The Test

Our test bed specs have been laid out below. Since our test bed has remained untouched from our look at Seagate's 400GB Barracuda article we will include our results of the drives we looked at from that article.

Our test bed:

AMD Athlon64 3500+ (2.2Ghz)
Giga-byte GA-K8NXP-SLI
Nvidia 6600GT SLI Edition (single 128MB card)
1GB (512MBx2) Corsair XMS4400

Our motherboard is an nForce4 based board which features support for the SATA II standard, up to 3Gbps/sec SATA transfer rates, and NCQ and TCQ.

We used the following nForce platform drivers in conjunction with our testbed:

nForce4 Chipset Driver 6.39
Nvidia Forceware 71.89
Windows XP SP2 w/out further updates

Business Winstone IPEAK - a playback test of all of the IO operations that occur within Business Winstone 2004.

Content Creation IPEAK - a playback test of all of the IO operations that occur within Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004.

SYSMark 2004 - the official SYSMark 2004 test suite.

Business Winstone 2004 - the official Business Winstone 2004 test suite.

Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 - the official Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 test suite.

Half-Life 2 Level Load Test - a timed test of loading a level in Half-Life 2.

Doom 3 Level Load Test - a timed test of loading a level in Doom 3.

Command & Conquer: Generals Level Load Test - a timed test of loading a level in Command & Conquer: Generals.

Real World File System Task Tests - timed tests of basic file system tasks including zipping/unzipping and copying files

Service Time and Transfer Rate Tests - Synthetic tests for average service time and transfer rate of hard disk at the beginning and the end of a full disk read. We have included the WinBench test, but since it is synthetic, we have not put much emphasis on it.

Business Winstone 2004 Multitasking Test - Synthetic tests for overall system multitasking performance

Real World Multitasking Test - timed tests of basic multitasking processes, timing a file zip operation while importing Outlook data

More details about each individual test will appear in the section of the review dedicated to that particular test.

The Competition

Max Capacity
Platter Density
# of Platters/Heads
Spindle speed
Average Seek Time
Average Latency
Buffer Size
Samsung HD160JJ
Western Digital WD1600JS
Hitachi T7K250

Index Pure Hard Disk Performance - Intel IPEAK


View All Comments

  • Justin Case - Saturday, March 18, 2006 - link

    Does anyone really believe Seagate 7200.8 drives can sustain 70 MB/s in the inner sectors? I have three of those and they struggle to reach 38 MB/s. Anyone with a clue about hard drives would have spotted a screw-up in the benchmarks (and this isn't the only one). Here is the full WinBench99 graph for a Seagate 7200.8:">

    Anandtech is even less credible than Tom's Hardware, these days. What a joke. I hope Anand got a big fat check from Seagate for publishing this "review"...
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    #24 & 25: Our apologies for such a delayed reply. The reason we used the older v6.39 driver is that it is the latest driver Giga-Byte has released on its website.

    Though Nvidia may have implemented newer features in the v6.54 release, the driver package the motherboard manufacturer has on their website is usually tested for their particular boards.

    We will definitely look into the newer versions in the future to see if they provide any useful updates that apply to our review topic and use them accordingly.
  • PuravSanghani - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    #44: By "% Difference" we mean the difference between the time it takes to zip the file as a task by itself and the time it takes to zip a file while Outlook is importing 400MB of emails into its Inbox.

    #45: They are there.

    #48: The transfer rates are actually measured in MBytes/sec. But yes, the results are correct and the benchmarks have been run twice to confirm these numbers. Also, many of our readers have pointed out that the 3.0Gbp/sec transfer rates, or transfer rates higher than those we have encountered, are mainly achieved when the drives are setup in RAID arrays.

    #49: Actually, our results are of the drive itself in a silent room with no PC fan or other hardware running. We turn off all other system fans and take sound readings 1" away from the side of each drive during its startup phase as well as during normal operation, specifically during Windows startup.

    We will be sure to specify this in future reviews.

    Sorry for the bulky reply, but I hope it helps.

  • yacoub - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    #45 - Well, Anandtech's noise measurement is clearly pretty pointless if they all come out so close together. That generally means they aren't testing the drive itself for its noise output, but then entire case with whatever other noisy components are in there. Guess we'll have to wait for SilentPCReview to test the new drives to find out how quiet they are for those who -aren't- running 50decibel systems. =P Reply
  • tinyabs - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link

    Why does new drives have 60-70Mb of Begin transfer rate? Is that correct? Reply
  • BornStar18 - Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - link


    Did you miss page 13?
  • Zak - Monday, June 27, 2005 - link

    Why using megabits per second in hard disk review if most people are used to megabytes? It's a bit confusing.

  • LX - Monday, June 27, 2005 - link

    Incomplete review.

    What about noise?
    What about temperature?
  • ElFenix - Monday, June 27, 2005 - link

    on page 12, is it just how i'm reading these or does it indicate that the % done is much better under multitasked than when only running the zip? Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, June 27, 2005 - link

    Wow, that review left me somewhat uncertain.

    While reading it I started out liking the Hitachi best, but then around a third of the way through it started to suck, but then again near the end it looked good.

    The Raptor still looked like the champ for the first third of the review, but then the 400GB Barracuda shined for a few tests (probably the important ones, surprisingly) such as Sustained Transfer Rate (where it blew away everything else though the 300GB DiamondMax 16MB came close) and Real World File System Tasks with the 300 1MB files, etc.

    When it comes to thermals they all suck except for the DiamondMax drives, imho, and as far as acoustics go, forget it (get a drive suspension rig and isolation enclosure or get laptop HDs if you're really picky about noise).

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