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Seagate Cheetah 15K.4


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#1 Eugene

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 12:36 AM

Corporate purchasers and enthusiasts alike have all breathlessly awaited the next-generation of 15,000 RPM monsters from the likes of Seagate, Maxtor, Fujitsu, and Hitachi. The first of this highly-anticipated new breed has finally met StorageReview's Testbed3. How does Seagate's Cheetah 15K.4 fare? Join us as we take a look at this 147 GB, 15K RPM contender.

Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 Review

#2 Harry-64

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 01:08 AM

I am disappointed with the 15k.4. The 15k.4 is louder, hotter, and has a reduction in performance when performing in its server duties. I am not inclined to upgrade my 15k.3 to Seagate’s newest offering.

As I said in another post, I intend to purchase the Maxtor Atlas 15k II. I just hope that MaxtorSCSI can facilitate this purchase with a generous rebate or coupon.

#3 Harry-64

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 01:21 AM

Eugene and SR Team,

Thanks for the enjoyable, informative, and timely review of the 15k.4.

Harry

#4 continuum

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 02:23 AM

Hmmm... looks like I'll be picking up an Atlas 15K II for my next OS drive and not a 15K.4.

Although in a few months if SR tests another 15K.4 sample and gets better results I will be very interested.

#5 Jeff Poulin

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 03:47 AM

I've always liked Seagate, but this time I was a little disappointed by their new flagship. Previously, Seagate's new 15Ks outperformed older generations by a wide margin, but this one falls a bit short (even underperforming the previous model in some tests!). It's almost like Seagate tried too hard to tweak their firmware for desktop use and forgot about their server base. Even with PM on, I'm not exactly blown away by the results, and it doesn't give me the sense that it's worth the high premium this time. Perhaps a firmware revision will fix that.

As always, thank-you Eugene for another fine review. I'm looking forward to the 15K II and MAU results!

#6 Maxtor storage

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 09:51 AM

Maxtor's Atlas 15kII has shown some impressive results, but I wonder what "if" Fujitsu releases their monster :blink:

#7 indeego

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 01:55 PM

The realtime pricing shows a different product, and the different product seems to be overpriced by several orders of magnitude.

#8 chipstone

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 05:11 PM

I love my 3 Seagate’s 15.3K (ST373453LW) drives, I have the Maxtor 15K, and was also very impresses by Fujitsu’s numbers. I am glad I purchased them when they were at some of the lowest prices to be found; based on the comparison I think the 15.3K drives will go up in price.

With all the technology available to Seagate I am also disappointed at the numbers; only marginal improvements, and now with the high heat dissipation, they should be cooler, or come with a built in fan.

I really think they are putting more R&D on the Serial SCSI (SAS); from all I’ve read, when available, they will blow the doors of any new line of SCSI drives being offered, and will coexist with the SATA drives, and the new SATA II in the horizon.

#9 Chew

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 07:22 PM

I really think they are putting more R&D on the Serial SCSI (SAS); from all I’ve read, when available, they will blow the doors of any new line of SCSI drives being offered, and will coexist with the SATA drives, and the new SATA II in the horizon.

Having a SAS interface should have very little effect on performance. They could plug an ATA interface on the same mechanism included in any SAS drive and it should perform essentially the same. Or perhaps a little worse if some form of Command Queuing wasn't implemented. But the SCSI interface has no performance limiting factors as compared to SAS.

#10 Maxtor storage

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 08:55 PM

Once SAS is widely available, won't prices of the SCSI drives go up? Or the SCSI controllers for that manner I presume?

#11 Ron_Jeremy

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 08:56 PM

Great review Eugene. However, from looking at the #'s I think I'll be hanging on to my Atlas 15K & 15K.3's for a while :)

#12 Chewy509

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 12:11 AM

I've always liked Seagate, but this time I was a little disappointed by their new flagship.  Previously, Seagate's new 15Ks outperformed older generations by a wide margin, but this one falls a bit short (even underperforming the previous model in some tests!).

I just had a quick look between the 10K.6 and 10K.7 (in the performance database). The same sort of thing has happened. Even though the 10K.7 has a higher STR, in just about everything else, the 10K.7 falls behind the previous generation 10K.6?

Maybe Seagate have completely reworked the firmware on their SCSI offerings and what we are seeing is the first generation of "new" firmware? If that's the case, give it 6-12 months for Seagate to speed things up a bit, and hopefully we should have a rocket ship on our hands...

PS. Nice review as always! :)

#13 chipstone

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 08:14 AM

I’ve read the specifications on the SAS interface; is a completely revolutionary interface for SCSI drive. Not just attaching the drives to an ATA/66/100/133 interface. It requires totally new HBA cards; currently not available on the retail market, but soon.

I have an IT system integration analyst that works for one of the largest cruise lines in Miami. The company’s IT development department are testing the new OEM LSI SAS HBA cards, and Seagate’s new SAS drives, currently being delivered to OEM for preliminary testing, and system integrations.

From preliminary tests he’s indicated the SAS SCSI drives bust rated are north of 640/mb/s, and sustained avg. speeds are well over the 320/ms/s U320 interface.

Based on further testing with other system integration, the company will dry-run test using their main Web based reservation system, and passenger manifest databases with this new technology; the IT directors are very impresses by the sheer speed, integration simplicity, flexibility to work with SATA II drive, for database storage. The cost to integrate the technology is also very economical compared to FC enclosures currently being used. The company is not even allocating IT resources for any new systems incorporating synchronous SCSI interface, FC or otherwise, now that speaks volume for the new technology.

Who knows we may see the current SCSI drives take a dive in prices and demand once this technology is available.

#14 stone cold steve austin

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 01:26 PM

i think that the 15k4 sucks. lack luster performance, low i/o, fuj and max are better

scsa

#15 Chew

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 05:32 PM

I’ve read the specifications on the SAS interface; is a completely revolutionary interface for SCSI drive. Not just attaching the drives to an ATA/66/100/133 interface. It requires totally new HBA cards; currently not available on the retail market, but soon.

...The company’s IT development department are testing the new OEM LSI SAS HBA cards, and Seagate’s new SAS drives, ...

From preliminary tests he’s indicated the SAS SCSI drives bust rated are north of 640/mb/s, and sustained avg. speeds are well over the 320/ms/s U320 interface.

He's either testing in RAID, or not getting accurate results, or misinterpreting the results. The interface in use has no bearing on sustained transfer rates for an individual drive. The very latest technology platters can only sustain just under 100MB/s per drive. As long as the interface attached to the drive has that amount of bandwidth (plus a little extra for overhead).

While SAS may perhaps provide improved performance for multi-drive scenarios, it still stands that a SAS drive from Seagate will not

blow the doors of any new line of SCSI drives being offered

when comparing single drives.

#16 sgrossklass

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 04:40 AM

Maybe Seagate have completely reworked the firmware on their SCSI offerings and what we are seeing is the first generation of "new" firmware? If that's the case, give it 6-12 months for Seagate to speed things up a bit, and hopefully we should have a rocket ship on our hands...

Not the worst of theories. It would explain why the new drives suddenly show huge differences WRT PM bit setting, and for sort of a beta firmware strange prefetch patterns (as observed by FemmeT) would not be too surprising either. I do hope they get these issues worked out. I bet many of a workstation maker would like to put in the 10K.7 given its noise levels. Still, it's somewhat strange to see bananaware among scuzzy drives.

#17 dr.ralph

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 11:09 AM

I currently own 3 15K.3 36GB drives, and I must admit I had been looking forward to the 15K.4 review here.

Now the review is here, and I'm pretty disappointed :huh: :(

The 15K.4 fails to improve outstanding on the 15K.3 - and the 15K.4 runs both hotter and louder than the 15K.3
OK, the big transfer rate in the beginning af the drive is impressive, but what else is there to impress me and make me pay the $$$ for upgrading my 15K.3 drives to 15K.4 ?

I'm not using my SCSI drives for servers, but in my home computer and therefore heat and noise are two important factors for me.

The Fujitsu is faster than the 15K.4 drive and this drive may be the one I'm looking at when and IF I want to replace my 15K.3 drives.

But the Fujitsu is also both louder and hotter running than my 15K.3 drives and this disappoints me BIGTIME :angry: :unsure:

Non of the new 15K scsi drives impress me at all, and I think I'll hold on to my old trusty 15K.3 for now.
Best regards
Claus



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