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Product survey: 5 SATA 500 GB HDD
by Marc Prieur
Published on August 22, 2007

IOMeter performances
IOMeter is used to simulate the load in a multi-user environment, in this case by using a server file load composed of 80% reading and 20% writing all 100% random on the hard drive. Here, the NCQ can be particularly useful because of the multiple numbers of simultaneous commands. In this test, we measured performances expressed in inputs /outputs per second (IO/s) with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 simultaneous commands. Of course with a single command the NCQ has no effect.

One hard drive manages to partially do well here, the Western Digital. While it matches the « good ole’ » E7K500 in a single command, its advantage increases with the number of simultaneous commands. This is proof of better NCQ management. In second place is Seagate, followed by the E7K500, the T7K500, and finally Samsung’s T166.

With this type of use, the impact of sound management on performances can be very significant. With a single command, the effect on the Hitachis is 25%, versus 11% for Samsung and 29% for Western Digital. With 128 simultaneous commands, the impact is more limited, because this figure is down to 14%, 4% and 15%, respectively. Knowing that the Western is the one whose access is the most effected by AAM, contrary to Samsung, these results are more than logical. However, despite this reduction, Western is ahead as soon there are two simultaneous commands managed by the hard drive.

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