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Testbed and Methods

We used two programs to check out the operational characteristics of the 200GB external drive from Seagate: WinBench 99 2.0 and FC-Test 1.0.

Testbed configuration:

  • Albatron PX865PE Pro mainboard;
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU;
  • IBM DTLA-307015 HDD, 15GB;
  • RADEON 7000 32MB graphics card;
  • 256MB DDR SDRAM;
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4.

We attached the device to the USB 2.0 controller integrated into the ICH5 South Bridge and then to a PCI FireWire controller based on the VIA VT6307 chip. We tested the drive using the generic drivers of the OS. The drive was formatted in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. In some cases, specially mentioned below, we created 32GB partitions (FAT32 and NTFS, default cluster size).

We will compare the results of the new hard disk drive from Seagate to three external HDDs from Maxtor and Western Digital that have 250MB capacity (see our article called External 250GB HDD from Maxtor: OneTouch II E01G250 Review, for example).

Peformance in WinBench 99

First, we want to show you two data-transfer graphs we got in WinBench 99 when using the two supported interfaces.


USB 2.0


FireWire

The first graph shows an ideally straight line at about 32MB/s, while the second graph is step-like. This difference arises because the potential performance of the drive is limited by the effective bandwidth of the interface. The use of FireWire helps to raise this performance ceiling and to realize the drive’s speed potential – the steps look similar to the graphs hard disk drives with Parallel or Serial ATA interfaces would have.

 
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