Articles: Storage

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Next goes our homemade test of defragmentation speed. We created a very defragmented file system on a 32GB partition of a disk by loading it with music, video, games and applications. Then we saved a per-sector copy of the disk and now copy it to the disk we want to test. We run a script that evokes the integrated defragmenter of Windows 7 and marks the time of the beginning and end of the defragmentation process. For more information about this test, you can refer to this article.

We could have hardly predicted such standings except for the leaders. Like in many other tests, these are the 1.5-terabyte Caviar Black and RE4 series drives from Western Digital. But right behind them we see the two drives from Hitachi and the Samsung SpinPoint F4. This is an excellent result for the latter drive which has only one platter: the test zone is wider for it, so it has to move the read/write head by a larger angle. However, the high recording density and some firmware algorithms make up for such unfavorable conditions.

The biggest surprise is that the low-speed Samsung EcoGreen drives, except for the model with 4KB sectors and unaligned partition, are somewhat better than the 1-terabyte WD Caviar Black. These HDDs must have benefited from the reduced test zone due to the large number of platters. The 2-terabyte Samsung with 667GB platters is somewhat better than the analogous drive from WD. Take note that the latter is three times as fast as its predecessor: this is the effect of deferred writing, perhaps combined with some other firmware optimizations.

Performance in WinRAR

Now we are going to show you one more interesting test in which we use WinRAR version 3.91 to compress and then uncompress a 1.13GB folder with 8118 files in 671 subfolders. The files are documents and images in various formats. These operations are done on the tested drive. This test depends heavily on CPU performance, but the storage device affects its speed, too.

There are some inexplicable results here. The first place of the WD RE4 and the last place of the unaligned Samsung EcoGreen F4EG are easy to understand, but we don’t know why the 1.5-terabyte Caviar Black and the 1-terabyte Caviar Blue are in the middle of the list, behind the HDDs with lower spindle speed.

It’s all clear when it comes to unzipping the archive. Get more high-density platters and run them at a high speed, and you will win here. But you will find yourself at the bottom of the list if you have got 4KB sectors. We should acknowledge WD’s effort, though. They have improved the firmware of their Advanced Format products, so the new model looks better than the older one. Of course, we compare the new Caviar Green with the AV-GP because the Caviar Green S8 has no deferred writing and struggles hopelessly in this test.

Samsung have optimized their products with 4KB sectors even better, though. The EcoGreen F4EG is ahead of the Caviar Green MVW.

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