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Product review: 4 SATA 1 TB HDD
by Marc Prieur
Published on March 19, 2008

Performances – IOMeter
IOMeter is used to simulate the load in a multi-user environment by using a server type file load comprised of 80% reading and 20% writing all in a 100% random manner on the drive. In this type of situation, NCQ can be particularly useful because of multiple concurrent 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 NCQ has no effect.

As we have already seen in the past, this type of load is to the advantage of Western drives, to such an extent that despite its lesser rotation speed, the Caviar GP shares the lead with the 7200.11. While the performances of the Seagate drive are worst with a single access, it takes the most advantage of NCQ with a gain of 128% between 1 and 128 accesses. This is followed by the Western (+107%), Samsung (+82%) and finally the Hitachi 7K1000, which has a mere 63% gain.

Once acoustic management is activated, the impact on performances is rather significant and it varies depending on the number of simultaneous commands. With lower numbers (1 to 4), the SpinPoint F1 only loses 7-11%, while for Hitachi the reduction is 24-26%, and finally for Western it’s 26-29%. On the other hand, with 32 commands we are at 15% for Hitachi, 22% for Western and 24% for Samsung.

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