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Seagate 7200.10 Review

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K15, "That's why I would rather have a way of knowing what mode a drive was in and being able to change it. I just don't like "automatic accoustic management" unless I can CONTROL it."

AAM has to be end-user controllable, otherwise it's not AAM. It's the definition of AAM that requires end-user configurability. Factory preset acoustic settings are not AAM and therefore Seagate has removed all references to AAM from the specs.

K15, "I would love a drive with multiple modes also, then WHY doesn't Seagate DO that?!"

There's that speculation about some patent infridgement. http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=22990

Why doesn't Seagate find the way around the patent and create a new implementation of AAM? Or why don't they purchase a licence? They have the $$$.

The reason is probably that (according to rumours) the major OEMs might still have the possibility to order performance mode PATA and silent mode SATA drives (which are not available in retail (boxed or bare drive)). And it's the OEMs who are the primary source of income. Retail isn't that big market and most retail customers don't even know about AAM and other such features. Enthusiasts alone are not a big market (unless you're selling some very expensive equipment like Raptor X).

K15, "I have a U5 and a U6, they are just pathetic. I never used them as boot drives..."

I have... unfortunately. And I've confirmed that the drive does have about 20ms random access time in "performance" mode, like SR's old review on Testbed 2. In silent mode, random access is about 23ms. Back then Seagates still had AAM feature. (Not much use though, if there's no significant difference between the modes.)

K15, "All the while, the cache HAS to wait for it to seek."

Seek time will never become totally meaningless but a good cache implementation will significantly reduce the benefit of faster seeks. Good cache implementation reduces the number of seeks but it can never eliminate the seeking completely... not until it's completely SSD.

K15, "Good caching can reduce seeking, but does not eliminate it."

But it can make the effect of a minor 0.1 to 1ms difference in seek time pretty minimal to real-world performance in desktop environment. Of course there's still server environment where there is no substitute for fast seeks and where even average latency is of serious concern.

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here are some results from my 4x320s raid5 setup

As i said earlier one of the four drives had bad sectors

thats why there is that big initial dive in HDTach....

i already replaced it and everything came back to normal...

The raid is setup for Mp3 storage so i deciced to go with a real-life-oriented Stripe 128/ Cluster 64

The controller is an LSI 300X8 Pci-X

Here is a quick HDTach with no NCQ

(please excuse the screen artifacts but i was on hurry

and grabbed the first available vga card i could find...)

raid54x320noncq.jpg

Here is a 4mb ATTO

still with the defective drive in the array...

(pretty dissapointing i must confess)

ATTOraid54x320noncq.jpg

But once i replaced the disk and turned on Write back caching on the controller

things got a loooot better..

ATTO4x320stripe64cluster64allonWRIT.jpg

after all i think it's not bad for a 960gb redundant array

in some PCMark 05 HDD tests the array scores better than my 2x74ADFD Raptors....

d

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El-cheapo software onboard Intel RAID setup using Intel Matrix Raid on my two new 7200.10 250GB (Raid 0/80 G + Raid 1/192G) two volumes at two physical disks.

Sorry for dial-up user, put out all the captured pics, any way my grandma says they worth millons words :P

PS : Jumper at both disks are disconnected to enable 3Gb speed.

The result :

Raid 0

HDTachIntelRaid0.jpg

Raid 1

HDTachIntelRaid1.jpg

Raid 0

HDTune_Benchmark_IntelRaid0Volume.jpg

Raid 1

HDTune_Benchmark_IntelRaid1Volume.jpg

Intel Matrix Raid setup screen ! Watch out for those "Write Back Cache" which must be manually enabled !

Vol0.jpg

Vol1.jpg

The disks details ! Just incase you want to compare it with your firmware or serial(batch).

Drive0.jpg

Drive1.jpg

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So, 7200.9 250GB uses 2 platters 125GB each, while 7200.10 uses 2x160GB shortstroked. My 7200.9 makes around 70MB/s max STR, while your 7200.10s, make ~80. It seems Seagate migrates all the drives to denser platters :)

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K15, "That's why I would rather have a way of knowing what mode a drive was in and being able to change it. I just don't like "automatic accoustic management" unless I can CONTROL it."

AAM has to be end-user controllable, otherwise it's not AAM. It's the definition of AAM that requires end-user configurability. Factory preset acoustic settings are not AAM and therefore Seagate has removed all references to AAM from the specs.

K15, "I would love a drive with multiple modes also, then WHY doesn't Seagate DO that?!"

There's that speculation about some patent infridgement. http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=22990

Why doesn't Seagate find the way around the patent and create a new implementation of AAM? Or why don't they purchase a licence? They have the $$$.

The reason is probably that (according to rumours) the major OEMs might still have the possibility to order performance mode PATA and silent mode SATA drives (which are not available in retail (boxed or bare drive)). And it's the OEMs who are the primary source of income. Retail isn't that big market and most retail customers don't even know about AAM and other such features. Enthusiasts alone are not a big market (unless you're selling some very expensive equipment like Raptor X).

K15, "I have a U5 and a U6, they are just pathetic. I never used them as boot drives..."

I have... unfortunately. And I've confirmed that the drive does have about 20ms random access time in "performance" mode, like SR's old review on Testbed 2. In silent mode, random access is about 23ms. Back then Seagates still had AAM feature. (Not much use though, if there's no significant difference between the modes.)

K15, "All the while, the cache HAS to wait for it to seek."

Seek time will never become totally meaningless but a good cache implementation will significantly reduce the benefit of faster seeks. Good cache implementation reduces the number of seeks but it can never eliminate the seeking completely... not until it's completely SSD.

K15, "Good caching can reduce seeking, but does not eliminate it."

But it can make the effect of a minor 0.1 to 1ms difference in seek time pretty minimal to real-world performance in desktop environment. Of course there's still server environment where there is no substitute for fast seeks and where even average latency is of serious concern.

OK, I was admittedly confused as to what AAM exactly was. I got it now and it IS a good thing. As for seeks, it's likely true a 1ms seek difference won't make a huge difference for someone like me. To wrap this whole thing up, toast to the death of the U series, never to (hopefully) return :) When were those blasphemous drives discontinued anyhow?

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So, 7200.9 250GB uses 2 platters 125GB each, while 7200.10 uses 2x160GB shortstroked. My 7200.9 makes around 70MB/s max STR, while your 7200.10s, make ~80. It seems Seagate migrates all the drives to denser platters :)

And the 7200.8 had 2x133gb for 250gb w/ shortstroked platters some said, but who knows..... I benched my 7200.9 vs 7200.8 adn it was identical =(

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Guest 888

So, 7200.9 250GB uses 2 platters 125GB each, while 7200.10 uses 2x160GB shortstroked. My 7200.9 makes around 70MB/s max STR, while your 7200.10s, make ~80. It seems Seagate migrates all the drives to denser platters :)

And the 7200.8 had 2x133gb for 250gb w/ shortstroked platters some said, but who knows..... I benched my 7200.9 vs 7200.8 adn it was identical =(

133 vs 125 is so small difference that they really may give visually identical benchmarking results.

But I believe that 7200.9 250GB also uses 2 x 133GB shortstroked. Because of 133GB platters seem to be the whole industry's one of the standards today.

* BTW, even Western Digital's 400GB (WD4000YR, WD4000KD) seems to have 133GB platters! It is noted on the WD promotional graph (published also here: http://www.ixbt.com/storage/ata2005/wd4000/wd-vibration.png ) and this was really a surprise for me as in fact I thought this drive had 4 x 100GB platters (like SR review claims it to be) but now it's unclear if it has 4 x 133GB short-stroked or even 3 x 133GB platters...

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i've read a lot of posts indicating that some 7200.10 320gb drives had shortstroked platters from the bigger 400gb model...

the thing is that a member of a greek tech-forum (Thanks Unstoppable)

found this pdf which indicates that the 400gb model has Three platters and not two...

so what is really going on...

should we search the drives batch codes like cpu steppings???

is it plain luck?

or that was just uncofirmed rumours....

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and this was really a surprise for me as in fact I thought this drive had 4 x 100GB platters (like SR review claims it to be) but now it's unclear if it has 4 x 133GB short-stroked or even 3 x 133GB platters...

WD likes to change the platter densities of it's drives as technology evolves. I guess that's a reason why they don't tell you about the platter / head count in the product name. Perfect Example: the WD0400BB (?), the 40GB model. In the beginning it had 4 10 GB platters, now it uses a half 80GB platter.

So it seems logical that in the beginning the WD4000xx had 4 100GB platters, which was changed to 3 133 platters now due to increased availability. 4 133 GB platters shortstroked to 100GB wouldn't make sense.

MrS

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It is still theoretically impossible for the 400GB drive to have 2 platters, since max dencity achieved to date for seagate is 188GB per platter for its 750GB flagship ;)

The easy thing is to find out the number of platters in your seagate drive, ST3250824AS for instance. It has *MB cache, as indicated by the number 8 in the model number, and 2 platters from the number after that. The challenge is to know the density of the platters used and if they were shortstroked.

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It is still theoretically impossible for the 400GB drive to have 2 platters, since max dencity achieved to date for seagate is 188GB per platter for its 750GB flagship ;)

The easy thing is to find out the number of platters in your seagate drive, ST3250824AS for instance. It has *MB cache, as indicated by the number 8 in the model number, and 2 platters from the number after that. The challenge is to know the density of the platters used and if they were shortstroked.

according to the prementioned interpretation of the model numbers

you'd say that the ST3400620AS 400gb models have 2 platters...

correct?

but if you take a look at the Seagate spec pdf i posted before

you'll see that for the 400gb model it mentions 5 heads and three platters...

oh now i'm confused...

anyway..

it's too late for that now at least for me...

i already got my 4x320's

and setup the raid 5...

i just wanted to know what was really going on for future reference

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Guest 888

There are couple of Seagate drive models around which full code shows the platter count incorrect. One of these is just the 7200.10 400GB. There may be that they initially planned to release it on 2 platters but didn't get the 200GB platters into production and so were forced to use still 3 platters there. But the situation may change without any prior notice someday...

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My week-old 320GB Seagate ST3320620A (16MB PATA, China, SN: 5QF...) has a pretty annoying high-pitched idle whine. I own 8 x 250GB 7200.8 and 3 x 300GB 7200.9 drives, and this new one is easily the noisiest one I’ve purchased. Seeks are pretty much inaudible, as with almost all of my Seagate drives.

At 2 metres distance from two Antec SLK3700-BQE cases running 8 drives (on rubber grommets) 24x7, I can put up with a certain amount of spindle noise, but this one drive has noticably increased the noise to the limit of my tolerance. I’ll be looking to replace it with another of the same if I can test it first, otherwise I’ll just get a 300GB 7200.9. Mind you, the noise I’m talking about here is nothing compared to a drive that’s developed ball bearing whine. I’d need about 10 drives like this one to equal the grating noise from some of my old drives. It’s amazing how noisy they became before I realised there was a problem and started replacing them.

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My week-old 320GB Seagate ST3320620A (16MB PATA, China, SN: 5QF...) has a pretty annoying high-pitched idle whine. I own 8 x 250GB 7200.8 and 3 x 300GB 7200.9 drives, and this new one is easily the noisiest one I’ve purchased. Seeks are pretty much inaudible, as with almost all of my Seagate drives.

At 2 metres distance from two Antec SLK3700-BQE cases running 8 drives (on rubber grommets) 24x7, I can put up with a certain amount of spindle noise, but this one drive has noticably increased the noise to the limit of my tolerance. I’ll be looking to replace it with another of the same if I can test it first, otherwise I’ll just get a 300GB 7200.9. Mind you, the noise I’m talking about here is nothing compared to a drive that’s developed ball bearing whine. I’d need about 10 drives like this one to equal the grating noise from some of my old drives. It’s amazing how noisy they became before I realised there was a problem and started replacing them.

I know what youre talking about. I bought a 7200.10 320GB SATA and it had this VERY annoying whine/tone. It sounds sort of like the Television Test Chart screens (in Sweden), they test sound signals of different frequency (Hz). The actual idle sound of the drive was quiet like my T7K250 and more quiet than a Maxtor DM10 200GB currently residing in my computer (until the T7K500 is released...)

The seeks of the 7200.10 seemed quieter than my (now sold) 7200.7 120GB

Unfortunately I didnt write down the exakt serial # or model code before sending it back, the only thing I noticed was "Made in China".

This same whine/pure tone that my drive had, seems to be the same kind that SPCR's test sample of 7200.9 suffered from:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article283-page3.html

(half way down the page)

Johan

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Here's my performance graph. Wonder why there's that spike to 0MB/s maybe controller just did something else at the moment?

Areca ARC-1230 controller with 10x320Gb Seagates in Raid6. Processor Amd64 3500+

sata6.jpg

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Btw, the drives are as quiet as whisper (Used some rubber sheets cutted from bicycle tire between the hdd hotswap cage and the computer case) I'm very satisfied for the sound. Writes can barely be heard over 2x19dBa Nexus fans and a silent PSU & CPU cooler.

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hdman and dexton have either of you tried the drive out side a case?

Your experiences seem rather odd given our own.

I can either put it down to

1. Just a faulty drive

2. Natural harmonic of your case/environment amplifying the drive vibrations

Sold over 40 in the last month without any having annoying high pitched sounds, granted 12 were in a server with enough fan noise to drown any drive noise regardless of how loud they may have been.

Also WRT the Seagate PDF stating the 400GB 7200.10 is a 3 platter drive is probably incorrect/typo, Seagate often change model numbers within a series to indicate new/different features, so it's not as if they are shy about changing model numbers

Also as an observation, while then 7200.10 has been out for quite some time now, actual availability of the 200GB and 400GB models has been non existent here in Australia, all other sizes are readily available, perhaps there are some issues sourcing 200GB platters

Edited by czr

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My week-old 320GB Seagate ST3320620A (16MB PATA, China, SN: 5QF...) has a pretty annoying high-pitched idle whine. I own 8 x 250GB 7200.8 and 3 x 300GB 7200.9 drives, and this new one is easily the noisiest one I’ve purchased. Seeks are pretty much inaudible, as with almost all of my Seagate drives.

At 2 metres distance from two Antec SLK3700-BQE cases running 8 drives (on rubber grommets) 24x7, I can put up with a certain amount of spindle noise, but this one drive has noticably increased the noise to the limit of my tolerance.

I know what youre talking about. I bought a 7200.10 320GB SATA and it had this VERY annoying whine/tone. It sounds sort of like the Television Test Chart screens (in Sweden), they test sound signals of different frequency (Hz).
hdman and dexton have either of you tried the drive out side a case? Your experiences seem rather odd given our own.

I can either put it down to

1. Just a faulty drive

2. Natural harmonic of your case/environment amplifying the drive vibrations

Or 3) Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB actually is a noisy drive.

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...pic=22660&st=89

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My week-old 320GB Seagate ST3320620A (16MB PATA, China, SN: 5QF...) has a pretty annoying high-pitched idle whine. I own 8 x 250GB 7200.8 and 3 x 300GB 7200.9 drives, and this new one is easily the noisiest one I’ve purchased. Seeks are pretty much inaudible, as with almost all of my Seagate drives.

At 2 metres distance from two Antec SLK3700-BQE cases running 8 drives (on rubber grommets) 24x7, I can put up with a certain amount of spindle noise, but this one drive has noticably increased the noise to the limit of my tolerance.

I know what youre talking about. I bought a 7200.10 320GB SATA and it had this VERY annoying whine/tone. It sounds sort of like the Television Test Chart screens (in Sweden), they test sound signals of different frequency (Hz).
hdman and dexton have either of you tried the drive out side a case? Your experiences seem rather odd given our own.

I can either put it down to

1. Just a faulty drive

2. Natural harmonic of your case/environment amplifying the drive vibrations

Or 3) Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB actually is a noisy drive.

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...pic=22660&st=89

I think what your missing is the perplexing question. There are several people who have stated it's very noisy and several people who have stated it's not noisy. While it's possible these people just don't notice or don't care about the noise, it's also easily possible there is something more complex going on.

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Too late by the time I realised I wanted to add this.

So while it's possible all 7200.10 are noisy, IMHO option 4 is more likely then option 3.

4) There is natural variation in the noise level of the 7200.10 due to unknown causes. This variation is not considered a fault by Seagate.

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Since I have 4x 320GB 7200.10 I tough I'd hook them all and see if these is a variation in the noise output

1. I tested the drive in a near SILENT room

2. The power supply I used was fanless and totally silent

3. Drive were place on foam pad to minimise vibration/resonance

4. Sound instrument : my frikken ear, from about 0.5m away. BTW I can hear that annoying "Mosquito" ring tone for Mobile phones, so my hearing is quite reasonable.

5. No drive seeks were involved as the drives were NOT connected to a computer

Drive 1

Date Code : 6522

Firmware : 3.AAC

Site Code : WU

Product of China

Result : near silent

Drive 2

Date Code : 6522

Firmware : 3.AAC

Site Code : WU

Product of China

Result : very slight high pitch whine

Drive 3

Date Code : 6527

Firmware : 3.AAC

Site Code : AMK

Product of Singapore

Result : near silent

Drive 4

Date Code : 6527

Firmware : 3.AAC

Site Code : AMK

Product of Singapore

Result : near silent

I wanted to investigate what could be causing one of the drive to be different, could it be just normal manufacturing variations or was it something else.

Upon close inspection I noticed one of the drives had a different "Drive Spindle Motor" and I bet you can guess which one it was.

Silent motor Silent.jpg

Not-Silent motor Not-Silent.jpg

I've got to stress that there is no way I would have been able to pick up the noise difference in our workshop, the background noise is just not LOW enough

So I'm pretty confident (99%) that the mystery is solved

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So I'm pretty confident (99%) that the mystery is solved

nice findings m8...

have you also tested the disks seperately for performance?

could there be a performance impact due to different motors?

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Just bought the 200 GB version.

Read Max. 77 MB/s

Read Min. 42 MB/s

Avg Read. 62.2 MB/s

So, which platter is used for 200GB ?

Does it use single 200GB plater ?

Some people here got 69-70MB/s for their 320GB.

Shouldn't I get higher than 62MB/s if it is really single plater ?

I have 7200.9 250GB, and it is a little slower.

Read Max. 71.3 MB/s

Read Min. 35.8 MB/s

Avg Read. 55.4 MB/s

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All of my 7200.10 320GB have the "silent motor" mentioned above. My problem is not high sound from the motors, but rather the high seek noise. But the funny this is that the seek noise actually has become less audible after some weeks of usage. Maybe it`s only my imagination? but I really belive the drives was noisyer when I first got them :blink:

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All of my 7200.10 320GB have the "silent motor" mentioned above. My problem is not high sound from the motors, but rather the high seek noise. But the funny this is that the seek noise actually has become less audible after some weeks of usage. Maybe it`s only my imagination? but I really belive the drives was noisyer when I first got them :blink:

It's not your imagination, it's more likely the way that the human brain works.

Yes I've found seeks on the 7200.10 SATA 16MB versions to be louder then the older models, fortunately seek speed also appear to have improved by about 0.8ms - 1.0ms from my own testing

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