Performance in Intel IOMeter: Access Time and Linear Speed
One of the most important characteristics of a hard disk drive is average access time. The specifications did not indicate any difference between 180GXP and the previous generation models. However, how do the things stand in reality?
In reality the situation is completely different. We got a plenty of surprises:
- Access time of 180GXP during reading is worse than by the predecessor;
- Access time of the 60Gb model during reading is worse than by all other models of the same family;
- 40GB model suddenly appeared almost the fastest in the entire family;
- 180GB model boasts worst access time during writing without any evident reasons.
Probably, it is the different firmware versions that caused different lazy write efficiency: all hard disk drives participating in our today’s race were tested within different timeframe, so that by the end we finished testing the firmware version has already increased up to 6th. Unfortunately, we didn’t check the firmware version of all tested models, nevertheless, we have a few numbers for your reference. The 40GB, 80GB and 180GB models featured A63A firmware, and the 120GB model with an 8MB buffer – A66A firmware. The first model to be tested was the 60GB one that is why it should have the oldest firmware. We see that the first firmware versions for 180GXP boasted almost the lazy write efficiency as the 120GXP solutions.
The mysterious 40GB HDD model, which was first absent in the 180GXP family and then most likely appeared because of some IBM’s OEM customer, prepared the most surprises for us. To begin with, it is not just a 60GB HDD cut down to 40GB in storage space, as you might have thought at first, but an independent product, although the system recognizes it as IC35L060AVV2 40GB, and so says the sticker. The “optimized” model has a modified zones layout instead of the traditional absence of the smallest internal cylinders. Although this is still a “cut-down” model in terms of the overall cylinders amount, with both: external densest tracks and internal slowest tracks sacrificed. As a result, it boasts pretty short average access time, despite the low-cost case typical of the youngest models with slow seek. Only this model and the “cut-down” 80GB one can compete with the previous Deskstar generation in average access time. And this means that 180GXP can’t boast IBM’s traditionally high seek time any more. In fact, this is very weird, as the specifications do not indicate any worsening of the seek time parameter.