File copyingThis brings us to file copying. We measured read and writes speeds when copying various groups of files via Robocopy. These groups were composed of:
- A collection of large files: average of 6.8 GB
- Medium-sized files: average of 796 KB
- Small files: average of 44 KB
The source or the target when reading or writing to the drive is a RAID of six 150 GB VelociRaptor drives mounted on an ARECA ARC1280ML PCI-Express x8 card with a strip size of 8 KB. The files were read and written on a partition beginning halfway into the drive.
When it comes to reads it’s no surprise to see that the SpinPoint F3 is fastest with large and medium-sized files and is only beaten by the 7200.12 for small files. For large files it is followed by the 7K1000.C and then by a threesome made up of the 7200.12/ Caviar Blue / WD1002FAEX. Because of its 333 GB platters, the WD1001FALS is a good way behind these drives and only a little ahead of the EcoGreen F3. The Caviar Greens are the slowest of the 5400 rpm drives, with special mention for the WD10EADS which is scraping the barrel with its lower density.
For writes, the Samsung SpinPoint F3 outdoes the competition, whatever the size of files. Samsung’s efficiency means the EcoGreen F3 comes in second on small and medium-sized files, only beaten by the Caviar Blue and Black WD1002FAEX on large files.
The Western Digital Advanced Format 512e models, the WD10EARS, show their limitations here. Our drive that was made in December 2009 gives catastrophic performance levels in writes of small files and quite poor throughput for medium-sized files. The drive made in May, which nevertheless uses the same firmware and equivalent density platters, gives better performance, as we saw in our tests of the 2 TB drives with the more recent three platter model. It’s difficult to say exactly what the source of the problem is, though it has obviously been partially corrected.