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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001
Features and Specifications
Drive Testing Methodology
AS-SSD Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Iometer IOPS Performance
EVEREST Disk Benchmark
PCMark Vantage HDD Tests
Seagate Barracuda Conclusion

Drive Testing Methodology

Solid State Drives have traveled a long winding course to finally get where they are today. Up to this point in technology, there have been several key differences separating Solid State Drives from magnetic rotational Hard Disk Drives. While the DRAM-based buffer size on desktop HDDs has recently reached 64 MB and is ever-increasing, there is still a hefty delay in the initial response time. This is one key area in which flash-based Solid State Drives continually dominates because they lack moving parts to "get up to speed".

However the benefits inherent to SSDs have traditionally fallen off once the throughput begins, even though data reads or writes are executed at a high constant rate whereas the HDD tapers off in performance. This makes the average transaction speed of a SSD comparable to the data burst rate mentioned in HDD tests, albeit usually lower than the HDD's speed.

Comparing a Solid State Disk to a standard Hard Disk Drive is always relative; even if you're comparing the fastest rotational spindle speeds. One is going to be many times faster in response (SSDs), while the other is usually going to have higher throughput bandwidth (HDDs). Additionally, there are certain factors which can affect the results of a test which we do our best to avoid.

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 EVO (Intel P67 Sandy Bridge Platform, B3 Stepping)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4 GHz Quad-Core CPU
  • System Memory: 4GB Dual-Channel DDR3 1600MHz CL6-6-6-18
  • SATA 6Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel P67 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 10.1.0.1008
  • SATA 3Gb/s Storage HBA: Integrated Intel P67 Controller
    • AHCI mode - Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver 10.1.0.1008
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit with Service Pack 1

Storage Hardware Tested

The following storage hardware has been used in our benchmark performance testing, and may be included in portions of this article:

Test Tools

  • AS SSD Benchmark 1.6.4067.34354: Multi-purpose speed and operational performance test
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46: Spot-tests static file size chunks for basic I/O bandwidth
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1a by Crystal Dew World: Sequential speed benchmark spot-tests various file size chunks
  • Iometer 1.1.0 (built 08-Nov-2010) by Intel Corporation: Tests IOPS performance and I/O response time
  • Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition 5.50: Disk Benchmark component tests linear read and write bandwidth speeds
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage 1.02: HDD Benchmark Suite tests real-world drive performance

Test Results Disclaimer

This article utilizes benchmark software tools to produce operational IOPS performance and bandwidth speed results. Each test was conducted in a specific fashion, and repeated for all products. These test results are not comparable to any other benchmark application, neither on this website or another, regardless of similar IOPS or MB/s terminology in the scores. The test results in this project are only intended to be compared to the other test results conducted in identical fashion for this article.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Doug Dallam 2011-11-01 13:36
I just finished retesting my two Western Digital Caviar 640 Blacks and used a lot of the same tools you did. (My reasons weren't to compare this drive but other tests I was doing unrelated.)

One of the things I wanted to do was test using real files. I chose to use a folder with 6GB of jpg/RAW/and video files. I then compressed that entire folder into a solid RAR archive and tested with that as well. Synthetic benches are fun, but real world file transfers can tell a different story.

All in all a tight review, but I'm wondering why you didn't test the drive using real files, say reading from an SSD and writing to it?
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Olin Coles 2011-11-01 13:53
I could have used real files, but felt I already had enough tests completed to illustrate performance. When you use real files, they must be the exact same files every time. Compressed files (mov/avi/mpg/etc) also skew results depending on the SSDs used.
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Doug Dallam 2011-11-01 14:07
When you say "skew" results, you mean because SSDs take into consideration compressible files as opposed to uncompromisable files? If so, that's why I created a compressed RAR file and the folder with loose files in it. It would have just been nice to see two real world file transfer scenarios, as per above. Maybe I'm off base here. If so, disregard.
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# Uncontrolled VariabilityBruce 2011-11-01 18:09
I've done some comparisons like this during my NAS tests: "Instead of one 10 GB file, the green portion of the chart shows what happens when transferring 4,793 items totaling 6.5GB from the PC to the NAS. If you're going to use any NAS for basic backup duties, this is the kind of action it's going to see." My informal tests showed that the real-world examples introduced too much variation in the results, making comparisons difficult and/or misleading.

Still, I get your point, and I also wish there was a way to use a standardized set of test files, that everyone could agree on.
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# RE: Uncontrolled VariabilityDoug Dallam 2011-11-02 03:30
Since here only two drives were being compared to each other, the same files could have been used for both drives. One, as explained above, multiple file, and the other one large file. Because as you point out, drives act differently depending on what is being transferred.

I suppose you could save those same files and use them to test other drives also, albeit, with the same drive and rig set up. Or, one could test a number of drives using the same files on any rig, as long as the host drive, to prevent bottlenecking, is faster than the drive being tested. That SSD Olin tested recently would have been a good contender for the host drive, since it is the fastest SSD currently commercially available to the public.
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# RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001ersan 2011-11-30 04:40
does this drive work with sata 2 raid controllers?
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# RE: RE: Seagate Barracuda 3TB Hard Drive ST3000DM001Olin Coles 2011-11-30 08:54
Yes, SATA 6Gb/s is backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s.
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# Sales RepDavid carr 2012-01-30 07:53
I have both the Workstation and the Sabertooth motherboards with the P55 chipset and if they are the same as the X79 the Sabertooth compared to the Workstation are the same my p55's. The Sabertooth was able to OC 300 mhz more then the workstation 4.3Ghz for the Workstation comaper to the Sabertooth able to clock to 4.6Ghz.
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