HDTach - Sequential Read Speed/Burst Speed

Being our newest test in our desktop hard drive storage suite, the HDTach benchmark gives us a great deal of detail on the performance of a hard drive. Like the WinBench 99 Transfer Rate test, HDTach graphs the sequential read speed of the drive as the drive reads continuously from beginning to end, and calculates the highest burst speed, the average read speed, and the average random access time for the drive.

HDTach RW Benchmark Results for Seagate 160GB 7200.9
Burst Speed (MB/sec) Average Read Speed (MB/sec) Random Access Time (ms)
Seagate 160GB 7200.9 247.6 60.3 13.2
Seagate 160GB 7200.9 (2-Drive, RAID-0) 306.5 84.4 12.9
Seagate 500GB 7200.9 248.1 52.2 14.0

We are very happy to see here that the burst speed reported for the single 160GB 7200.9 unit is 247.6 and the results for our dual-drive RAID-0 setup is over 300MB/sec. The average read speed of a single unit is around 60MB/sec while a 2-unit RAID-0 array can read data 20MB/sec faster. The 500GB 7200.9 compares very well to the higher density platters of the 160GB model. Since the 500GB unit uses 133GB platters, we weren't expecting a close race between the two siblings. Still, the 160GB drive is quicker when it comes to average read speed and the random access times, which are extremely important in desktop drives.

WinBench 99 - Transfer Rate Test Real World Tests
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  • yacoub - Thursday, February 2, 2006 - link

    If you're going to do an acoustics test, you should make a useful graph instead of that tiny one that makes them all look relatively equivalent in noise output. You should also note any particular sound properties the drive emits. Whine, pitch, vibration, etc. It would be subjective but it's also very important.

    If anything, harddrive speed and performance are relatively similar among most drives. The noise output however, is often greatly different, and is especially important if the drive emits noise at a certain frequency that annoys the user. I'd rather wait an extra millisecond for a seek than have to put up with a constant ringing noise or whine from the drive.

    You could also at least include a modern Samsung SpinPoint like the P120 SP2004C 200GB drive in your test list instead of the dated Samsungs you use currently. Aside from it having better performance than most of the older Samsungs you list, it also is one of the quietest 7200rpm 3.5" HDs out there - enough that it would certainly stand out in your acoustics test instead of the current lot you test with that leaves a graph that gives a false impression of "oh, looks like all HDs are about the same in noise so I won't bother using that as a purchase consideration."

    http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200511/SP250...">http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200511/SP250... shows a more useful acoustics test graph and the strongest point of the Samsung SpinPoint SP2004C - its SPL. Anyone building a quiet PC should certainly consider it. I love mine.

    SilentPCReview also has a SpinPoint P120 SP2004C review but their site seems to be down at the moment.
    Reply
  • RallyMaster - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    Is this the ST3160812AS? If so...I have one! Never thought my 95 dollar hard drive was capable of doing so well. Wow. Reply
  • wharris1 - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    yes, this article was initially posted last week. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    > We also benchmarked a couple of these drives in a RAID-0 array as a brief look at RAID performance with results that were pleasing to our eyes.

    Really?
    No improvements in either application or game level load times.
    Little improvements in the zip/unzip tests.

    What exactly is so pleasing?
    Results in vague iPeak tests?
    Reply
  • JWalk - Tuesday, February 7, 2006 - link

    Ding! We have a winner.

    Nothing appears to have changed when it comes to real-world applications and RAID-0 performance. Anand himself and Eugene at storagereview.com have settled this numerous times.

    If you want to see big synthetic benchmark numbers, run RAID-0. If you want actual real-world results, use a fast single drive. RAID has its place, but not in a RAID-0 array for normal desktop/gaming use.
    Reply
  • Ecmaster76 - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    Did this one get pulled and put back up or something? Reply
  • neogodless - Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - link

    I think the focus on RAID makes the omission of temperature and noise data a strange thing. How does that second drive affect the temperature inside the case, especially if the drives are side by side? How does it affect noise? Reply
  • patentman - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    "With the announcement and release of Seagate's new 160GB 5400.3 2.5" notebook drive, which utilizes the new perpendicular magnetic recording method"

    I think I've said this before, but perpendicular magnetic recording is not new by any stetch of the imagination. There are patents on this technology that were filed in the late 80's. Mainstream products using this technology might be new, but the actual method of recording is, in the computer world, very very old.
    Reply
  • PuravSanghani - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - link

    Patentman,

    Though the patent may have been around since the late 80's, only recently has a hard drive manufacturer been able to implement the technology in their products.

    Toshiba was the first to do this with their smaller drives and Seagate is the first do implement this technology in notebook drives. The race is on to see who will introduce desktop drives based on this technology!

    Purav
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    The 160GB 7200.9 is not in either of the two temperature charts or the noise chart. The 500GB 7200.9 is there, but no it's little brother. Reply

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