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Web-Server, Fileserver and Workstation Patterns

The drives are tested under loads typical of servers and workstations.

The names of the patterns are self-explanatory. The Workstation pattern is used with the full capacity of the drive as well as with a 32GB partition. The request queue is limited to 32 requests in the Workstation pattern.

The results are presented as performance ratings. For the File-Server and Web-Server patterns the performance rating is the average speed of the drive under every load. For the Workstation pattern we use the following formula:

Rating (Workstation) = Total I/O (queue=1)/1 + Total I/O (queue=2)/2 + Total I/O (queue=4)/4 + Total I/O (queue=8)/8 + Total I/O (queue=16)/16.

The Seagate 7200.4 is beyond competition under such load, enjoying a nice lead over the Western Digital which is the best of the 5400rpm models. Samsung’s two HDDs and the Toshiba are poor in this test as they suffer a performance hit at medium queue depths.

The standings are different when there are write requests in the load. The Western Digital is now first, followed by the Seagate 5400.6. The speedy Seagate 7200.4 rolls back to third place due to its modest writing capabilities. The two 3-platter drives are at the bottom of the diagram: the Hitachi 5K500 has very low results at short queue depths whereas the Samsung M6 does not speed up much at long ones.

Our formula gives bigger weights to the results at short queue depths, so the Western Digital is first even though it loses to the Seagate 5400.6 at long queue depths. The 7200rpm Seagate is no winner because of its problems with writing. Hitachi’s HDDs have the lowest ratings.

When the test zone is limited to 32 gigabytes, it is the two HDDs from Seagate that compete for first place, and the 7200rpm model comes out the winner. Hitachi’s HDDs like this load more and join the group of HDDs with average results. The 3-platter Samsung M6 is on the losing side here.

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