250 GB Hard Disk Drive Round-Up

DiskSpeed32

As you could see in the previous page, we measured performance using three different programs, DiskSpeed32, HD Tach and HD Tune.  On this page we will analyze the results provided by DiskSpeed32, while in the next pages we will discuss the results brought by the other two programs.

First, let’s take a look at the burst transfer rate results.

250 GB Hard Disk Drive Round-Up

Here Seagate Barracuda ES was the fastest hard disk drive, with Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 achieving close results. Drives from Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor achieved similar results among them, with Barracuda ES being between 7% and 9% faster than the drives from these brands. The losers here were Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 and Samsung HD250HJ. For example, Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 310AS was 7% and 15% faster than these two drives, respectively, while Barracuda ES was 17% and 26% faster.

Having a bigger buffer didn’t provide a higher transfer rate here: the two Barracuda 7200.10 drives achieved the same performance, the same happening with the two Caviar drives.

250 GB Hard Disk Drive Round-Up

But the most import result is the average transfer rate. Here Western Digital Caviar SE16 was the fastest hard disk drive and its 16 MB buffer really made a difference, with a performance increase of 26% over the same drive with 8 MB buffer. The higher buffer, however, didn’t make any difference for the Seagate drives. Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 and Maxtor DiamondMax 21 drives achieved the same results, which were close enough to the Western Digital Caviar SE16 for us to consider all them to have the same performance level.

These disks from Seagate and Maxtor were around 8% faster than Samsung’s, 16% faster than Seagate Barracuda ES, 21% faster than Hitachi P7K500 and Western Digital Caviar SE and 75% faster than Hitachi Deskstar T7K500.

As you can see Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 achieved a lousy result here.

250 GB Hard Disk Drive Round-Up

The maximum transfer rate is achieved when the disk is reading data stored on its outer most tracks. Here Western Digital Caviar SE16 was again the fastest hard disk drive, providing a 15% performance gain over the same drive with only 8 MB buffer.

All disks from Seagate and Maxtor and Western Digital Caviar SE achieved the same performance level. So a higher buffer didn’t make any difference for the Seagate drives, maybe meaning that Western Digital has a better implementation.

These disks were between 4% and 7% faster than Samsung HD250HJ, 20-24% faster than Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 and 62%-66% faster than Hitachi Deskstar T7K500.

250 GB Hard Disk Drive Round-Up

The minimum transfer rate is achieved when the disk is reading data stored on its inner most tracks. As you can see, the difference between the maximum and the minimum transfer rate is huge, and that explains why is so important to defragment your hard disk drive from time to time, to ensure that data is mostly stored on the disk’s outer tracks, which provide a higher transfer rate.

As you can clearly seen in the graph, the two Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 and Maxtor DiamondMax 21 achieved the same performance (let’s call them “group 1”), while Seagate Barracuda SE and the disks from Samsung and Western Digital achieved a similar performance among them (let’s call them “group 2”). And finally the two Hitachi drives achieved a similar performance among them (let’s call them “group 3”), which were really lousy, by the way.

Disks from group 1 achieved a minimum transfer rate around 76% higher than the one achieved by the disks from group 2 and around 218% higher than those on group 3.

Disks from group 2 achieved a minimum transfer rate around 81% higher than the one achieved by the disks from group 3.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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