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Web-Server, File-Server 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 15K.1 is unrivalled under low read-only loads, which helps it get the highest overall score. Take note that the Hitachi drives are better than their opponents: the Seagate drives stop to accelerate at a queue depth of 64 requests, the Fujitsu does the same at 128 requests but the Hitachi drives keep on accelerating still.

When there is a small share of write requests in the load, the picture does not change much. The Seagate 15K.1 enjoys a smaller lead as it lacks deferred writing. The Seagate drives are also worse at high loads. The overall picture is the same as in the Web-Server pattern, though.

We don’t see big changes even at short queue depths and under variegated load typical of workstations. The Seagate 15K.1 is still better than the others but its advantage is now limited to the zone from 1 to 12 requests in the queue. We have a different loser now. This time it is the Fujitsu but not the Seagate 10K.1. Funnily, Fujitsu’s 3.5-inch SAS drives were among the best under this load.

When the test zone is limited to 32 gigabytes, the Hitachi C10K300 enjoys a huge advantage thanks to its denser platters. The Seagate 15K.1 cannot compete with the leader.

And once again we want to refer to our review of 3.5-inch SAS drives. By quickly comparing the performance ratings (which are actually necessary for the sake of comparison), you can see that 2.5-inch drives are not inferior to their full-size counterparts. Even with a smaller spindle rotation speed (in most models), they are quite competitive. It is only in the Workstation pattern with the reduced test zone that the 2.5-inchers are notably slower than the 3.5-inch drives.

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