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Defragmentation without NCQ

We’ll first show you the results of the HDDs without NCQ, i.e. when the AHCI mode is disabled for the HDD in the mainboard’s BIOS. The numbers are shown in one diagram for better readability. Note that we measure the speed of defragmenting a 32GB partition. If you are defragmenting larger partitions, the procedure takes longer, of course.

As you can see, the new 10000rpm models from WD with increased areal density (WD740ADFD and WD1500ADFD) are the winners of this test. The Samsung HD501LJ has the best result among 7200rpm models and is closely followed by the Seagate ST3500630AS.

The worst result, rather surprisingly, comes from WD’s first 10000rpm model, the first revision WD740GD. The high rotation speed didn’t help it much as it spent about twice the amount of time spent by the others. The Maxtor 7H500F0 has poor results due to its much lower areal density in comparison with its opponents. The WD5000AAKS and ST3250820AS aren’t good, either.

The results of the Seagate HDDs show that the amount of platters does not have a big effect here: the HDDs from one series with a 16MB cache have almost the same speed irrespective of their capacity (250, 320, 400GB). But the other 250GB model is in the slow group due to its small cache size (8MB) – it is only ahead of the Maxtor if we compare within the 7200rpm models. The server-oriented ES ST35006630NS is slower than the ordinary desktop version. Is it the tradeoff for its increased reliability? On the other hand, comparing Western Digital’s 500GB models, the WD5000YS from the corporate RE2 class is as much as 5.5% faster than the desktop WD5000AAKS.

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