Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor hard drives roundup

Storage/HDD by biCker @ 2003-02-13

Is the Western Digital Caviar 800JB the fatest harddisk on earth? Can?t you really hear the Maxtor Diamondmax Plus9 spin? What about the Seagate Barracuda IV, has it become antique? Read all about it in this 5 harddisk roundup, also featuring the Maxtor Diamondmax and the Western Digital 800BB.

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Presentation of competitors

Presentation of competitors and testing system

Madshrimps (c)

These are the 5 brand new, still wrapped in their sealed covers hdd's, kindly supplied by Loveno. We'll be putting them on the testbench for this roundup:

Brand & typeMaxtor DiamondmaxMaxtor Diamondmax Plus9WD Caviar 800BBWD Caviar 800JBSeagate Barracuda IV
Capacity80 gb80 gb80 gb80 gb80 gb
formatted capacity74,5 gb76,33 gb74,43 gb74,53 gb74,53 gb
Intergrated controllerata5/udma 133ata5/udma 133ata5/udma 100ata5/udma100ata5/udma 100
Buffer size2 mb8 mb2 mb8 mb2 mb
Average seek time< 8 ms9,4 ms8,9 ms8,3 ms9,5 ms

The system I used to run HD Tach, Sisoft Sandra and file moving tests on, is a PIV 2.26 with 512 mb ram and a well filled Seagate cuda IV, operated by Windows XP professional. I didn't bother doing a clean install on my primairy disk to come as close to real life writing/reading circumstances as possible. This implements that some testresults may be not as good as the manufacturer claims they should be ;)

The first test on the "to do list" was HD tach, this test is to be performed on a non formatted drive meaning the raw performance of the drive comes to the surface.
Next test: Sisoft Sandra 2002 , the results here are to be interpreted with care since these are synthetic benchmarks and therefore not always 100% correct!
Then I timed how long it took before 1 685 mb big file and 1 6419files/455 mb big folder was written from my primary disk to the test disk and afterwards being returned to the primary disk.

Finally, and this is very subjective: how loud are the drives? I don't have a db-meter so I just listened very carefully and quoted the disks on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being very loud and 10 being almost silent

Ok, so far for all the jib-jab theory, let's take a look at the numbers...
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