Diving into this topic with both feet - hopefully avoid the bee hive. I've followed this thread for a long time now - and believe the performance gain of the 7200.11 drives. I can feel it.
My testing just got screwed up by a firmware upgrade. I have a single drive ST3500320AS with the SD15 firmware. This is the version that supposedly self destruct. I should have left it alone!!! I upgraded to SD1A - no problems - drive comes up fine - all data intact.
The only problem is I lost the NCQ performance !!!! Crapola!!
Previous test with HD_Speed - Windows 7 - Asus P5B MB - ICH8 Raid controller - latest Matrix drivers, 256k block size test.
One instance 113MB/sec - 9 instances 88MB/sec. Pretty good performance.
My other WD drive is much worse. One instance 82MB/sec - after 7+ drops to only 25MB/sec.
Then after my SD1A firmware upgrade - the Seagate will only do 25MB/sec after two instances. YIKES!!!! Can't believe the firmware changed the NCQ performance that much. Once instance is still at 113MB/sec - so no performance increase - HD_Tune has the exact same results as before the firmware change.
Any ideas would be appreciated.