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Performance in WinBench 99

We used the good old WinBench 99 for our low-level tests. Unfortunately, the Hitachi 15K450 does not perform here. It would not pass the test despite all our efforts.

The next diagram compares the HDDs in terms of speed at the beginning and end of the full-capacity partitions created on them.

Everything is neat and tidy. You can easily tell between HDDs of different generations even if they belong to different brands. Each new generation of platters delivers a characteristic and higher speed. Still, there are three things that should be pointed out.

First of all, let’s take a look at the oldest generation of HDDs that was the first to be equipped with the SAS interface. Two models stand out in it: the Seagate 15K.4 has the biggest difference between the speed at the beginning and end of the partition. It means that this HDD most likely has platters with the biggest diameter and, consequently, we cannot expect it to have a good response time. The Maxtor Atlas 15KII is just the opposite. It has a much smaller difference in speed than usual, meaning that its platters are the smallest. The Hitachi, which differs from the other HDDs with the number of its operating surfaces, does not show anything exceptional.

The second interesting thing is the performance of the new Seagate 15K.7. It seems to have very small platters, but take a look at the left part of its data-transfer graph:

There is a small section – about 20GB – at the beginning of the disk where the read speed is higher than 200,000KBps. Then goes a very long (up to half the disk’s full capacity) flat stretch at 184,000KBps. Is it a peculiarity of the HDD’s formatting (in which case this super-fast stretch just calls for being made into a separate partition) or an error of the benchmarking program? We’ll check this out later on.

And finally, the 600GB NS.2 with a spindle rotation speed of 10,000rpm delivers good performance. It is no rival to the 15K.7 but almost as good as the previous-generation 15,000rpm products (represented by the 15K.6) in terms of sequential speed. And it is obviously better than the older models.

 
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