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IBM Deskstar 120GXP


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#1 Davin

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 09:00 PM

Despite allegedly troubled lineage, IBM's Deskstar 120GXP is the most anticipated ATA drive in recent memory. Does it live up to expectations? SR takes a look!

IBM Deskstar 120GXP Review
Join SR's D2OL Team. Click here to find out how!

#2 Flagreen

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 10:13 PM

Good review. The performance was quite impressive and the noise level seems another point in it's favor. But I would have to wait at least until a year after it's on the market to see if this model is going to have the reliability problems of the 75GXP before I would buy one. Fool me once...

#3 Flagreen

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 10:42 PM

That price however is tempting!

#4 ar

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 11:08 PM

According to newegg, a 120GB WD1200JB is $240. The same capacity IBM 120GXP is $260. Given that the reliability concern seems to be on the IBM this time around, I think it's a clear winner for the Caviar drive with it's blistering performance.

Or am I missing something? Please convince me otherwise before next paycheck :)

#5 Flagreen

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 11:21 PM

Hmm... The est. Price in the review is $180.00. If they are asking $260.00, I agree with you and there is no way would I buy it over the WD.

#6 phelix

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 11:28 PM

Hmm... The est. Price in the review is $180.00. If they are asking $260.00, I agree with you and there is no way would I buy it over the WD.


According to pricewatch, one company lists it for $169. However, on the company's website, it's at $260. I think some people are confusing 120GXP with 120GB :lol:

#7 Flagreen

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 11:41 PM

It is a 120gb drive though. Unless the "Flagship" unit is not the 120gb model.

#8 Eugene

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 11:45 PM

Accept my apologies... that estimated price is way out of line. The GXP will not come that inexpensively from most sources :)

#9 Flagreen

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Posted 20 February 2002 - 11:46 PM

Ahhh.. that's dirty pool Eugene. Changing the est. price after I can no longer change my posts! Well...

#10 CougTek

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 12:30 AM

I notice a small typo in the first sentence of the third page :

When it comes to our all-important StorageReview.com Deskstop DriveMark 2002,...

Or maybe it's not a typo and just a way to underline the fact that IBM drives tend to have a short lifespan, causing your desktop to become a deskstop ;-)

#11 Prof.Wizard

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 04:19 AM

I believe I have been expecting this review more than anything else (perhaps only a bit less than the Barracuda IV)...

The drive lives up my expectations and my personal goals. As a home user I prize a drive which will be above all quiet and responsive. By responsive I mean good results in tests and benchmarks such as: service time, SR Office DriveMark 2002, SR Gaming DriveMark 2002... I believe these represent the majority of home-user activities... opening 3-4 Windows of a browser and changing frequently while surfing, playing the latest game, using a word processor or spreadsheet, etc.
All these are fields 120GXP excels! Well, it can't quite reach the formidable 120JD (except in server applications!) but it's quite near...

If my fish dies, I'll get one of these babies...

PS. We don't know anything about this drive's reliability yet. It's unfair to place it in the same category as the notorious previous model from IBM, the 75GXP... Give time for the product to show itself!
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#12 ar

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 10:58 AM

To be fair, we don't know anything about the 1200JB's reliability either. I see no reason why WD should be less susceptible to drive failures than IBM.

BTW my current drive is a WD, a 10k rpm SCSI Vantage 18GB. I must have been the only person to buy this drive! But, it has been working fine for the ? years I've had it.

#13 miguelbarroso

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 12:11 PM

Are we expected to see the same performance in the 40GB version of the 120GXP as in the 120Gb one ?

(they both have 40Gb platers - one in the 40gb version, 3 in the 120Gb one)
:?:

#14 Meerkat

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 01:30 PM

How can a drive be labelled a good server drive when the manufacturer recommendation is 333 power-on hours a month (~11-12 poh/day). In my experience, servers are pretty much required to be up 24/7. :roll:

#15 sean

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 07:07 PM

seriously challenges WD's Caviar WD1200BB in desktop performance and is top-dog in ATA server performance


I echo Meerkat's comments on IBM's introduction of "recommended power on hours", which constitutes a power on time of only 46% during the course of the average month.

While the performance as a server may be excellent, according to IBM's own recommendation, the 120GXP should not function as a server drive on this basis of power on hours.

Perhaps the article should be ammended to address this issue. It would also be interesting to hear IBM comment on why they introduced such a recommendation in the discussion.

Overall, great article Eugene. Great to see SR back in business!! :)

#16 Alien

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 07:24 PM

How can a drive be labelled a good server drive when the manufacturer recommendation is 333 power-on hours a month (~11-12 poh/day). In my experience, servers are pretty much required to be up 24/7.

That's a good point. I must admit that all the talk of IBM GXP reliability probs has made wonder whether or not IBM would be a wise choice for my next HDD, though in fairness to them I have had my 30GB 75GXP for over a year & it's powered up pretty much 24/7 & no probs so far.
<Alien crosses fingers, touches wood, & hangs a horse-shoe on front of PC just in case> :lol:

#17 Connor

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 09:15 PM

My last post seem to have vanished in cyberspace, so I'll try again;)

Have just bought a 120GXP 80BG drive, and it's faster then the WD1200BB my friend have in a identical PC.
Seems to me this drive shines better in a medium to high-end system (?).
Can't tell for sure, since I don't have a low-end system (will be low-end soon, hardware is developing fast).

What kind of speccs are on their test machine? All I could find was a 2ghz P4, and if thats the case the scores from the High-End Disk WinMark and Business Disk WinMark got me puzzled.

On my 1.533ghz XP I get these scores:

ZD Business Disk WinMark 99: 29 000
ZD High-End Disk WinMark 99: 49 000
Sisoft sandra: 31 600

#18 CougTek

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 12:53 AM

ZD Business Disk WinMark 99: 29 000
ZD High-End Disk WinMark 99: 49 000
Sisoft sandra: 31 600

This looks a lot more like the transfer rates at the beginning and end of the drive than WinMarks. There's not a single drive (other than perhaps SSD) that can reach 29MBps under Business WB99, same thing for the HE test.

However, depending on the controller you use, it's possible that your transfer rates are slightly higher than those obtain by Eugene with its test unit. I think Eugene's scores were 47K and 25K, so 49K and 29K aren't impossible.

#19 Connor

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 02:13 AM

Hmm,,,,

It's very simple to run these benchmarks, and if you think the scores is to high there is no problem to send the results to any1 who want them.

I'm running the 120GXP on a Highpoint Raid 370 controller integrated on a Abit KT7A-Raid Motherboard with Bios 64/2.31 and 2.31 XP drivers.
The results vary from 27000-29000 on ZD Business Disk WinMark 99 and 47000-49000 on ZD High-End Disk WinMark 99 depending on what version driver I use.

If you take a look at X-bit labs review of 120GXP 80GB,
http://www.xbitlabs....age/ibm-120gxp/
you will see that on a PIII600 the 120GXP scores 10100 ZD Business Disk WinMark 99 and 28000 on High-End Disk WinMark 99.

The JB version of the WD1200 and WD1000 probably benefit from having 8mb cache in low-end systems in some benchmark programs.
Many reviews of the WD1200JB show a slight advantage or none at all compared to the BB (2mb cache) version. These statments might be a result of their test system (?)

#20 JJR512

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 04:40 PM

I've read from other sources that in RAID-0 setups, IBM GXP drives usually show a better performance increase than other brands of drives. Can anyone confirm that this is, in general, true or not true, and speculate (or show with testing) that it is true with this specific model?

#21 Prof.Wizard

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 05:16 PM

Yeah, IBM drives have been real champions in RAID 0 so far...
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#22 v0rtics

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 03:01 AM

PS. We don't know anything about this drive's reliability yet. It's unfair to place it in the same category as the notorious previous model from IBM, the 75GXP... Give time for the product to show itself!


Yes, that's true. Interestingly, thats exactly what I thought when I replaced my faulty 3x75gxp RAID-0 array with a 3x60gxp RAID array ;)

Well, the 60gxp array has gone down, too, so a WD1200BB is doing the work now, supported by a handfull of swappable Maxtor backup drives. I'm very happy with the WD1200BB ... I'll try to avoid IBM drives for the moment, until more is known on its reliability. I heard people complain about the RAID performance of WD1200BB/JB drives, too, which is a shame ...

#23 CoralSnake

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 03:37 AM

Nice review of the 120GXP. As a matter of interest the failure rates of recent IBM drives (taken from SR's reliability database) are below:

14GXP 6.45% Sample size: 62
34GXP 15.84% Sample size: 101
75GXP 35.51% Sample size: 1453 :!:
60GXP 16.32% Sample size: 435

These figures are taken from the original raw data. Hopefully the 120GXP will return IBM's reputation for building reliable IDE drives.

Any chance of remaking the reliability database? I believe that the data was lost. This was very valuable information for consumers and system builders who ordinarily have to rely on rumour and heresay for reliability information.

#24 Prof.Wizard

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 05:45 AM

Yes, that's true. Interestingly, thats exactly what I thought when I replaced my faulty 3x75gxp RAID-0 array with a 3x60gxp RAID array ;)

Well, the 60gxp array has gone down, too, so a WD1200BB is doing the work now, supported by a handfull of swappable Maxtor backup drives. I'm very happy with the WD1200BB ... I'll try to avoid IBM drives for the moment, until more is known on its reliability. I heard people complain about the RAID performance of WD1200BB/JB drives, too, which is a shame ...


Fair enough... :(
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#25 Shark

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 11:18 PM

How can a drive be labelled a good server drive when the manufacturer recommendation is 333 power-on hours a month (~11-12 poh/day). In my experience, servers are pretty much required to be up 24/7.  :roll:


Just wanted to point out that most small businesses, and particularly offices, are only open during the daytime. In these situations, Windows Power Management can be used to power down the hard drive(s) "after hours".

I suppose that, technically, the drive is still on during this time, but I would think being in a low-power state would certainly extend that recommended 11-12 poh-day.



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