|WD VelociRaptor 300GB SATA HDD WD3000HLFS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 28 July 2009|
Page 10 of 14
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
Many enthusiasts are familiar with the EVEREST benchmark suite by Lavalys, but very few are aware of the Disk Benchmark tool available inside the program. The EVEREST Disk Benchmark performs linear read and write bandwidth tests on each drive, and can be configured to use file chunk sizes up to 1MB (which speeds up testing and minimizes jitter in the waveform). Because of the full sector-by-sector nature of linear testing, Benchmark Reviews endorses this method for testing SSD products, as detailed in our Solid State Drive Benchmark Performance Testing article. However, Hard Disk Drive products suffer a lower average bandwidth as the capacity draws linear read/write speed down into the inner-portion of the disk platter. EVEREST Disk Benchmark does not require a partition to be present for testing, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.
The high-performance storage products tested with EVEREST Disk Benchmark are connected to the Intel ICH10R SATA controller resident on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard. Using the 1MB block size, read performance of the Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB WD3000HLFS 10,000 RPM SATA Hard Disk Drive measured an average 103.2 MBps with a maximum peak of 124.1 MBps. Linear write-to tests were next...
Linear disk benchmarks are superior tools in my opinion, because they scan from the first physical sector to the last. A side affect of many linear write-performance test tools is that the data is erased as it writes to every sector on the drive. Normally this isn't an issue, but it has been shown that partition tables will occasionally play a role in overall SSD performance (HDDs are more mature products and don't suffer this problem). The 16MB buffer on the WD VelociRaptor helped improve results in our linear testing, as shown in the waveform chart below.
Although the chart makes the linear write performance appear unsteady in a few areas, the results seen here are actually very good compared to most other HDD products we've tested in the past. The WD VelociRaptor recorded an average linear write-to speed of 102.4 MBps , with a maximum performance of 124.2 MBps. Unlike SSDs, hard disk products generally share very similar read/write bandwidth performance.
The chart below shows the average linear read and write bandwidth for a cross-section of other SATA drives attached to the Intel ICH10 Southbridge:
Linear bandwidth certainly benefits the Solid State Drive, since there's very little fluctuation in transfer speed. Hard Disk Drive products decline in performance as the spindle reaches the inner-most sectors on the magnetic platter. I personally consider linear tests to be the single most important comparison of storage drive products, although hard disk drive products decrease performance as they reach the edge of the spindle, SSD products operate at a relatively smooth speed from start to finish.