The following table lists the specs and firmware versions of the tested devices.
There are a few things we should note here. First, not only the WD Caviar Black but also the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 is equipped with 32 megabytes of cache memory, so we can expect high performance from that HDD. Second, Western Digital has stopped to declare the average seek time parameter in its drives’ specs but specifies a drive ready time. And third, Western Digital has the same firmware for both the Blue and Black models. The difference between them will obviously depend on the amount of cache memory and the mysterious Dual Processor feature.
Testbed and Methods
The following testing utilities were used:
- IOMeter 2003.02.15
- IOMark 0.30b14
- FC-Test 1.0
- PCMark 2004
- PCMark 2005
- PCMark Vantage
- ASUS P5WDG2 WS Pro mainboard
- Intel Core 2 Duo E2160 processor
- IBM DTLA-307015 system disk, 15GB
- Radeon X600 graphics card
- 1GB DDR2-800 SDRAM
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 (and Windows Vista for PCMark Vantage)
We installed the generic OS drivers for the drives and formatted them in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. For some tests 32GB partitions were created on the drives and formatted in FAT32 and NTFS with the default cluster size, too. In every test, save for IOMark and the Defragmentation test, the drives were connected to a Promise SATA300 TX4302 controller installed into a PCI-X slot and had their NCQ support enabled.