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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.

First place goes to Western Digital here. It is predictably followed by the Fujitsu whereas the Seagate is rather surprisingly third. The lowest performance in this test is delivered by the Toshiba whose firmware obviously has some problems that show up as the odd irregular dependence of performance on the request queue depth.

The final ratings just prove what we have already seen well enough in the diagram.

The standings change a lot with the new load which now has write requests. For example, the HDD from Western Digital is now far ahead of the other HDDs irrespective of the request queue depth. The Fujitsu and Toshiba share second place whereas the Seagate is an outsider, being much slower than the leader at short queue depths.

The performance ratings indicate the huge advantage of the Western Digital drive over the others.

Western Digital is not the leader anymore when it comes to the workstation load. It is outperformed by the Fujitsu at each but the shortest request queue depth. The Samsung and Toshiba keep close behind the leaders whereas the Hitachi is noticeably slower. The imperfect firmware algorithms of the Seagate make it far slower than the other drives. It is just out of competition here.

Five HDDs have similar performance ratings in this test whereas the Seagate is much worse than the others. Since our rating formula gives higher weights to shorter request queue depths, the Western Digital is somewhat better than the Fujitsu while the Toshiba is as good as the latter.

When the test zone is limited to 32 gigabytes (or 10% of the total capacity), the HDDs all deliver similar results, the Fujitsu being a little better than the others. The Western Digital is somewhat slower than the others at short queue depths for some reason.

Save for the Western Digital, the drives have similar performance ratings in this test.

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