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Thread: Serial ATA Drives

  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Lightbulb Plextor SATA DVD+/-RW

    Plextor PX-712SA Serial ATA DVD+/-R/RW

    Plextor announced the PX-712A, an internal EIDE DVD+/-R/RW drive with support for 12X DVD+R and 8X DVD-R recording. The drive includes an 8MB buffer and buffer underrun protection and is compatible with Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.2, as well as Windows. (The software bundle is for Windows only.)

    The wait for Serial ATA optical drives is finally over, at least in Japan. Akiba PC Hotline managed to snag a few shots of Plextor's PX-712SA DVD+/-RW drive in the wild. According to Plextor's US site, the PX-712SA will be available in mid-June. Pre-orders are currently available at a price of $229, which is only $20 more than a "parallel" ATA version of the same drive. by Geoff Gasior - 03:13 am, June 10, 2004
    Last edited by TZ; 07-25-2004 at 11:14 AM.

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb Does boot drive really matter?

    Barefeats: Boot drive speedlooks at notebook and G5 drive performance.

    ANOTHER QUESTION: What about on the G5 Power Mac? Will drives with different interfaces, rotations speeds, and/or access times make a difference?

    The answer is, "YES." (See graph below)

    The SATA boot drive launched apps 6% faster than the FireWire 800 boot drive, even though the FireWire 800 boot drive was actually a dual drive hardware RAID set. The Ultra320 SCSI boot drive was 12.7% faster than the FireWire 800 boot set, but was only 6.4% faster than the SATA boot drive. Since the Ultra SCSI drive costs quite a bit more and stores quite a bit less than SATA or PATA drives, I don't think the investment is justified.

    Our Power Mac testing was cut short because the G5 started crashing on startup. It continued until I removed the Ultra SCSI controller. Once we troubleshoot that nasty problem, we'll try to add more graphs to this section.
    The Aluminum G4/1.5GHz PowerBook was purchased by the Bare Feats lab from the local Apple Retail Store. It came with the "stock" 4200rpm 80GB drive.

    The 5400rpm test drive was a Fujitsu MHT2060AH (60GB) provided courtesy of Fujitsu PR.
    The 7200rpm notebook drive was a Hitachi 7K60 (60GB) model provided courtesy of
    For the G5 Boot drive tests, we used our G5/2.0GHz MP Power Mac purchased from Small Dog Electronics.
    The FireWire 800 boot drive was a LaCie Big Disk Extreme (Dual Maxtor MaxLine Pro II 250GB 7200rpm drives in a striped array).
    The SATA boot drive was a Hitachi 7K400 (400GB, 7200rpm).
    The Ultra320 SCSI drive was a Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 (73GB 15,000rpm) connected to an ATTO UL4D dual channel Ultra320 SCSI controller.

    Update: Ultimate G5 Boot Drive - doesn't look at the latest 15K or 10K SCSI drives, though.
    Last edited by TZ; 02-02-2005 at 08:30 AM.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up NCQ, SATA, and what?

    From -
    Ever since Western Digital's Raptor WD740GD was announced, oh, about 10 months ago, enthusiasts and IT professionals everywhere have been patiently (or otherwise) waiting for concrete results that demonstrate the potential benefits of the the drive's tagged command queuing (TCQ).
    We've been embroiled in hundreds of hours of testing using several different TCQ-enabled controllers in conjunction with arrays of 1 to 4 WD740GD drives. Unfortunately, many hours of tests remain.

    However, we're eager to present some initial results. Stay tuned for the first of a three-part series that will examine what benefits TCQ confers in our relatively modest third-generation testbed in single-user and multi-user setups!
    And you thought it was easy?

    A good discussion on technology and differences, and how ATA gets around inability to do SCSI-style reordering of I/O and isn't really the same animal when it comes to tagged command queueing that we keep hearing about. From the Storage Review Computing Forum
    Starting next month (June 2004), Seagate's Barracuda SATA HD (200GB only) will integrate a new function/feature named: Native Command Queuing. It allows instruction to be reorganized while the are queuing in order to optimize their executions. Based on a test, a NCQ HD @ 7200rpm could challenge a Raptor 74GB, and that's quite a result. This function/feature could be really useful for MacOSX-based computers since the system and multitask processes are performing numerous disk access request.
    A good discussion on technology and differences, and how ATA gets around inability to do SCSI-style reordering of I/O and isn't really the same animal when it comes to tagged command queueing that we keep hearing about.
    Any form of tagged command queuing, by nature, requires firmware support in both the controller and the hard drive. It is also, necessarily part of the interface. An interface isn't simply a set of wires. It is a set of specifications that defines and enables the movement of data. If you want to modify the manner in which data is sent then you must account for it in the interface specification. Tagged Command Queuing is never a driver feature. Enabling controller support may require driver support in some implementations, but such implementations are only turning on or off a firmware feature, and since hard drives don't have drivers, in the end, you always need firmware support.
    I don't think a normal controller would bother implementing 32 registers when it only needs 1 normally. Normal ATA read and write commands must be completed before another command can be issued so there is never a need for maintaining Tags or DMA data on a non-TCQ-enabled controller. Any controller that implements these elements obviously possesses specific hardware support for it even if a driver is needed to enable it.
    From the Storage Review Computing Forum
    A Hard Look at Some Seductive Acronyms
    24 June 2004

    With the recent release of Intel's latest chipset, the community has been buzzing about a technology ordained to be "the next big thing" when it comes to storage performance - command queuing. How does the ability to retrieve requests out of the order they're received affect performance on the desktop, in the server, and across various RAID arrays?

    StorageReview has put several WD Raptor RAID arrays to the test against a comparable SCSI solution. You've got to check out the results- they will surprise you! TCQ, RAID, SCSI, and SATA
    Hard Disk Command Queuing Goes Native in Seagate Drive
    By Mark Hachman
    September 16, 2003

    SAN JOSE, Calif.?ÄīStorage developers may get a look at a new hard disk technology here this week at the Intel Developer Forum. At the conference and expo, hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology Ltd. will reportedly demonstrate a forthcoming mechanism incorporating "native command queuing."

    Seagate, based in Scotts Valley, Calif., is expected to announce the Barracuda 7200.7, a two-platter, 7,200-RPM, 200-Gbyte hard drive with 8 Mbytes of cache, sources close to the company said. Shipments of the drive are also expected to begin in November. Seagate will demonstrate a Serial ATA implementation of the drive at the Intel Developer Forum.

    Command queuing, as its name suggests, allows commands to be queued up, read and reordered before the driver acts upon data. The technology was defined as early as the ATA-4 specification, with the host controller determining the order of the commands to process. Native command queuing, part of the Serial ATA specification, allows up to 32 instructions to be queued and reordered by the hard disk controller itself.

    Meanwhile, Western Digital Corp. of Irvine, Calif., on Monday announced a new version of its Raptor 10,000-RPM disk drive, which uses the current version of command queuing left over from parallel ATA. The company will begin shipping this 10,000-RM Raptor drive this November, when the company will announce pricing.

    Western Digital's 74-Gbyte drive boasts the Ultra/150 CQ technology in addition to Rotary Accelerometer Feed Forward (RAFF) technology, designed to compensate for the vibration hundreds of drives produce while spinning in a drive cage.

    Seagate's implementation of native command queuing marks the beginning of a transition to a new technology. However, there are many performance considerations when comparing drives above and beyond their command ordering, such as the rotation speed of the platters, processor speed and the amount of cache.

    "They're both fairly similar in terms of what the drive does," said Mark Hartney, director of technical marketing with Silicon Image Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., which provided components to both Western Digital and Seagate.

    Native command queuing requires a drive with fully integrated electronics, which can be "a little more efficient" than the type of queuing WD implemented, Hartney said. Western Digital's queuing, which the company calls "WD Ultra/150 Command Queuing," uses a bridge chip, he said.

    "The key difference between the two is the number of steps and the sequence of steps required for the queuing operation," said Knut Grimsrud, principal engineer on Intel Corp.'s I/O Architecture and Performance team in the company's R&D department; and chair of the storage industry's Serial ATA Working Group. The minimal command overhead implicit in the native Serial ATA implementation was the reason Intel chose to endorse it, he said.

    eWeek: Command Queueing

    SCSI Controller + IDE hdd? Tom's Hardware takes a look.
    Last edited by TZ; 07-25-2004 at 09:27 AM.

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb General Product Links

    Top SCSI Performers
    FirmTek SeriTek/1S2
    xbitlabs WD Raptor 74GB
    SR Review WD 10K Raptor 73GB (2004)
    10K Raptor compared to 10K/15K SCSI
    Serial ATA (SATA) and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS):

    Adaptec FS4500 Fibre Channel-to-Serial ATA RAID and JBOD storage arrays

    Western Digital WD2500JB
    Seagate Savvio 2.5-inch drive SAS/SATA
    Storage Review looks at the SATA version Hitachi K7250 model

    Techreport: 15K SCSI vs. 10K SCSI and WD Raptor 10K
    X-bit Labs PCMark04: Benchmark SATA Drives

    Only the Raptor manaaged to edge out the K7250 in SATA, but it looks to be a significant boost over the earlier 180GXP. In the Drive Performance DB, it's listed above even the Cheetah 10K.6 and X15.2.

    Poor ATA RAID for Cuda IV Seagate Barracuda IV RAID

    SATA vs PATA vs FW800
    LaCie FW800
    OWC page pdf manuals of jumper settings for all the SCSI and IDE drives.
    Seagate FAQ How to use Cable Select points out that a single drive, using Cable Select, will perform as master (ID 0) even when placed on the gray middle connector.
    IBM/Hitachi 180GXP Uncovered - The technology that made this and the 7K250/7K400 a "best of class."
    Last edited by TZ; 11-17-2004 at 05:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb SATA II Features and Specifications

    About SATA

    Serial ATA Organization -
    SATA-II specification

    Adaptec supported system and hardware requirements

    SATA Data Sheet pdf

    Silicon Image PCI Express to Serial ATA (SATA) II host controller

    SATA Organization Some 40 computer component and peripheral suppliers have formed the Serial ATA International Organization [pdf] or SATA-IO. It's roadmap extends to 3Gbit/s technology (no surprise) and to increasing membership (no surprise again).

    Coincidentally, Silicon Image revealed the SATALink SiI 3132, the first PCI Express to Serial ATA (SATA) II host controller. It's targeted at PC and server motherboards.

    Seagate demoed a tiered storage solution at Intel's Developer Forum. It combines SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) and SATA drives in the same enclosure using a common backplane. It contains Cheetah drives with a SAS interface, and Barracuda SATA NCQ drives.

    SAS means both SAS drives for online storage and SATA drives for near-line storage can be contained in a single enclosure. (See our recent Xiotech report here.) Since SAS and SATA drives share a common backplane, a single SAS-based subsystem can handle a broad range of duties, from high-availability online storage to data migration, disk-to-disk backup and storage of regulatory compliance or other reference data.

    Seagate, (SATA disks) along with Marvell (SATA Silicon) and AMCC (RAID controllers) also demoed end-to-end 3Gbit/s SATA technology at the Intel Developer Forum.

    Techworld SATA news
    AMS Serial ATA to Parallel ATA Converter Is the answer for those who wish to use legacy ATA drives on a SATA bus. These cards come with a SATA cable (with straight connectors) and a power adapter that supplies power to the adapter card. In testing we have found no loss of performance in ATA drives running this converter on a SATA bus like the FirmTek SeriTek/1S2. This adapter comes with a Marvel SATA chip which is the very same chip used on many SATA drives.
    If you can turn TCQ (Raptor) on and off (via firmware) you can test how it performs ( If you can' disable it, then you have a way to test how TCQ alone affects performance.
    There are some nice features in Ultra320 that would be 'nice' but there are very few such controllers (LSI and ATTO) that are available on the Mac.
    Maxtor and Hitachi drives have implemented features before the controllers were ready and qualified. And users don't tend to take that into consideration too often. Even with SCSI or Fibre Channel you can run into applications and controllers not working with just any drive.

    Storage Reference FAQ:

    SATA-II Specifications and drives.

    Seagate SATA FAQ:
    Seagate NCQ:

    Port Multiplier etc SATA-II/III
    eSATA Cabling Spec:
    part of the specification related to the multi-channel connection of external devices

    One of the problems is that old PCI bus. A single Serial ATA connection can burst up to 150MB/s, saturating an otherwise-empty PCI bus. PCI-Express is ideal, PCI-X is better than the older 33MHz 32-bit bus in older systems. You can't run two SATA controllers. The K8T890 north bridge

    Serial ATA II is an improvement of the original Serial ATA technology that adds higher interface bandwidth along with capabilities like native command queuing, support for Serial ATA port multiplier and port selector technology. In addition the new Serial ATA II HDDs will be able to be plugged and unplugged while systemÕs operation, which is important for mission-critical servers.

    A representative for Hitachi Global Storage Division told X-bit labs, ŅAs a matter of company policy, Hitachi GST does not comment on unannounced products.Ó

    The first chipset company to support advanced Serial ATA II, that is sometimes referred as Serial ATA-300 Š only a partly correct statement, capabilities is NVIDIA Corp., who claims it to have mainboards running its latest nForce4 core-logic in retail by late November, 2004. Serial ATA II standard is also supported by makers of RAID controllers, such as HighPoint, LSI Logic and Silicon Image.

    TCQ Unvieled: Ever since Western Digital's Raptor WD740GD was announced, oh, about 10 months ago, enthusiasts and IT professionals everywhere have been patiently (or otherwise) waiting for concrete results that demonstrate the potential benefits of the the drive's tagged command queuing (TCQ).
    eWeek: Command Queueing:,4149,1269782,00.asp

    Maxtor adds NCQ:

    Testing drives and performance is not easy. The 16MB cache play a large role in how well the Maxtor seems to perform (just as upping cache from 2MB to 8 MB did earlier). Even if the controller isn't full SATA-II (of which NCQ is only one aspect which is in there for RAID support I presume, as well as lazy writes, which OS X also does on its own).

    Thus, the drives from Hitachi will be the best choice for a server; the SATA drives from Seagate are the second best. On the contrary, the PATA drives from Seagate are most inefficient at server applications, and the Seagate ST3160023A with firmware 3.71 is the worst of them all.

    Devices equipped with an 8MB cache buffer take the lead in WinBench 99. We’d like to especially mark the performance of the Maxtor drives that won High-End Disk Winmark and the WD team that showed a nice speed in Business Disk Winmark.

    The Hitachi drives were only efficient on small files in the FC Test. The interface didn’t practically affect the performance there. The drives from Samsung are most stable under any load, irrespective of the file size. The Maxtors are somewhat unsure working with very small files and in the FAT32 file system.

    So, among the reviewed devices, we recommend purchasing the Maxtor drives for work with streaming video/audio content, the Hitachi and Western Digital drives for work with common Windows applications. Samsung’s devices can be characterized as “universal” – they don’t seem to have any obvious weaknesses. Xbitlabs July 2004

    People often bemoan the lack of NCQ support in G5s
    thinking they are missing out on some great feature and performance option.
    Last edited by TZ; 04-05-2007 at 12:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb LSI Logic SAS/SATA RAID Controllers

    LSI Logic next week plans to unveil the industry's first enterprise SATA-II RAID controller. The controller offers twice the speed of LSI's SATA-I controller, or about 3 Gbytes-per-second throughput, and includes native command queuing to improve disk access speed and full backward compatibility with SATA-I hard drives.

    It supports all major operating systems and includes a 72-hour backup battery to protect data in case of a system power failure.

    LSI's controller has a port multiplier that theoretically lets it control up to 120 SATA drives. "Thirty-two is more practical. Between 32 and 60 drives, you start getting diminishing returns [on performance]."

    SATA-II drives can later be moved from the controller to a serial-attached SCSI (SAS) controller when those controllers become available later this year.

    The controller list at $549, are expected to ship late this quarter. They will be available through distributors such as Bell Microproducts, Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Arrow Electronics and Microland.

    New HP Storage Gear Integrates Into ILM Solution
    HP SAS
    Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday expanded its ILM portfolio.

    New this week is the MSA 1500cs array which allows both high-speed SCSI and low-cost SATA hard drives to be installed behind the same controller. The original MSA 1500 could be configured with all SCSI or all SATA drives, said Harbist. By combining the two types of drives behind a single controller, customers can get tiered storage within one enclosure.

    Starting list price for an MSA 1500cs enclosure and controller without hard drives is $8,995. LSI Logic MegaRAID SATA 300-8x, promises to move the technology even further into the SAN mainstream.

    The LSI card incorporates native command queuing support, which significantly increases performance in random I/O operations. The technology is great for high data- throughput environments. Each SATA port on the card is capable of managing up to 4 Tbytes of storage. As many as eight drives can be connected at once.

    The card is built on Intel components and includes Intel's IOP331 integrated I/O processor. The Intel chip offers higher overall performance for existing I/O processors in storage and embedded applications. The card supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50. The RAID management capabilities are extensive, and the card ships with two BIOS level utilities and other tools integrators need to ensure proper configurations.

    The card also has an optional battery backup to ensure fault tolerance. There are two versions of battery backup support for the MegaRAID SATA 300-8x. The MegaRAID LSIBBU03 has an MSRP of $99, and the MegaRAID LSIiBBU01 has an MSRP of $155. The LSIiBBU01 offers longer retention time in case of a power outage as well as additional self-monitoring and management features. In the case of system failure, the battery's memory cache can enable a backup of up to 72 hours.

    The card has an MSRP of $595 and is covered by a three-year warranty.
    Last edited by TZ; 04-05-2007 at 01:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb Drive Reviews

    Barracuda 7200.8 SATA NCQ - ST3200826AS Product Family
    Barracuda 7200.8 Product Family
    SATA 250GB ST3250823ASŹ
    SATA 400GB ST3400832AS
    ATA 400GB ST3400832AŹ
    Seagate Savvio 10K.1 Review

    Hitachi 7K400
    Hitachi 7K400 and Maxtor MaxLine III (300GB)
    Review of the Hitachi 7K400 (400GB, 372GB formatted capacity) hardwarezone
    SR: Hitachi 7K400
    Transfer Rate - Begin

    Maxtor MaXLine III (300 GB SATA) - 65.7
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (200 GB SATA) - 64.7
    Western Digital Caviar WD2500JD 2nd Sample (250 GB SATA) - 60.6
    Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 (250 GB SATA) - 60.4
    Hitachi Deskstar 7K400 (400 GB SATA) - 60.4
    Western Digital Caviar WD2500JD (250 GB SATA) - 57.9
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (160 GB SATA) - 56.2
    Tom's Hardware: Hitachi 7K400 and Maxtor's MaXLine III
    techreport: Maxtor's DM10 NCQ review
    SR: Maxtor MaxLine III w/ NCQ

    Seagate 400GB features 3 plates of 133GB each.

    Ultrastar 10K300

    Maxtor's Atlas 10K V SCSI hard drive
    SCSI DRIVES have long boasted higher reliability, longer warranties, faster spindle speeds, and generally better performance. Maxtor's new Atlas 10K V is packed with 73.5GB platters and available in capacities up to 300GB. With a 10K-RPM spindle speed, seek times between 4.0 and 4.9ms, and a maximum sustained transfer rate of 89MB/sec, the Atlas 10K V should be no slouch when it comes to performance, either. Read on for more on what the Atlas 10K V offers and how its performance compares to a handful of 10K and 15K-RPM SCSI drives, plus a couple of Serial ATA Raptors.

    The Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 is the first drive that does not improve on its predecessor's multi-user performance- an interesting if dubious distinction.
    StorageReview Seagate Cheetah 15K.4
    SR forum discussion of this drive

    Some people are awaiting the Maxtor Atlas 15K II.

    Why RAID doesn't boost load times.
    SATA RAID Performance

    Western Digital RAID Edition HDDs.
    Their major goal was to design a storage solution boasting highest reliability, which would meet the Enterprise devices standards. In reality it means that the hard disk drives should be able to work reliably in a 24x7, continuous duty cycle environment. WD Caviar RAID Edition drives from Xbitlabs.
    Last edited by TZ; 02-20-2005 at 10:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    Lightbulb SR Testbed4 High-End Results

    Some interesting numbers on your premium storage for performance.
    Note however "We actually tested the new 400GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 which features the fastest average seek time of all the current crop of S-ATA drives (8ms) and a 5 year warranty" "In the tests we performed for this project, it was slightly slower than the DiamondMax 10 overall."

    So then the Barracuda would seem close enough to the Max10 or MaxIII, that for most people they can't tell the difference.

  11. #11
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    Lightbulb Enterprise Class


    Drives such as Maxtor's long-standing MaXLine series and WD's newly announced Caviar RE2 target the same market...

    The NL35 Series SATA disc drives surpass ordinary desktop-class SATA drives that claim nearline readiness by actually providing the reliability and integration benefits needed for nearline applications like disc-to-disc backup, archive, and tiered storage.

    These features include:

    Workload Management, Error Recovery Control, One-Step Microcode Download, and Write-Same technology.

    These features work together to perform a range of tasks from monitoring and managing each drive for reliability optimization, to streamlining error recovery, to simplifying multi-drive field upgrades, and more. Seagate understands the importance of workload, reliability, and integration ease for serving the needs of modern IT professionals.

    Using the industry's most rigorous nearline MTBF test-bed script and applications, Seagate's NL35 Series SATA earns a genuine one million hour MTBF rating. The NL35 Series SATA also includes 16 MB cache and Native Command Queuing (NCQ).,2774,00.html

    WD, Maxtor, Hitachi and Seagate models
    Enterprise 500GB
    SR Performance Comparison

    First up will be a roundup-style look at a trio of 500 GB enterprise offerings from the big three American drive manufacturers: Seagate's NL35.2, Maxtor's MaXLine Pro, and Western Digital's Caviar RE2 WD5000.

    Tests are with NCQ both enabled and disabled.
    WD Caviar RE2 looks like the one to beat.
    Last edited by TZ; 04-05-2007 at 01:21 PM.

  12. #12
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    Lightbulb SMART vs Drive Failure

    SMART for SCSI under OS X and someone suggested here:

    Most ATA and SATA drives are 'supported' by OS X and 3rd party utilities, however, even though SCSI drives have, for years, maintained SMART diagnostics and logging, the Mac has not.

    Google's recent study about hard drive failure rates has received a fair amount of attention, but the folks at StorageMojo have found another study that also shows some very interesting results.

    The study, which was conducted at Carnegie Mellon University and is available here, covers a sample size similar to that of the Google studyŃaround 100,000 drives.

    While Google looked only at desktop hard drives, Carnegie Mellon covers failure rates for both desktop Serial ATA hard drives and workstation/server-class SCSI/FC hard drives.

    Regarding the relationship between the two, the study says, "Interestingly, we observe little difference in replacement rates between SCSI, FC and SATA drives, potentially an indication that disk-independent factors, such as operating conditions, affect replacement rates more than component specific factors."

    The study also says failure rates increase in a fairly linear fashion with drive age, suggesting drives simply "wear out" over time.

    Researchers warning on dodgy drives

    By John E. Dunn, Techworld

    Hard disks are far less reliable than disk vendors routinely claim, a study by Carnegie Mellon University has suggested.

    The research, presented at the recent 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies in San Jose, found that replacement rates in a sample of 100,000 drives used in high-performance environments was between two and four percent annually, which contrasts with the official industry mean time between failure (MTBF) failure rates said to work out at 0.88 percent per annum. On some systems, failure rates were observed to be up to 13 percent.

    The study also found no evidence that expensive Fibre Channel (FC) drives were any less likely to fail than the cheaper and slower Serial ATA (SATA) drives.

    Garth Gibson of Carnegie Mellon emphasised that the study didnÕt claim to track real drive failures, only those instances where the customer believed the drive needed to be replaced. The University has not published any information relating the replacement rates to specific vendors.

    Adopting a cautious tone, he also repeated vendor claims that as many as half of the drives returned to vendors turned out to have no problems.
    Google Study: Its a study by some Google employees on the failure rates of disk drives deployed within their infrastructure. pdf paper - Failure Trends In A Large Disk Drive Population Examining the population of hard drives under deployment within Google In general, there are around four ways a HDD will fail.

    Firmware zone corruption, electronic failure, mechanical failure, and logical corruption.

    Unfortunately, S.M.A.R.T only handles a subset of the "mechanical failure" category (mainly media failure and thermal failure), and does not protect against single instance/incident catastrophic mechanical errors (head crash, spindle/servo motor
    failure, stick-shun).

    There was a lack of correlation between elevated temperature and expected drive reliability. The graph only went up to 50 C, though, and I would expect a much stronger
    correlation once the temperature reached beyond typical max temp specs.


    * logical corruption may lead to data loss, but it does not necessarily mean that the HDD has failed.

    * Also, after a first scan error, drives are 39x more likely to fail within 60 days. First errors in reallocations, offline reallocations, and prob ational counts are also strongly correlated to higher failure probabilities.

    * A large fraction of our failed drives have shown NO SMART error signals watsoever.

    * There was a lack of a consistent pattern of higher failure rates for higher temperature drdives for for those drives at higher utilization levels.

    -> Some of the charts point to drive failure early on, and "survival of the fittest" and beyond 1-6 months not being a factor.
    Last edited by TZ; 04-05-2007 at 01:27 PM.

  13. #13
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    Lightbulb What Generally to Look For


    Interface: ATA Ultra-133, or Serial ATA-150 or Serial ATA-300 (SATA II)
    Interface transfer rate (max. MB/sec): ATA - 133 or Serial ATA: 150 (1.0) or 300 (2.0)
    Capacity (GB)
    Data heads (physical)
    Data disks: (number of platters)
    Performance Data buffer2: 2, 8, or 16 MB
    Rotational speed (RPM): 7,200
    Media transfer rate (max. Mbits/sec): 843.2 (this to me is one of the best gauges of performance)
    Sustained data rate (MB/sec): 67.8- 32.9 (zone 0 - 29)
    Seek time average, (read, typical (MS))3: 8.5 (this is where a lot of specs don't measure up in real world, the Hitachi T7K250 is right on the mark.
    Reliability Error rate (non-recoverable): 1 in 10E14
    Start/stops (at 40° C): 50,000 (start and stop is harder on a drive than continuous use, though not all desktop drives are designed for 24/7 for 3-5 yrs.
    Acoustics Idle (Bels): 2.8 (very low noise and quiet)

  14. #14
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    Lightbulb Benchmark Comparions

    Storage Review Drive Performance Comparison 250GB
    A Battle of the Mammoths - Hitachi vs. Western Digital vs. Seagate:

    the WD4000YR took the lead performing 769 IO operations per second under the Business Winstone 2004 test and 505 IO operations per second in the Content Creation Winstone 2004 part of the test. Seagate's 500GB 7200.9 came nowhere close to these numbers, but rather took a few steps back.

    The WD4000YR also performed the best out of the three in the application load time tests with applications starting at around half a second faster consistently, which is a big deal. With this test, we were not only testing the specified application load times, but also general access times and service times.

    Those of us who are familiar with hard drive technology know that the higher transfer rates that the 3.0Gb/sec models have to offer can only be achieved when multiple disks are striped, but we never thought that a 1.5Gb/sec unit could out-do those with double the theoretical transfer rates.

    Pure Hard Disk Performance
    Heat & Noise

    Anandtech Reviews 500GB Seagate, Hitachi along with WD Raptor and WD4000YR
    Review 500GB SATA vs Raptor and WD400GB
    Last edited by TZ; 12-02-2005 at 09:01 AM.

  15. #15
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    The drives which have SATA2 support :
    NearLine NL35.2 SATA2 16 NCQ 1.0 500/400/---/---/250/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- ST3...6p.NS
    NearLine NL35.2 SATA2  8 NCQ 1.0 500/400/---/---/250/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- ST3...8p.NS
    Barracuda7200.9 SATA2 16 NCQ     500/400/---/300/250/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- ST3...6p.AS
    Barracuda7200.9 SATA2  8 NCQ     ---/---/---/---/250/200/160/120/080/---/---/--- ST3...8p.AS
    {Western Digital}
    WD Caviar RE    SATA2 16 ??? 1.0 ---/---/---/---/250/---/160/120/---/---/---/--- WD...0YS (ABKS)
    WD Caviar RE    SATA2  8 ??? 1.0 ---/---/---/---/250/---/160/120/---/---/---/--- WD...0SS (ABJS)
    WD Caviar SE16  SATA2 16 ???     500/???/320/300/250/200/160/---/---/---/---/--- WD...0KS (AAKS)
    WD Caviar SE    SATA2  8 ???     ---/???/320/300/250/200/160/120/!JD/---/!JD/--- WD...0JS (AAJS)
    WD Caviar       SATA2  2         ---/---/---/---/250/---/160/---/!BD/---/!BD/--- WD...0BS (AABS)
    Deskstar  7K500 SATA2 16 NCQ     500/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- HDS725050KLA360
    Deskstar T7K250 SATA2  8 NCQ     ---/---/---/---/250/200/160/---/---/---/---/--- HDT7225..DLA380
    Deskstar  7K80  SATA2  8 NCQ     ---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/080/---/---/--- HDS728080PLA380
    Deskstar  7K80  SATA2  2 NCQ     ---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/040/--- HDS728040PLA320
    SpinPoint T133  SATA2  8 NCQ 0.6 ---/400/---/300/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- HD...LJ
    SpinPoint P120  SATA2  8 NCQ 0.6 ---/---/---/---/250/200/---/---/---/---/---/--- SP2.04C
    SpinPoint P80SD SATA2  8 NCQ 0.6 ---/---/---/---/---/---/160/120/080/---/040/--- HD....J
    MaXLine   Pro   SATA2 16 NCQ 1.0 500/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- 7H500F0
    MaXLine  +III   SATA2 16 NCQ 1.0 ---/---/---/300/250/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- 7V...F0
    QuickView 500   SATA2 16 NCQ     500/400/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- 3H...F0
    DiamondMax 11   SATA2 16 NCQ     500/400/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- 6H...F0
    DiamondMax 10   SATA2 16 NCQ     ---/---/320/300/250/---/---/---/---/---/---/--- 6V...F0
    DiamondMax 10   SATA2  8 NCQ     ---/---/---/---/---/200/160/---/080/---/---/--- 6V...E0
    JupiterCallisto SATA2  8         ---/---/---/---/---/---/---/---/080/---/---/--- J880S
    Forums: SR
    Last edited by TZ; 03-23-2006 at 06:52 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip

    Lightbulb Notebook 2.5" Drives

    Notebook 2.5" Serial ATA drive Xbitlabs
    The 4026GAX drive from Toshiba is remarkable for having the biggest buffer among the test participants – 16 megabytes.

    Toshiba SuperSlim MK4026GAX mobile hard drives.

    I don't think it will be as fast as, say, the 7.2K Hitachi w/8MB cache. A larger drive also tends to be faster. Storage Review doesn't 'do' mobile hard drives. So no help there.

    Fujitsu's 2.5" Serial ATA hard drives will ship in at the end of April. The tiny drives spin at 5,400RPM, come with 8MB of cache, and even have their own native command queuing scheme to improve performance.

    Fujitsu's 2.5" drives are really meant for notebooks, but their diminutive footprint also makes them tempting for small form factor PCs. Last year, Lost Circuits' Michael Schuette built a four-drive RAID 0 array into one of Shuttle's XPC cubes using similar Fujitsu notebook drives and only two internal 3.5" drive bays. Excessive? Perhaps, but it's still pretty cool.

    2.5” Momentus Hard Drives from Seagate:
    Two New Members of the Family Arrived

    The fastest and the winner of this race is the new Seagate Momentus 7200.1 (ST910021A). It boasted an indisputable advantage over the hard drives with 5,400rpm spindle rotation speed, so no wonder it won.

    At the same time it easily defeated the only opponent it has so far - the Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 (HTS726060M9AT00) with 7,200rpm spindle rotation speed – due to the higher per-platter data density.

    MacBook Pro: Western Digital hard drives can cause kernel panics due to conflict with sudden motion sensor

    * The "ShockGuard" mechanism built into Western Digital Scorpio drives conflicts with the MacBook and MacBook Pro anti-shock mechanism (sudden motion sensor), results in a kernel panic when certain types of physical movement are applied to the machine.

    * ShockGuard technology that WD employs is interfering with the Macs own head parking technology.

    * the slightly more expensive Seagate Momentus does not have built-in shock protection, we haven't had a single kernal panic.

    Nice benchmark for various choices for your MacBook Pro, etc. over on Barefeats.
    Last edited by TZ; 04-05-2007 at 01:31 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip

    Lightbulb Harddrive bandwidth

    3.5" Hard Drive Charts

    This page is updated on a regular basis and provides a unique resource for everybody who is looking for a desktop hard drive - whether it is for home or for business use. Our service allows for interactive performance comparison, real-time price/performance and costs per Gigabyte analysis.

    Tom's Hardware

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip

    Lightbulb SpeedTools Utilities 2.7.2: April 20, 2007 (Intech Software) QuickBench 4.0 as a part of their SpeedTools Utilities.

    It's a benchmarking tool we've often used to test small random reads and writes as a way of simulating the typical activity of an OS X boot drive.
    (Though originally OS X only, it will soon be offered in a Windows version, too.)

    Download the SpeedTools Utilities for MacOS X Complete Package
    Version 2.7.2 released: April 20, 2007 - File Size: 17.7 MB
    This Installer can be used as a complete updater too!
    Last edited by TZ; 06-15-2007 at 05:06 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip

    Lightbulb Samsung 1TB

    Samsung 1TB HD

    The Spinpoint F1 models are 3.5" HD with storage capacity ranging from 320GB to 1TB.

    To reach 1TB storage, Hitachi has been using 5 plates of 200GB each. Seagate is claiming to be able to reach the same capacity with 4 plates of 250GB each. Samsung released a 1TB HD based on 3 plates (333GB each). Using only 3 plates should increase reliability while reducing power consumption and heat release. Manufacturing cost could also be lower.

    The Spinpoint F1 HDs will be available in SATA II format and will feature from 8 to 32 MB of cache depending on the model (320, 500, 750 and 1000GB).

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