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Multithreaded Read & Write Patterns

The reading of a single thread is the same as sequential reading, so the two Barracuda LP products take the first and last lines of the diagram. The 7200.12 series models and the WD drives, except for the Caviar Black WD10EALX, follow close behind the leader.

As soon as there is a second data thread to read, the Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 delivers a much lower performance whereas the Barracuda LP ST31000520AS, which wasn’t that fast when reading a single thread, doesn’t slow down that much here. The 7200.12 series products are both very fast. The RE4 WD1003FBYX is twice as fast as the rest of the WD disks, but can only compete with the energy-efficient product from Seagate. The other WD drives are much slower than their Seagate opponents.

Seagate’s 7200.12 series is three times as fast as most of the WD drives when reading three data threads and keep on delivering over 20 MB/s. The RE4 WD1003FBYX gets slower by half, joining the low-performance group, but the Caviar Black WD1001FALS speeds up a little, producing the same result as the Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 with two data threads. However, the latter has also improved to keep ahead of its pursuer.

Now each of the five WD drives yields only 7 to 7.5 MB/s whereas the Seagate HDDs seem not to notice the increased load except that the Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 falls somewhat behind.

The Barracuda LP ST1000DL002 is again on top when processing one data thread, but is closely followed by a group of WD drives along with the Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000524AS. The Caviar Blue WD10EALX and the Barracuda LP ST31000520AS are slower than the rest of the HDDs but it is the Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS that is the worst model here, just as in the sequential reading test.

We could expect the Seagate team to deliver fantastic performance like they did in the multithreaded reading test, but their speeds of 60 MB/s (Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000524AS) to 50 MB/s (the rest of the Seagate team), although quite high too, are not impressive compared to the WD drives’ 100 to 105 MB/s. The Caviar Blue WD10EALX’s 96 MB/s doesn’t spoil the overall picture for Western Digital.

When the load grows higher, the gaps between the WD drives get larger, the RE4 WD1003FBYX finding itself on top with a better result than with two data threads. The Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000524AS gets closer to the Caviar Blue WD10EALX.

The standings remain the same when the HDDs process four data threads. The Caviar Black WD1002FAEX and the Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS get slower, but this doesn’t change the overall picture: the Western Digital products are better at multithreaded writing.

 
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