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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

Iometer IOPS Performance

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. Iometer does for a computer's I/O subsystem what a dynamometer does for an engine: it measures performance under a controlled load. Iometer was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and formerly known as "Galileo". Intel has discontinued work on Iometer, and has gifted it to the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL). There is currently a new version of Iometer in beta form, which adds several new test dimensions for SSDs.

Iometer is both a workload generator (that is, it performs I/O operations in order to stress the system) and a measurement tool (that is, it examines and records the performance of its I/O operations and their impact on the system). It can be configured to emulate the disk or network I/O load of any program or benchmark, or can be used to generate entirely synthetic I/O loads. It can generate and measure loads on single or multiple (networked) systems.

To measure random I/O response time as well as total I/O's per second, Iometer is set to use 4KB file size chunks over a 100% random sequential distribution at a queue depth of 32 outstanding I/O's per target. The tests are given a 50% read and 50% write distribution. While this pattern may not match traditional 'server' or 'workstation' profiles, it illustrates a single point of reference relative to our product field.

All of our SSD tests used Iometer 1.1.0 (build 08-Nov-2010) by Intel Corporation to measure IOPS performance, using a SandForce-created QD30 configuration: 4KB 100 Random 50-50 Read and Write.icf. The chart below illustrates combined random read and write IOPS over a 120-second Iometer test phase, where highest I/O total is preferred:

Iometer_Random_4K-IOPS_30QD_Test_Results.png

In our Iometer tests, which use 32 outstanding I/O's per target and a random 50/50 read/write distribution, which is generally a heavy load for SSDs but also relevant to modern hard disk drives. From these test results, we can see that five platters outperform three in input/output operational performance. This makes logical sense, because there's less travel to fetch and ferry data. If you're using a hard drive on any high-I/O system then I strongly urge you to consider an SSD, but if you're choosing between the older Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS or new Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001, the older five-platter design fares better.

In our next section, we test linear read and write bandwidth performance and compare its speed against several other top storage products using EVEREST Disk Benchmark.



 

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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