Guest 888

Weird problem in Seagate 7200.10 (SATA) firmware

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Guest 888

Just forwarding an information received from computer maintenance people:

The newest batches of Seagate 320GB SATA300 drives with .AAK firmware read 52MB/s max (if to test with HDtune) or 70MB/s max (if to test with HDtach). The STR characteristic is just flat for them from beginning until to the point where it normally drops around 52MB/s (or 70MB/s) and from there to the end it follows the STR characteristic curve of normal drive.

But the same drives with older .AAE firmware give fully normal STR characteristic, starting from about 80 MB/s and then the nice curve is going on just like we have normally used to see it.

There were several HDDs of both firmware versions tested, also tested on different computers, too. From other internet forums I found also similar problems with 7200.10 500GB version (just same firmwares). However it's weird that HDtune and HDtach give so different results (but anyway both indicate just like there's a speed limitter turned on) but in fact these .AAK drives were noticeably slower also in real applications, in example file copying. Unfortunately I did not ask which exact chipsets and controllers they used on these test computers (so this problem may very well be related to some compatibility between the drive and some chipsets) but anyway if AAE firmware never had such problems then there still must be something wrong in AAK firmware now...

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How new is the AAK exactly if it's newer than the AAE? I ask because I just bought a 7200.10 320GB PATA, and when checking its warranty the date came back March 10, 2010, which means it was made less than a month ago (date code of 07283, whatever that means).

The firmware? AAE.

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Ok I have that seagate drive, 320gb, with firmware 3.AAK and i get approximately what Kaleid had on the HD tune test. My other Seagate 320 has firmware 3.AAC and is much faster as 888 said in his post. It sucks that Seagate would do this to their drives. :angry:

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However it's weird that HDtune and HDtach give so different results (but anyway both indicate just like there's a speed limitter turned on) but in fact these .AAK drives were noticeably slower also in real applications, in example file copying.

HDTune often gives lower performance than HDTach, because it uses 32 KiB access size instead of HDTach's 64 KiB access size. Seagate firmware in the past has had issues with small-sized sequential reads (likely smaller than these; I don't recall exactly), so it might be interesting to see what the pattern is with a number of different access sizes.

Just an FYI, this problem obviously goes beyond just the choice of benchmarking tools / sizes.

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weird, very weird.

I planned to buy a 7200.10 500gb for backup but I may change my mind now. It is still the cheapest of its size but this performance cap really sucks.

And the most important aspect of a backup drive is of course performance?

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weird, very weird.

I planned to buy a 7200.10 500gb for backup but I may change my mind now. It is still the cheapest of its size but this performance cap really sucks.

And the most important aspect of a backup drive is of course performance?

Yes but seagate should not reduce the performance because the reputation has been established. Its dishonest.

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