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Windows 7 Defragmentation

Next goes our homemade test of defragmentation speed. We created a very defragmented file system on a 32GB partition of a disk by loading it with music, video, games and applications. Then we saved a per-sector copy of that disk and now copy it to a disk we want to test. We run a script that evokes the integrated defragmenter of Windows 7 and marks the time of the beginning and end of the defragmentation process. For more information about this test, you can refer to this article.

The RE4 WD1003FBYX wins this test by a large margin. The Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000524AS and Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS are second and third, respectively. The Caviar Blue WD10EALX and Caviar Black WD1001FALS are somewhat slower than the leaders while the Barracuda LP ST31000520AS delivers the performance you can expect from a 5900RPM drive.

This test illustrates Smart Align technology. You can see that the Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 performs worse when the partition is not aligned (the result is green in the diagram). However, the performance hit is not as huge as in our earlier reviews. So, Smart Align is helpful indeed.

Power Consumption

You can refer to our Hard Disk Drive Power Consumption Measurements: X-bit’s Methodology in Depth for details on this test. Here is a list of the specific modes we measure the power consumption in:

  • Start (the electric current the HDD consumes when starting up)
  • Idle (the HDD is not accessed at all, but it is turned on and ready to work)
  • Random Read and Write
  • Sequential Read and Write

The high power draw of the Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 is noticeable in the diagram. It is not cold when idle. The Barracuda LP ST31000520AS consumes much less, for example. The rest of the Seagate disks are economic, too. This is one of the few tests where less is better.

The standings do not change much when the HDDs are accessing sequentially located data. There are some changes in the ranks of the WD products while the Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000524AS turns out to be less economic than the Caviar Blue WD10EALS.

We've got a different situation at random-address loads: the Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 still consumes about 7 watts when writing but needs as much as 10 watts when reading, which is the worst result in the test. The Barracuda LP ST31000520AS remains the most economical drive whereas the RE4 WD1003FBYX, despite its impressive performance, is not the hottest one. The Caviar Blue WD10EALS is yet another product that is both fast and economic.

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