Authour: James 'Caveman' Prior
Editor: Eric 'Ichneumon' Amidon
Date: December 3rd, 2007
Letís begin with some single disk results, using the LSI MegaRaid controller for all tests:
We see very similar numbers for the drives, independent of OS version. The raptor really liked the increase in interface bandwidth, scoring the highest burst result. However, it plays second fiddle to the 7200.11, where the raptorís combined average read (76.75 Mb/sec) trails the new Barracuda (87.2 Mb/sec). Both the 7200.9 and 7200.10 are trailing significantly in average read, but competitive with the 7200.11 for burst speeds.
For comparison, here is an IDE 7200.10 250Gb drive benchmark:
The SATA interface brings benefits for burst speeds, NCQ, hot plug ability and easier cabling & configuration. No difference for average read, but burst speed benefits tremendously.
Letís look at random access times (where lower is better), for the complete picture:
Again, similar results for the Barracudaís, with a expected lead for the 10,000 rpm Raptor.
So, what can we say about these drives in isolation? Well, for the best load times you want the WD Raptor. Duh. But as your home machine main drive? Much harder decision, as cost and space become important considerations, and 80Gb disappears fast with a Vista install and a few games, movies and downloads. Probably the best bang for the buck drive here is the 7200.10 500Gb drive, plenty of room for all your applications and data, and still nice performance. For a single OS drive the 7200.11 is expensive enough that you might consider two or more smaller drives in Raid, if you arenít concerned about power consumption. So letís start looking at Raid performance!
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