Articles: Storage

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Every time we changed, however slightly, our testing methods or shifted to another testbed, we found ourselves where we had started – all old test results would become void, while new results are too scanty for an accurate comparison of different devices. Such a change of the testbed happened some time ago and again it told negatively on how fast the new reviews appeared as well as on the number and scope of hard disk drives we include into our tests.

Anyway, we worked hard to test everything possible and now we have accumulated tons of numbers for each category of hard disks. It’s time to juggle with them! :)

It was easy to choose the subject of the today’s roundup: every hardware forum has topics like “Which drive of xxx capacity is better?” That’s quite natural for users to ask for advice from more informed community members. On the other hand, few users have the opportunity of forming a personal opinion about all hard disk drives available in the market, so such topics usually degenerate into an argument of several people who are all claiming that their personal experience is the only “truth”.

Yes, we have more opportunities for reviewing and testing more devices than an average user has, but we’ll anyway try to refrain from inferior-superior judgments, but rather offer you the results of our tests with some comments explaining them.

This article is actually intended to be the first of a series of HDD roundups. Today we will compare as many as twenty hard disk drives of 80GB storage capacity, as this capacity seems to be the most popular for today.

The current market of hard disk drives for desktop computers consists of five manufacturers: IBM-Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital. We will have new models from each of these companies as well as not very new drives (I think meeting your own old HDD in this review will somewhat enliven this boring reading for you…)

Somehow we found ourselves having four HDDs from each of the manufacturers, so we are beyond any suspicions as to favoring someone of them. Meanwhile, the manufacturers are not all represented with equivalent (of the same generation) devices. Yes, it’s really hard to make a truly comprehensive roundup – we just couldn’t find a few interesting models in time for this test session.

Testing Participants

The technical characteristics of the drives, declared by the manufacturers, are listed below, in brief:

A member of the DTLA family may look strange standing next to 7K250 drives – there are three generations in-between (60GXP, 120GXP and 180GXP). However, the DTLA (75GXP) drive made a kind of revolution on its day, so we will use it as a reference point to see the progress made in HDD making in the last years.

Besides the DTLA, we have an IC35L090AVV207-0 drive, a member of the 180GXP series, and two devices from the 7K250 series with ATA/100 and SATA interfaces.

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