Performance vs. Capacity

I typically turn to HDTach for my performance vs. capacity graphs. Normally they are used to show SSD performance degradation without TRIM but in this case I genuinely wanted to see what the performance falloff was as you filled the drive up. HDTach had issues with the > 2TB of addresses on this drive so I used HD Tune instead.

Hard drives store data in circular patterns. Reading/writing to the outermost LBAs is faster (that’s just how circles work, you can cover more area in a single rotation on the outer track vs. the inner track). As a result, HDDs write data at the outmost part of the platters first and as the drive fills performance drops.

Sequential Read Performance vs. LBA

Sequential Write Performance vs. LBA

Peak performance, we’ve already discussed is at around 150MB/s over USB 3.0. Sequential performance at the highest LBAs drops to around 75MB/s. There’s one anomaly that I saw in my tests which you can see in the graph above. Performance drops down to 16.2MB/s for sequential writes in the last 100GB of the drive. This could be a problem with my particular drive or an issue related to the early nature of these 3TB drives.

USB 2.0, 3.0 and FireWire 800 Performance The Heat Problem
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  • mindless1 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    Too many platters, contributing to bearing wear and heat. IMO, the high price is partially to offset the higher chance of failure/RMA replacement cost even with a mere 2 year warranty. Of course it's also due to being the biggest drive available, the high end capacity luxury tax.
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    why not just get a raid card that has 64big lba and raid the drives in a raid0? I got a software raid5 card with pci-e 4x speed and 4 sata ports on it for 130 bucks. Its not a 3ware but it writes just as fast as my other computer can send it data. Plus if youre looking for that much space a raid is probably a good idea and you should get 3x 2tb drives and do a raid5 anyway for redundancy.
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    64bit* lba ... cant type before coffee sry.
  • ClagMaster - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    You say 9.4ZB is an absurd amount of data.

    I say that 2TB is an absurd amount of data.

    I have been using a 160GB drive paritioned into 3 partions and for six years I am not challenged with space.
  • shin0bi272 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    Ive got over 1tb in just my music collection so 2tb isnt really that big of a number.
  • mewgirl - Monday, January 31, 2011 - link

    Not really, just 200 or 300 songs in a proper format and your drive will be filled...
  • mewgirl - Monday, January 31, 2011 - link

    No wait, 300 songs is only 15 CDs, so let's say 1,000 or so songs, but either way that's a hell of a lot less then how many songs you're actually going to want, if human brains were actually capable of remembering all of them and if computers were capable of finding and properly formatting all of them.
  • cjs150 - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    Ripping Blu-ray disks chews through a lot of hard disk space. Add in a daughter with lots of music and 2TB is not enough.

    I am looking for 6TB storage in a RAID 5 for my home as enough to keep me going at least for the next 5-6 years
  • abrar - Monday, August 23, 2010 - link

    Isn't there any program that you give it the files (suppose your are going to copy / backup ~ 3TB of data ) you are going to copy , and set a temperature threshold , so that when it reaches that temperature, it stops , or reduces the speed of , copying and when temp. gets normal and it cools down, continues in normal mode. ?!

    that is quiet and idea !
  • mewgirl - Monday, January 31, 2011 - link

    Uh I thought SpeedFan did that.

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