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About whiic

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    Finland, Europe
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    Animu phreek.
  1. whiic

    Forums software upgraded

    There's several things that could be done better. First, with the [Log in/Sign out/Help/whatever] box there on the right, shinking the browser to use only one side of the screen, the text field itself becomes too narrow (even on 1920x1200 monitor). Second, shrinking the browser to half the size also causes problems with the [Home/Articles & Reviews/Leaderboard/etc] bar as shrinking will cause Search box to collide with About Us. Third, shrinking further (not yet at half-screen) Google Ads collide with Storage Review logo and [Home/Articles & Reviews/Leaderboard/etc] bar gets mongled up. All these issue are present with <50% shrinking on 1920 pixel monitor. With lower resolution monitors, the shrinking would cause troubles even easier. The very idea of widescreen monitors (aside from watching movies on a computer) is to browse two things side by side. This cannot be done with StorageReview forums at it's current state. There's simply too many separate issues with it. Relocation of boxes is necessary: - [Log in/Sign out/Help/whatever] has to be moved upwards so that it doesn't shrink the size of text field. It also looks pretty orphaned standing up there where it's now. - relocate the Search box and the [Home/Articles & Reviews/Leaderboard/etc] to different line and StorageReview logo to a different line from Google-Ads. This is of course much trial-and-error type of tweaking so I won't even try to come up with a layout plan. Try to make the window resizable to half-size on high-res monitors, preferably up to low-mid-range of widescreens (1440 pix horizontal divided by two = aroud 700 pixels). Surely there's still 1280 pixel widescreens on old or very low-end laptops (I have one) but owners of those would probably browse it in fullscreen anyway. But make it viewable for 700 or 800 pixel browser window width. That way it's dual-windowable on high end and single windowable on many portable mini-laptops. Compatibility and stuff.
  2. worships Flying Spaghetti Monster

  3. whiic

    Hitachi 2.5" 7K500 500GB 7200RPM in for review

    "Or just in terms of what the drive temp is after running for X amount of time?" Noooooo~! Publishing "temperatures" only encourages manufacturers to make their drive's temperature sensors crappy or to falsify temperature data on HDD's controller that handles SMART data (which is where "temperature" readings usually come from). Power consumption measurement is the only way to evaluate true heat production. There's absolutely no better method to do it.
  4. whiic

    Avatars enabled

    I have never got annoyed by avatars. What I do get really annoyed by are image signatures. Usually BIG image signatures. It's extremely annoying when one-liners are followed by 100 to 300 pixels worth of images used as a signature. Avatar on the other hand is on the left side and doesn't increase the size a single post takes ...unless it's a very short one. I on the other hand, make TL;DR posts more often than not, so avatar doesn't really take any space that wouldn't otherwise be wasted by blank space. Avatar can speed up quick recognition of which messages are from which user, especially when a user posts multiple messages in a single thread. Avatars can be useful. Forums that mainly consist of one-liner spam get only worse with avatars. Technical forums typically consist of TL;DR analysis so avatars or (relavitely short) signatures don't take most of the useful space anyway.
  5. whiic

    Avatars enabled

    @continuum, should you not have disabled avatars on your profile settings you might have a faint clue why I quoted it.
  6. "right now the most important upgrade to a computer is the SSD> you can go from a 775 to a 1366 system and barely notice a difference." Well, 775 socket computer don't all need an upgrade. I use a 775 socket Q6600 G0 overclocked at 3.15 GHz. It delivers quite a punch / crunching / folding power. It may consume a bit of electricity but other than that, not even modern 1366 socket 1000+ dollar Core 2 Extremes can outperform it... at least to any significance. And this computer is old, and even when it was new, it was still dirt cheap CPU (2.4 GHz Quad core was cheaper to buy than high-clocked Duo... especially those of Extreme label.) So if you built a good computer 2-3 years ago, it really doesn't need replacing and if you picked up the best bang for buck components, it's still better than mainstream computers today. On the other hand 775 socket also has such infamous pieces of stinker as Pentium 4 (and it's corresponding Celeron equivalent). Performing scientific computing my (old) Quad can produce roughly 10 times more calculations using same amount of electricity. That is indeed a huge leap without any socket change. If I wanted to upgrade my P4 system, the best way to do it is to toss both the motherboard and the CPU in recycle bin (as most 775 socket mobos cannot support Quads even if the socket is physically capable) and build a new one from scratch. The cheapers 50 buck mobo + 50 buck CPU combo is way better performing and energy-efficient than P4... or you could 10-fold the performance with Quad. Running OSes isn't CPU limited usually. It may well be I/O limited. Especially if not everything fits into memory, there'll be swapping during loading, and swapping slows it down. But the real solution to swapping is not to make swap drive faster, it is to eliminate swapping by adding more RAM. I've found that RAM addition can make miracles. HDD swap can do miracles when the original one is a Total Piece-Of-Crap like Seagate U5. Having suffered from U5 for years, I honestly think Bigfoot's legend as a slow drive must be an exaggeration...
  7. Eh? You made EADS (AADS) and EACS (AACS) "4th gen". Only EARS (AARS) has 4 KiB sector size. EADS drives are either 2nd or 3rd gen. EACS are 1st or 2nd or 3rd. And it's just me who's calling EARS "4th generation". There's no consensus on that as there hasn't been that much discussion about it yet. I think you'd need 3rd generation family as well. And it might be better to call the generation as "500GB/platter" because not everyone keeps count on total number of generations (and since there's possibility that not everyone will regard 4 KiB sector size as a new generation as data density remain the same although drives physical data layout is revolutionized). Likewise, "4th generation" is probably better called by "64MB cache" or "Advanced Format" drives. Article about "Advanced Format" (4096 byte sectors): http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3691 If despite significance of 4KiB sectors you wanted to keep the same with 512B sector drives and lump them to same generation, then you should call it "3rd gen" or like previously mentioned "500GB/platter generation". This might be acceptable as WD doesn't officially mention 4KiB sectors in product specs. We only know EARS has them because they mentioned it in articles regarding technology itself. They mentioned EARS will be the first, however this most likely mean, we cannot know for certain for other products to come wither they use 512 or 4096 byte sectors. Way to go, WD! I've always loved you for being so f'ing honest. Like the fact that they still can't admit that Caviar Green is indeed 5400rpm. I guess they're thinking of themselves being comparable to Roll-Royce and their famous answer to horse power questions: "enough". Greenpower group could consist of 1st AND 2nd generation because it has probably already been "corrupted" by both generation entries already. Also, 1st and 2nd gen are already out of market and replaced by 3rd and 4th gen so it's probably not necessary to make retroactive corrections.
  8. Don't hurry up on updating these to Survey. It's probably better to have a discussion on what a "family" of drives is. - drives from a certain manufacturer that use certain rpm combined with certain density (noteworthy exception: some capacity points within same geration may use lower density platters instead of short-stroking) - drives that use the same physical build, drives that are mechanically similar: 1-3-platter GP vs 4-platter GP - drives that have the same name. This has been the practice so far in Reliability Survey. Unfortunately it means that a persistent capacity point like 250GB will have it's representation in half a dozen generation of drives: starting from being a flagship, to being a short-stroked single-platter single-head el cheapo... all listed as same product and having one reliability percentile. - at least we should combine all available cache size variants of a drive model into single one. After all, they're 99.999% identical drives, only varying with a single chip. Exception being 64MB (EARS) variant of Greenpower as one might call it a new generation. Not because of the cache itself but because they switched over to 4096 byte sectors (with 512 byte sector emulation for compatibility with old hardware and software). As some people say that 1.5TB is faster than 1.0TB and 2.0TB, it might also suggest that this 4096 byte sector variant might use 800GB platters (as it also has a 800GB variant instead of 750GB!). This increase in density doesn't come with increased bit density but with decreased error correction code (less lost bits on the platter). But I guess it can't be 800GB/pl... it's just too big of a jump even with 4096 byte sectors. I also don't know if 1.5TB actually is faster like some say it is. Might also be 640GB/pl as smallest capacity of 4th gen is 640GB and no 500GB variant is available. (I still put 500GB/pl in the info.) Also might be worth reconsidering what data is necessary for HDD families. Is "URL" necessary? Not all manufacturers provide a permalink to specs. And specs may be altered to match a new generation. What's it with "Family:" and "Model Name (product family):" ? After all in Reliability Survey the hierarchy goes Manufacturer -> Family -> Model (where model pretty much means a certain capacity point within a family).
  9. Greenpower generation already has a database entry, but might be worth specifying it as 1st generation. Some people have no doubt already entered some 2nd and 3rd gen samples to it. We could recommend people to "Delete" their entries and re-enter them under proper generation. Naturally recommending it won't reach everyone so there'll always be mis-entered HDDs in Reliability Survey. (And it's always been that way with people wanting to report their HDDs even when they have not been listed.) 1st generation Manufacturer: Western Digital Family: Caviar Green (aka Greenpower) (1st gen) Released: Third quarter 2007 Notes: Model Name (product family): Caviar Green (aka Greenpower) (1st gen) Model Number: WD5000AACS, WD7500AACS, WD10EACS Capacity: 500, 750, 1000 gigabytes (respectively) URL: N/A (WD doesn't give permanlinks to previous generations... it's the same page for the current generation) Interface: SATA300 Spindle Speed: 5400rpm Seek: -not specified- Buffer: 16000 (were there smaller cache for lower capacities? if there was, it will affect model numbers as well) Density: 250 gigabytes per platter 2nd generation Manufacturer: Western Digital Family: Caviar Green (2nd gen) Released: FILL IN Notes: Model Name (product family): Caviar Green (2nd gen) Model Number: FILL IN Capacity: FILL IN gigabytes URL: Interface: SATA300 Spindle Speed: rotations per minute Seek: -not specified- Buffer: 16000 and 32000 Density: 334 gigabytes per platter 3rd generation Manufacturer: Western Digital Family: Caviar Green (3rd gen) Released: FILL IN Notes: Model Name (product family): Caviar Green (3rd gen) Model Number: WD5000AAxS, WD6400AAxS, WD7500AAxS, WD10EAxS, WD15EAxS, WD20EAxS Capacity: 500, 640, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000 gigabytes URL: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=576 (32MB) and http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=336 (16MB) Interface: SATA300 Spindle Speed: 5400rpm Seek: -not specified- Buffer: 16000 and 32000 Density: 500 gigabytes per platter 4th generation Manufacturer: Western Digital Family: Caviar Green (4rd gen) Released: 4th quarter 2009 Notes: WDxxxxAARS & WDxxEARS use 4096 byte physical sectors Model Name (product family): Caviar Green (4th gen) Model Number: WD6400AARS, WD8000AARS, WD10EARS, WD15EARS, WD20EARS Capacity: 640, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 gigabytes URL: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=773 Interface: SATA300 Spindle Speed: 5400rpm Seek: -not specified- Buffer: 64000 kilobytes Density: 500 gigabytes per platter (???)
  10. ...or insert a new 5400rpm laptop drive and even it will improve I/O performance quite a bit. When it comes to memory-hogging programs HDD/SDD choice doesn't mean anything. When it comes to some I/O limited scenarios, it can do a miracle. I for example retired an old Seagate U5 (ATA66? ATA100?) drive and replaced it with a newer (but still 4- or 5-year-old) SATA drive through SATA-to-PATA converter. I couldn't get it running past ATA33 mode but boot-up times to Win98SE dropped to a fraction of what it was previously, despite not being able to transfer data past 33 MB/s. Seagate U5 was a notorioubly badly performing drive so it's no wonder the update made a huge difference. While the HDD swap did miracles on Win98SE performance, I don't think it'd be too pleasant to install Windows 7 on that old PIII era Celeron. 256MB probably (or less). And that is after I did memory upgrade for it. Also, considering that old computers have a resell value of ~10 bucks, spending 100 bucks (minimum!) for a SDD is ridiculous. I might upgrade my dual-core laptop when SSD become cheaper and quality attainable with a fixed sum of money becomes better. Not only the performance gain but also the silence. I'd also do a CPU fan undervolt mod as CPU temperatures are quite a bit lower absolute maximum, even when under full load for extended period. The voltage mod should also make the large gap in noise between fan stopped and fan spinning at lowest speed less noticeable. It's pretty annoying when idle (as fan turns on and off, I'd rather prefer it spinning slowly all the time). My current laptop HDD is a bit on the noisy side... as a side product of SSD upgrade, I'd get a 2.5" HDD for other project. If I dismantle my WD Passport, I got two identical Scorpios, then I could make a RAID0 of two laptop HDDs for a HTPC. Not the most reliable thing to build but hell, HTPC isn't for working. If the array fails, I'd just extract a clean image to another drive.
  11. whiic

    Reliability database gone?

    Eugene persisted on not adding drives that had not been reviewed to the database. As less and less drives were reviewed, it became pretty useless during the last years. IMO, any HDD that has enough of market share to be listed should be added to Reliability Database. Also, different drive generations should be separated. For example WD Greenpower WD10EACS-00ZJB0 and WD Greenpower WD10EACS-00D6B0 (both sold as "WD10EACS") are about as much of the same drive model as 7K1000 (5-platter "Kurofune") is same as T7K1000 (3-platter "Vancouver"). Then again, WD10EACS-00ZJB0 would be reliability-wise be completely identical to WD10EADS-00ZJB0 since cache chip is rarely the component that leads to HDD's death. One might even argue that WD10EACS-00ZJB0 and WD20EADS-00S2B0 have more in common than WD10EACS-00ZJB0 and WD10EACS-00D6B0, especially when it comes to mechanics and acoustics. So, especially with WD, each known variant should be listed.
  12. whiic

    Drive testing methodology

    SPCR collaboration for sharing samples and cross-advertising each others corresponding reviews seconded. SPCR has reviews have ofter contained a suggestion to find performance review for their reviewed product from SR. Only lately (when SR became totally inactive) they started adding some performance benchmarks (though they're still very limited). They also do wattage measurements but SR's method is far more comprehensive with peak measurements and separated 5V and 12V readings. Wattage measurements are of paramount importance: all electric power gets turned into heat, and thus power consumption measurement is the most accurate method of measuring typical HDD temperatures. Temperature probe measurements (or even worse: SMART temperature monitoring) are prone to hot and cold spots so measurements cannot be compared to competing products. Power consumption has a linear relation to temperature delta (HDD temperature above ambient)... at least roughly. Cooling is mostly done by convection (=airflow) and conduction (=from HDD to computer case) and not by radiation, as radiation increases exponentially and not linearly ...and when radiation becomes dominant heat loss method, the HDD would be dead due to extreme overheat by quite a fair margin. As a "side product" you can get peak amperages (or peak wattages, depending on how you want to view the same thing) on each voltage supply line which is quite useful for people building big HDD arrays that have to boot off a regular PSU (especially if staggered spin-up is not supported). So, I'm definitely against any temperature measurement as wattage measurement is far more useful tool for approximating HDD temperatures in computer cases that differ from the one used in the review. And battery life test is, as pointed out, not good with external variables not related to object being reviewed. You can't really notice battery life change on a laptop with a 1.0 watt HDD and a 1.5 watt HDD since 0.5 watt difference can be masked by margin of error. The problem is similar to what many review sites use: they measure whole system power consumption after swapping the component to be reviewed. 100+ or even 200+ watt gaming system with WD Greenpower, an SSD or 5-platter Hitachi 7200rpm, I don't think the measurement from PSU mains intake is accurate enough to give proper results. StorageReview's method of measuring the reviewed products power consumption from the PSU output wires is far more accurate as there's no need to deal with subtracting base system consumption and no added margin of error related to base systems consumption. This problem, plus battery-life deterioration over time, makes battery-life measurement for HDD reviews a nonsensical one. (Note: battery-life measurement is extremely relevant for reviewing a (complete) laptop system, as a whole. But that's not what StorageReview is about...)
  13. whiic

    New Velociraptor ahead

    The only place where Velociraptor would have an advantage of SSD is where capacity is needed and another, slower HDD cannot be added for bulk storage... i.e laptops. But Velociraptor (despite being 2.5") requires both 5V and 12V power unlike laptop drives! While SATA power specs specifies at least 3.3V, 5V and 12V (3.3V is usually left unused by HDDs) it's quite uncertain that laptop manufacturers would make their barebones support the SATA spec entirely as usually it is not needed. With the lack of 12V on laptops, the biggest niché for Velociraptor is non-existent. Well, the biggest real niché... there is of course geeks who don't know how to spend their money and end up picking hardware they don't need. This is the true consumer group Velociraptor is targeted towards nowadays... I this aspect, it's not that different from many other computer products like Core 2 Extreme which is a pretty lame product and definitely not worth it's price (considering overclocking capability of el cheapos).
  14. whiic

    New Velociraptor ahead

    "At least, they will give fast access for huge files" So does SSD. Even faster. Does it matter, is a whole different thing... to access a big file fast. Don't talk about the "snappiness" bullsh*t. We used to hear a lot of that bovine fecal matter even after Eugene benchmarked 7200rpm drives that achieved better real-life performance than Raptor did. It happened with 7K500 vs. Raptor (1st and 2nd gen) and later with 7K1000 vs. Raptor 150 / Raptor X (3rd gen). Considering how close E7K1000 is to Velociraptor (Raptor 4th gen), 7K2000 has probably passed the Velociraptor already. So, you can have 2000GB of 7200rpm storage cheaper than 300GB of 10000rpm... while having about the same performance (or even slightly better). The fact that WD announces 5th generation Raptor (2nd generation Velociraptor) only makes it look even more certain that the best of 7200rpm is already outperforming old Velociraptor. It's like history repeating itself all over again. And with new gen of Raptor, comes new prices. At first it's superior to 7200rpm, but later when prices drop, 7200rpm can offer 10 times the capacity for the same price. This odd cat-and-mouse-thing won't go on for long, though, as Raptor's price is quite high, capacities low, and performance gain (ONLY while the model is new) roughly 30% which is quite modest for the price premium - - - while SSD is becoming cheaper and cheaper and has non-existent read access times, absolutely no noise, (most likely) better reliability, etc. After 10000rpm Velociraptor, 7200rpm laptop HDDs will become obsolete but that will take quite a while longer than SSD outphasing Raptor. While HDD industry once painted roadmaps of ever shrinking drive size, the 3.5" will be the last fortress of mechanical hard drives. That has been obvious for a quite a while. For example 1.0 inch Microdrive... where is that used? For god sake, it could only store a few gigabytes so why not just implant a fingernail sized flash chip to the products PCB and solve the storage need with that? It's also a thousand times more reliable (the smaller the HDD the less reliable they are). Then 1.8 inchers... they actually exist even today. But are they used that much? You look at the recent tablet and micro-laptop offerings, and they most certainly come with SSD. RIP 1.8 inches. Guess what's next? Yeah, 2.5", starting from the performance oriented and priciest end: first 10000rpm, then 7200rpm. My view of future storage: - 7200rpm 3.5": better performance mass storage for desktop (value OS drive) - 5400rpm 3.5": mass storage for desktop - 5400rpm 2.5": high-capacity and/or low-price laptops - SSD 2.5": premium desktop OS drive (two+ drive systems), laptops that have low capacity requirement (as you can't boost capacity with a second drive) These drive types most likely exist for at least the next 5 years. Going further to the future, even they will get endangered, starting with 5400rpm 2.5".