Next goes our homemade test of defragmentation speed we usually use for 3.5-inch HDDs. Let’s try it with 2.5-inchers now.
We created a very defragmented file system on a 32GB partition of a hard disk by loading it with music, video, games and applications. Then we saved a per-sector copy of the disk and now copy it to the HDD we want to test. The tested HDD is connected to the mainboard’s SATA controller whose operation mode (AHCI/Standard IDE) is controlled from the mainboard’s BIOS. Next we run a script that evokes the console version of the Perfect Disk 8.0 defragmenter and marks the time of the beginning and end of the defragmentation process. Thus, each drive is tested twice – with AHCI support turned on and off on the controller. You can refer to this article for details about this test.
Unfortunately, some HDDs (the 3-platter Hitachi 5K500 and Samsung M6 and the Western Digital Scorpio Blue) could not be tested.
We’ve got highly interesting results. First, we can see that the Seagate 7200.4 is indeed faster, but not much faster, than the others. The gap from the closest pursuer is a mere half a minute. Second, the HDDs pass this test differently depending on what driver they use. Some HDDs are better with AHCI, and others, without AHCI. The difference between an HDD’s results in these two modes is substantial, amounting to an average half a minute and being as high as 2.5 minutes with the Fujitsu. The Seagate 5400.6 is extremely slow in this test. It seems to have inherited this feature from Seagate’s 7200.11 series of desktop HDDs that are also slower than their opponents at defragmentation.