So, what conclusions can we draw from the results of HDDs defragmentation in PerfectDisk? As we have seen, hard disk drive performance during this type of work depends not only on the size of the cache buffer (that is 16MB by most models these days) and spindle rotation speed (that is 7,200rpm by majority of HDDs), but also on the per-platter data density and on the algorithms in the firmware of each particular drive. Unfortunately, you can only learn something about the HDD firmware during the tests. Even the per-platter data density may be pretty hard to track down for a mainstream user who is not following the news from the storage solutions market and doesn’t know the marking abbreviations very well.
Summing up the test results I would like to mention once again the hard drives that performed best of all. According to the results of two test sessions, the best ones are Samsung HD501LJ, Hitachi HDS721075KLA330 and Western Digital WD1500GD. We would also like to specifically point out new Seagate hard drives with higher per-platter data density - ST3250410AS with 16MB cache-buffer, performed very well. However, we are going to go deeper into details about these drives in one of our ongoing articles.
Unfortunately, Maxtor solutions demonstrated pretty weak results (this trade mark still exists, but belongs to Seagate). Even excellent algorithms that we have already discussed in the previous articles cannot make up for the low data density. I also have to point out very low results of Western Digital WD5000AAKS and Hitachi HDT725050VLA360. I would strongly recommend the manufacturers to improve the HDD quality so that they all are up to the mark, especially since they proved that they can do it: look at WD4000AAKS and HDS721075KLA330.
We were slightly puzzled by the results of our comparison of defragmentation times with AHCI support and without it. of course, we can observe some logic there, and we can see that the similar hard drives from the same maker react identically to the AHCI mode enabled or disabled. However, we still couldn’t explain a significant results difference between the two Hitachi solutions, one of which improves its performance by 3 minutes, while the other works 1 minute longer. Maybe the reasons lie with the effect the AHCI drivers have on the firmware versions of particular models.
All in all, we were very pleased with the results of our test session, and from now on we will make sure that PerfectDisk program becomes out constant tool for defragmentation time tests of all HDDs in our lab.