The following table lists the specifications and firmware versions of the drives:
So, we have a unique opportunity to see the influence of large cache memory and higher recording density on the performance of hard disk drives. We can see the former thing by comparing Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K1000.B and E7K1000 and Western Digital’s Caviar Green WD10EACS-00D6B0 and WD10EADS. In both pairs the drives have the same firmware version. It doesn’t guarantee that the firmware is identical, but there is a high chance that the drives in each pair are equal from this aspect. We also have two pairs to evaluate the effect of increased recording density: Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS and ST31000333AS and Western Digital’s Caviar Green WD10EACS-00ZJBO and WD10EACS-00D6B0.
Testbed and Methods
The following testing utilities were used:
- IOMeter 2003.02.15
- IOMark 0.30b14
- FC-Test 1.0
- PCMark 2004
- PCMark 2005
- PCMark Vantage
- ASUS P5WDG2 WS Pro mainboard
- Intel Core 2 Duo E2160 processor
- IBM DTLA-307015 system disk, 15GB
- Radeon X600 graphics card
- 1GB DDR2-800 SDRAM
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 (and Windows Vista for PCMark Vantage)
We installed the generic OS drivers for the drives and formatted them in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. For some tests 32GB partitions were created on the drives and formatted in FAT32 and NTFS with the default cluster size, too. In every test, save for IOMark and the Defragmentation test, the drives were connected to a Promise SATA300 TX4302 controller installed into a PCI-X slot and had their NCQ support enabled.
Since we’ve got drives belonging to the same series but differing in specifications, we have to use additional designations for Seagate’s Barracuda 7200.11 and Western Digital’s Caviar Green products. The designations are based on the number of platters (three or four) and, for the WD Caviar Green series, on the amount of cache memory (16 or 32 megabytes). We hope this will make the review easier to read and comprehend.