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250G SATA II performance/silence recommendations

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Its my first topic here on SR, though i have been around here many times, enjoying those best reviews and the wisdom of this community :)

I'm planning on buying a new HDD, as you can tell, since my recent Maxtor diamondmax plus 9 is dying on me :( , its usage will be gaming and web-design related app. , and it is for boot as well.

I 'd thought about the following models ( all are 250G, S-II)

  1. T7K250
  2. Maxline 3
  3. seagate 7200.9
  4. WD2500KS

I had ordered them related to their performance, but I'm not sure if it so...

I need to know which will be better for my needs and still won't be noisy.

If one can list them in performance order and silence order it will be great.

another thing is regarding the T7K250, a seller they have this model "but it comes as SATA 150, you need to upgrade it to 300 Mb/s" does anyone knows what is it about, i thought it comes SATA-II ready.

Thanks!!! :)

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Guest 888

* However the most silent drive is Samsung P120 250GB. But its overall performance is not so good, although the sequential transfer rate is excellent.

* We do not have any experiences and test results about Seagate 7200.9 250GB version yet. Hoping SR will publish that long-awaited 250GB round-up in nearest days...

* MaXLineIII is strong performer but according to the SR reliability survey and some of my own data, it has still relatively lot of failed drives.

* T7K250 is a fast performer, cold-running and also silent in idle but seeking may be a little more listenable than others here.

* WD2500KS sounds very noisy according to the SR performance database. But in my hands it has been just pretty silent. May-be variations in samples. But at the same time as this 2500KS has older 83GB platters (3 in total), its speed characteristics are not so good.

.....so it's not easy to list them in some order and it's not easy to select the best one. Although all they can fit for your needs pretty well.

Edited by 888

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another thing is regarding the T7K250, a seller they have this model "but it comes as SATA 150, you need to upgrade it to 300 Mb/s" does anyone knows what is it about, i thought it comes SATA-II ready.

Thanks!!! :)

You would need to download the "Feature Tool" from Hitachi's (support) site to actually enable SATA-II in their SATA-II drives. I've done it, it's easy enough.

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Hey, those answers are very helpful, thanks!!! :)

Its seem the T7K250 would be the one to pick; fast , mostly silent and no concern for the "SATA II enable" issue , still is the Hitachi tool a SATA II driver or a firmware update?

888, you were saying a 250G round-up is soon to come, does someone knows approximately when? it will sure be the optimal thing before buying, how long shall I wait in that case?

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Its seem the T7K250 would be the one to pick; fast , mostly silent and no concern for the "SATA II enable" issue , still is the Hitachi tool a SATA II driver or a firmware update?

It's a downloadable DOS tool for a floppy. You make the selection to change any particular drive to SATA-II. So, I believe it's changing something on the drive, prehaps a firmware setting? The computer has to be completely powered off and back on again after making the selection in order for it to stick.

I have run benchmarks before and after (three 80GB and one 160GB drives) making the SATA-II selection, the access time and transfer rates were identical, however the burst speed essentially doubled.

Your MB SATA has to be SATA-II of course. I was doing this on an ASUS A8N-SLI and ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe models. Only the Nvida SATA controller on those boards is SATA-II. However, the SI SATA controller is SATA-I.

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Your MB SATA has to be SATA-II of course. I was doing this on an ASUS A8N-SLI and ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe models. Only the Nvida SATA controller on those boards is SATA-II. However, the SI SATA controller is SATA-I.

Actually my MB does not support SATA-II (Abit IC7-MAX3), so for the time being i don't see a reason to change the firmware as you have mentioned, but probably soon I'll replace the MB and CPU.

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Hitachi Feature Tool (FTOOL) is a utility to configure all of the following features:

- Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM)

- Advanced Power Management (APM)

- Ultra-DMA settings / SATA settings

There is both a floppy version and a CD version of FTOOL available. Floppy version exists as both a floppy image and a self extracting Windows boot disk creator. So there's three versions that can be downloaded from HGST's web site.

See one of my previous posts for those three links.

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"However the most silent drive is Samsung P120 250GB. But its overall performance is not so good, although the sequential transfer rate is excellent."

According to Silent PC Review, the two-platter drives of P120 are noisier than two-platter P80. They should still be reasonably silent though.

"MaXLineIII is strong performer but according to the SR reliability survey and some of my own data, it has still relatively lot of failed drives.

T7K250 is a fast performer, cold-running and also silent in idle but seeking may be a little more listenable than others here."

In my experience Maxtors are noisier (and slower) seekers. At least three-platter 7K250 is less noisy than Maxtors of DM +9 and MaXLine +II series. 7K250, DM +9 and MaXLine +II are all about equally quiet when idle.

Considering T7K250's predecessor is more silent despite having faster seeks, I think it's highly likely that two-platter T7K250 with it's lighter actuator is much more silent than MaXLine III. That is unless you enable AAM on the Maxtor. Maxtors have probably the most effective AAM feature of all drives but that also makes them the slowest possible seekers when AAM is enabled.

T7K250 is also likely the coolest running 250GB drive out there.

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I am not planning to use the AAM, don't want a slow HD, So Maxtor can be removed from the list as well as WD for being 3p thus slower.

The Hitachi/IBM really taking it all, but no one mentioned or compared it to the Seagate 7200.9.

Can the SR review suggest something regarding it's 250GB Vr. ?

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Go to silentpcreview.com's storage section and start reading. If I recall, they explain somewhere why measuring from 1cm away (or whatever small distance SR measures from) does not given an accurate depiction of what the actual noise output will be.

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The measurements here on SR are taken 3 mm away from the drive!

Performance Database

T7K250 250GB, P120 250GB, WD2500KS and DM10 250GB against each other. 7200.9 250GB is not included because Seagate has not yet supplied a sample. They promised one, but they didn't send one. Because of that, the 250GB mid-capacity round-up has been delayed. It was supposed to be published before Christmas!

There's probably no reason to wait for a Seagate. They are typically far from being the fastest drives on the market. (And that is true even for single-platter 7200.9 160GB. High platter capacities doesn't automatically equate to high performance.)

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If Seagate delays its HD that long, i say there is a reason...

The T7k250 is the best choice.

I was thinking, In case of any problem buying it, will the Maxline 3 be the second best?

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First of all, SATA II is a committee, not a standard or an interface.

Second, the T7k250 does come set to the 1.5Mb/s interface speed by default for compatability. While there's absolutely no reason to change the speed, as mentioned, it can be easily done.

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Guest 888
If Seagate delays its HD that long, i say there is a reason...

The T7k250 is the best choice.

I was thinking, In case of any problem buying it, will the Maxline 3 be the second best?

This Seagate 7200.9 250GB is very probably available now. I'm not completely sure in it but have already seen it listed in some local shops price-lists. But no information about the real stock. Don't know if Eugene has received the reviewer's sample of it yet? But very probably, as already commented here, it can't be very fast drive, although it can be pretty silent one. Usually the silence and overall speed are things which eat each other.

I personally am not sure if the MaXLineIII is the second best choice or not. Somehow it has twice as much failed drives than other new generation drives today.

The Samsung P120 250GB is also a strong second candidate but also its predecessor P80 series has relatively low reliability here in SR database. Although my own data from local distributors does not show it to be so low, but still lower than Seagate, WD, Hitachi.

But I think you can still find that T7K250. It must be with normal availability worldwide. If it is not in your first shop, it must be in second or third one...

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I just purchased the 300GB PATA 7200.9 from CompUSA for $99 AR. Now, after reading further reviews, it appears that the Hitachi's are both quieter and produce less heat - qualities I need for my mini system. I'm surprised that Seagate would also make a 250GB version of this drive, albeit a SATA one.

I, too, am anxious for the review of the 250-300GB drives.

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According to my records, I've now installed 21 Samsung drives in various client machines. These comps vary from gaming boxes to multimedia boxes (music/video workstations). The Sammy's are a mix of PATA & SATA, ranging from 120 - 250 gigs in size. So far (~10 months from my earliest Samsung install), not a single problem. I have lost count how many DiamondMax's & 7200.x's I've replaced. I couldn't give a rats ass if the Sammy's are slightly slower than what the competition offers. Specs & benchmarks be damned, every day someone doesn't call due to hard drive failure is a good freakin day.

Edited by Ron_Jeremy

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