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In order not to miss anything, we’ll sum everything up separately for each manufacturer.

Hitachi: the HDS725050KLA360 drive showed good results in IOMeter’s File Server and Web Server patterns, but moderate in the Workstation pattern. The HDS725050KLAT80, on the contrary, didn’t show anything exceptional throughout IOMeter, but took first place in the last Workstation32 pattern.

These drives showed their best in FC-Test at copying small files. Under other types of load, the drives didn’t perform well.

It was in PCMark04 and PCMark05 only that these drives took leading positions.

Maxtor: the drives from this company passed the test program in a dense group and with average results, except for the threaded tests where they had no rivals. Anyway, we want to say goodbye and thanks to the company for its long and fruitful work. There’ll be no more HDDs under this brand.

Seagate: the drives from this company come from two different families: Barracuda 7200.9 and Barracuda 7200.10. And they perform differently, too. The models from the older family have obviously low results whereas the new family with increased data density stands out among the rest. Excellent results were achieved in IOMeter’s Workstation and Workstation32 patterns. They had a good access time in Winbench99 and the highest linear read speed, too. FC-Test showed their superiority at copying medium-sized and, especially, large files.

Western Digital: the two drives from this company were the stars of this review. They have always been in the top of each diagram throughout the entire test program. Their only weak spot is copying large files, but that’s not a great shortcoming considering their victories.

Our tests have also shown that the performance of modern hard drives is affected by the cache buffer algorithms more than by the physical design. This is clearly illustrated by the results of Hitachi’s and Maxtor’s drivers. Neither of them has mega-dense platters, yet they have performed superbly in a number of tests.

Having said our goodbye to Maxtor, we stumble upon one idea… What if the superb physics of Seagate’s drives is combined with the excellent brains of Maxtor’s? The next year may prove to be very exciting in the HDD area!

The barracudas are gone, and we can catch our breath.

But they’ll be back. And they’ll be larger and more blood-thirsty then!

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