Testbed and Methods
I used WinBench 99 2.0 and FC Test 1.0 to check out the operational characteristics of the WDXF2500JB external hard disk drive on the following testbed:
- Albatron PX865PE Pro mainboard;
- Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU;
- IBM DTLA-307015 system hard disk drive, 15GB;
- RADEON 7000 graphics card, 32GB memory;
- 256MB DDR SDRAM;
- Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 installed.
The Western Digital WDXF2500JB was connected to the USB 2.0 controller integrated into the chipset’s South Bridge (ICH5) and to an external PCI FireWire controller based on the VIA VT6307 chip. I performed my tests using the generic drivers of the operating system. The drive was formatted in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. In some cases, specially mentioned below, I performed tests over a logical 32GB volume, formatted in FAT32 and NTFS with the default cluster size, too.
The graphs below show you the data transfer rate with the two available interfaces.
Evidently, FireWire looks better than USB 2.0. In the latter case, the straight data-transfer line is indicative of a certain restriction imposed on the HDD’s performance by the USB 2.0 interface. This line goes much higher in the graph drawn with the use of FireWire, meaning that the drive can realize its speed potential more fully with that interface.
The next test examines the new one from Western Digital when the device is connected via USB 2.0 and formatted in FAT32 for the entire storage capacity.
The Disk WinMark diagram says the WDXF2500JB drive we are interested in finds itself behind its predecessors made by the same company, not to mention the winner of my previous tests, the drive from Maxtor. Here and afterwards, I will be basing my comparisons on the High-End Disk WinMark score in the first place.