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Performance in Winbench99

We use WinBench99 to check out hard disk drives in desktop PC mode. The disk is formatted in NTFS (with the OS tools, using the default cluster size of 4KB) and in FAT32 (with Paragon Partition Manager, using 32KB clusters) for its full capacity. Then we also perform the test over a 32GB partition formatted in NTFS and FAT32 (we create the partition with the standard Disk Manager).

Here are the linear read graphs:

Let’s first compare the drives by the disk access time parameter.

Three drives turn in the best result. These are the two drives from Hitachi, which is not a surprise since all drives of that firm feature a very low access time, and the 750GB monster from Seagate. The latter is a surprise really because the stretched-out platter with a large number of tracks and Seagate’s standard amount of server marks (220) do not improve the random access time.

The only explanation that comes to mind is that the small sample size when measuring the random access has affected the result.

The next diagram shows the speed of linear reading at the beginning and end of the partition:

The Seagate ST3750640AS sports the highest linear read speed both at the fast and slow tracks. The explanation is the same as in the previous case – it has high areal density. The second-best Seagate ST3500630AS has high-density platters, too, but its speed is lower. Moreover, its linear read speed is much lower on the slow tracks than that of the Maxtor 6H500F0. Unfortunately, the drives from Hitachi didn’t perform well here in spite of their having shown a good access time in the earlier tests.

We can now see the results of the drives in the two integral tests, Disk Winmark and High-End Disk Winmark. These tests were performed on a logical 32GB partition.

The WD5000YS boasts the highest High-End Disk Winmark score. Next go the two drives from Hitachi that have identical scores. They are followed by the WD5000KS.

None of the mentioned drives, except for the WD5000YS, could make it to the top three in the Business Disk Winmark test, however. The WD5000YS is third there, and the two top places are taken by Seagate’s ST350063AS and ST3500841AS, respectively.

Now we format the drives in FAT32 and repeat the tests.

You can see that the speeds have got higher, but the positions of the drives in the diagram haven’t changed much. The WD5000KS outperforms the two Hitachi drives in High-End Disk Winmark and takes second place. The top three hasn’t changed at all in Business Disk Winmark.

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