ConclusionWe have to admit that when starting this survey we were a bit pessimistic about the Western Caviar GP. And actually, the fact that no clear indication of its rotation speeds isn’t too transparent on Western’s part. This drive has a special spot on the market which it has to assume 100%.
Despite this, we have to say that this drive offers very interesting characteristics. With a lower rotation speed, performances are still good and even in the top spots for drive to drive file copying and simultaneous access. Its low energy consumption, reduced temperature and minimal noise level make it an ideal candidate for a living room PC or NAS, for example.
The Samsung SpinPoint F1 has characteristics that are very impressive as it has a record surface density which help it to attain never before sequential speeds of up to 113 MB /s! Unfortunately, these first rate performances don’t really enable it to distinguish itself even more in practical tests. Nor do the reduced number of platters give it an advantage in temperature or noise levels. However, we do have to say that it is the product offering the best compromise in this survey.
As for the Seagate 7200.11, it’s unfortunate that it’s application performances are slightly inferior just like its file reading/writing speeds and in IOMeter with one session of simultaneous access. On the other hand, when there are multiple accesses, it takes the lead while not heating up too much and remaining discreet in access. This is a first in 5 years for Seagate and it’s better late than never.
Finally, the Hitachi is getting old. The fact that it has 5 platters and lesser surface density does not have much of an impact on performances; however, for this reason it uses the most energy and especially heats up 8°C to 10°C more than the Seagate model. In the end, its advantage in application performances seems quite small compared to this problem.