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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage
Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 04 December 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Seagate Barracuda XT Hard Drive ST32000641AS
Features and Specifications
Drive Testing Methodology
Seagate Barracuda XT: SATA 3G vs 6G
Basic IO Bandwidth
Random Access IOPS Tests
I/O Response Time
Sequential Performance Tests
Buffered Transaction Speed
Desktop Storage Final Thoughts
Seagate Barracuda XT Conclusion

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 Seagate Barracuda XT model ST32000641AS, performed at an average 115 MBps best sustained average read speed and a best average sustained write bandwidth of only 101 MBps.

HD-Tach_Benchmark_Seagate-Barracuda-XT.png

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 storage products. The Corsair X256, Intel X25-E Extreme, and OCZ Agility EX SSDs all tie for first place, ahead of the MLC Vertex Turbo and Agility SSD. Kingston's SSDNow V+ SSD trails behind in overall performance, and offers less write-to performance than a few of the hard drive products tested.

The Seagate Barracuda XT offers 115 MBps read and 101 MBps write, which is just barely ahead of the WD VelociRaptor's 108/99. Added for comparison, the Seagate 5400.6 notebook hard drive scores 32 MBps read and 56 MBps write.

HD-Tach_Bandwidth_ICH10.png

Drive Hardware Tested

Please continue on to the Final Thoughts sections, where the state of the HDD Data Storage market sector is put under analysis...



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Seagate Barracuda XT Hard Drive ST32000641ASStas 2010-02-22 05:34
Bad SATA 6G performance is not Seagate fault - it's a result of the use of Marvell chip, that shows better than SATA I+ resuls only in a pair wirh Marvell drive controllers (not alwais, though).

Think with any SAS 6G HBA the drive will show much better results.
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# Thanksmorisbecon 2010-02-27 19:39
Thanks for the nice post.
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# small correctiontwk 2010-10-23 05:23
The IOPS graph for the ssd isn't correct, the numbers displayed in the chart are those of the 2TB drive and no the SSD. The numbers in the article appear correct however the image is erroneous.

Good article though.
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