|Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS Hard Drive ST3600057SS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 27 October 2009|
Page 10 of 12
HD Tach RW Results
Although HD Tach (and also HD Tune or Crystal Disk Benchmark) are all excellent tools for measuring Hard Disk Drive products, they fail to offer the same precision with Solid State Drive products. These programs offer only an approximate estimate of bandwidth speed through their quick-result sample-testing mechanisms, as I have proven in the Solid State Drive (SSD) Benchmark Performance Testing article published not long ago. Nevertheless, HD Tach is still useful for offering an alternative perspective at performance, even if it isn't precisely correct when used with SSD architecture.
HD Tach is a software program for Microsoft Windows that tests the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of the attached storage device. For the record. every single product tested was brand new and never used. HD Tach allows write-bandwidth tests only if no partition is present. Additionally, each and every product was tested five times with the highest and lowest results removed before having the average result displayed here. The graphical user interface (GUI) of the Windows-based benchmark tool HD Tach is very convenient. and allows the test product to be compared against others collected on your system or those registered into the Simpli Software database. HD Tach will not test write performance if a partition is present, so all of our benchmarks are completed prior to drive formatting.
In the tests below, Benchmark Reviews utilizes the HD TachRW tool to compare the fastest collection of desktop hard drives and competing SSD's we can get our hands on. Using the Intel ICH10R SATA controller on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P, HD Tach was used to benchmark the test SSD five times with the best results displayed below. It's important to note that HD Tach's Burst Speed result should be ignored for Solid State Drives due to the cache methods inherent to each memory controller architecture. There are times where this number will be extremely high, which is a result of the optimized cache used for SSD's.
The important numbers used for comparison are the sustained read and write bandwidth speeds, which indicate an approximate performance level of the product. Our featured test item, the 600GB Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 SAS hard drive, performed at an average 178.4 MBps best sustained average read speed and a best average sustained write bandwidth of 159.9 MBps.
The chart below illustrates the collected averages for benchmark results using HD Tach RW on the Intel ICH10 SATA controller, with the read and write bandwidth results added together to determine rank placement. The first group is a collection of high-performance SLC-SSD storage products. With an improved write performance, the SLC Vertex EX finds itself positioned in first place with the Corsair X256, Intel X25-E Extreme, and OCZ Agility EX SSDs both tied for second. Hard disk drive products suffer from linear performance loss, and result in lower scores.
The Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 offers 178/160 MBps, which pulls way ahead of the Western Digital VelociRaptor's 108/99 MBps. Yesterday's high-performance SSD is today's low-performance drive, as the Mtron MOBI 3500 SSD offers less combined performance than Hard Disk Drive alternatives (except in regard to response time).
Please continue on to the Final Thoughts sections, where the state of SSD testing and Data Storage market sector are put under analysis...