standard with drive purchases like they do CPUs. hehe
  • 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?"
  • 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).
  • 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.

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