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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS Hard Drive ST3600057SS
Features and Specifications
First Look: Seagate Cheetah 15K.7
Drive Testing Methodology
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Linear Bandwidth Speed
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Storage Media Final Thoughts
ST3600057SS Conclusion

ST3600057SS Conclusion

Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate. The first section is performance, which considers how effective the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive performs in operations against direct competitor products. For reference, not many other SAS drives exist, and some of the closest competition (the WD VelociRaptor for example) is nowhere near the same level. Because spinning disk media loses performance as in nears the inner-most sectors, it's difficult to compare HDDs to SSDs unless you disregard the linear loss of speed. The 600GB ST3600057SS model offered 201/168 MBps maximum read/write in Everest, followed by 208/207 MBps in Crystal DiskMark, then 199/182 MBps peak speed in HD-Tach, and finally ATTO Benchmark scored 204/203 MBps. Taken in as a whole, the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive ST3600057SS appears to perform at an approximate speed of 200 MBps read and 180 MBps write.

seagate_cheetah_15k.7_sas_hard_drive_ST3600057SS_exposed.jpg

There really isn't a lot to be said for the appearance of a hard drive. The Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 is virtually identical to every other 3.5" storage product Seagate offers, and there aren't any stand-out physical features (such as heatsink cradle or transparent window) to make this SAS drive into anything other than it's intended purpose: corporate server storage.

Seagate has had eight years to refine and perfect the Cheetah 15K product line, and as a result the 15K.7 series is probably the best-constructed hard drive in the world. The incredibly-low 0.55% Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) and industry's highest 3.5" drive reliability (1.6-million-hours MTBF) are proof evident that the construction is a direct reflection of Seagate's research. If this isn't enough, there's a full 5-year warranty on all Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 hard drives.

Benchmark Reviews has admittedly focused on desktop-centric tests for this article, and I realize that Enterprise drives strive for reliability above all else. Unfortunately, there's no good way to test for long term failures in a timely manner. The functionality of the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7-series is going to require either a Fibre Channel (FC) or Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) adapter depending on your model, and the LSI SAS3081E-R 3.0 GBps PCI-Express SAS controller card easily updates any desktop motherboard into a converted server. Seagate's PowerTrim feature will certainly get a nod from 'Green'-focused Enterprise environments, while programmable sector ranges can enhance bandwidth speed using a 'short-stroke' method.

As of late October 2009, the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive, model ST3600057SS, was found for sale at several online retailers for $649.99 using the Benchmark Reviews price comparison tool. This equates to roughly $1.08/GB of storage space, which is quite affordable considering the uptime reliability and five-year warranty.

In conclusion, the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS drive has demonstrated a dominance over existing Enterprise storage solutions and improved file transfer speeds at the same time as it saves electrical energy costs. While Seagate's Cheetah is an endangered product line because of fast-encroaching SSD technology, it's not quite extinct. Corporate servers are a long ways from full migration to a yet-unproven long-term Solid State technology, and in the mean time there are few options as good as the 15K.7 series. Fortunately for Seagate, even fewer can compete with the bandwidth performance and lifetime reliability. If your server is mission critical and absolutely must maintain 100% storage uptime, then the Seagate Cheetah 15K.7-series is a the ideal solution.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for Quality Recognition

+ Impressive 204 MBps read and 203 write bandwidth with ATTO
+ 5-Year product warranty with advance exchange available
+ 15,000 RPM Spindle speed offers quick transfer response time
+ 600GB Perpendicular Recording Enterprise storage capacity
+ PowerTrim feature conserves energy without compromising performance
+ 5-Year product warranty with advance exchange available
+ 0.55% Annualized Failure Rate / 1.6-million-hours MTBF
+ SAS Interface enable bottleneck-free bandwidth
+ Highest performance and capacity of any Enterprise storage solution

Cons:

- Fast mechanical rotation generates tremendous heat
- May be replaced with SSD technology in the near future
- Considerably low IOPS transaction performance
- Not available with SATA-III 6GBps interface for SOHO servers

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.25
  • Appearance: 7.75
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.25

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

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# Oh yeah !!!Manoj 2010-04-11 01:24
ROCK MY WORLD
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