KAL001

Seagate 7200.12 - real performance (64bit, Linux, Windows)

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Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 driver hit the market few months ago. I have seen many benches showed, these new 500GB-platter-design HDDs are on par with older 334GB-platter WD drives, or even worse, when it comes to multitasking and I/O performance. But, comparing reviews I found out one interesting thing. Techreport review was base on 32bit obsolete WinXP system and the conclusion was negative. On the other hand, Bit-tech.net result and conclusions were positive and their test system was based on Vista x64. Although these reviews are not fully comparable, some of the drives and tests were the same.

Example:

http://www.techreport.com/r.x/seagate-barr...2/time-boot.gif

http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/3612/bittechboot.png

http://www.techreport.com/r.x/seagate-barr...-create-mp3.gif

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/2871/fcbittechmp3.png

So. What is the real-world performance of latest 7200.12 drives? I'm interested especially in 64bit Linux environment, but 64bit Windows experience is welcome too.

Edited by KAL001

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Why I can't edit my first post? I was allowed to correct one mistake, and then, the button "edit" disappeared. So I can't correct keying mistake like 7200.12 driver -> 7200.12 drives and so on.... :(

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Those benchmarks show pretty much the same thing-- identical performance or close enough to the previous 7200.11 1.5TB (500GB/platter). Boot times are deeply affected by the rest of the system including the disk controller so those are even less comparable between testbeds (which are not comparable at all to start with).

Notice the bit-tech review doesn't really compare it to any other 7200rpm disks, which changes the perspective somewhat.

As far as "real world performance", well, the Seagate 7200.xx lineup has been pretty much the slowest of all of the contemporary drives from the competition (for desktop use) for the past couple of generations, and the 7200.12 doesn't change anything.

FWIW, editing window here is limited to 5 or 10 minutes to prevent abuse (we've seen it rampant on other forums).

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Those benchmarks show pretty much the same thing-- identical performance or close enough to the previous 7200.11 1.5TB (500GB/platter). Boot times are deeply affected by the rest of the system including the disk controller so those are even less comparable between testbeds (which are not comparable at all to start with).Notice the bit-tech review doesn't really compare it to any other 7200rpm disks, which changes the perspective somewhat

I am not comparing between two sites. Let's have a look at those results. On Techreport (WXP 32bit), Barracuda felt behind Samsung F1 (this drive can be found in both reviews), but on Bit-Tech (Vista 64bit) Barracuda was noticeably faster than F1, close to the Velociraptor. Samsung F1 and 7200.11 could be reference drives to make some comparison.

As far as "real world performance", well, the Seagate 7200.xx lineup has been pretty much the slowest of all of the contemporary drives from the competition (for desktop use) for the past couple of generations, and the 7200.12 doesn't change anything.

Exept 10k and 15k SAS drives, I don't see any noticeable great product from Seagate. Baracuda ES 7200rpm SATA/SAS are known as slow and deffective. So which 7200/5900 Seagate drives are better than competition?

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Different hardware, different OS, different benchmarks. I wouldn't worry about it. Enough sites (Anandtech, Xbitlabs, Techreport, Storagereview) have all found current Seagate Barracudas to be relatively slow in single-user benchmarks vs. the competition...

o which 7200/5900 Seagate drives are better than competition?
By what measure? if it's performance, well, the answer is in front of you, probably none of them. :P

If it's by compatibility and NCQ implenentation quality, well, then you might be better off with a Seagate, but that's hard to say in a most general sense.

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Different hardware, different OS, different benchmarks. I wouldn't worry about it. Enough sites (Anandtech, Xbitlabs, Techreport, Storagereview) have all found current Seagate Barracudas to be relatively slow in single-user benchmarks vs. the competition...

I did not see any 7200.12 review on Anandtech and Storagereview yet. Xbitlabs revew rates 7200.12 more positive. But they test this drive in addition on first 32GB partition which is the real situation - almost everybody has OS on first partition - and on those first 32GB Seagate beats Caviar Black due to the higher density.

If it's by compatibility and NCQ implenentation quality, well, then you might be better off with a Seagate, but that's hard to say in a most general sense.

This sounds to me like an "urban legend" little bit. I have seen many statements, that Seagate NCQ implementation is better (this thread), unfortunately none of them came with some sufficient proof. And, in multiuser environment test on the web, Seagate drives loose with WD...

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I have just shared my experiences about 5 Seagate 7200.12 1TB drives over at SPCR.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewt...p=472121#472121

In short 2 out of 5 were bad, one drive had bad sectors as it arrived, an other one had very crazy write caching issues and with the remaining 3 the performance was _really_ different between the drives depending on the firmwares:

CC34 firmware -> seek 14.5 ms (and AAM disabled)

CC35 firmware -> seek 13.5 ms (and AAM Max Performance)

CC44 firmware -> seek 18.5-19.5 ms (and AAM Balanced Performance (208))

I think it's really a nonsense to produce drives with such high failure rates and with so much difference between batches. Just imaging building a performance RAID array from the drives above (35% difference in seek times!) I think that's why the different review sites have different results about the same drive.

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I have just shared my experiences about 5 Seagate 7200.12 1TB drives over at SPCR.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewt...p=472121#472121

In short 2 out of 5 were bad, one drive had bad sectors as it arrived, an other one had very crazy write caching issues and with the remaining 3 the performance was _really_ different between the drives depending on the firmwares:

CC34 firmware -> seek 14.5 ms (and AAM disabled)

CC35 firmware -> seek 13.5 ms (and AAM Max Performance)

CC44 firmware -> seek 18.5-19.5 ms (and AAM Balanced Performance (208))

I think it's really a nonsense to produce drives with such high failure rates and with so much difference between batches. Just imaging building a performance RAID array from the drives above (35% difference in seek times!) I think that's why the different review sites have different results about the same drive.

I wanted to add my input on my experience with the CC44 firmware. Working in IT and being the person who determines what hardware we order for our desktops, laptops and upgrades/replacement parts I am pretty lucky because I get to research alot of different stuff, get it in, test it and then if it sucks kick it to the curb, since me and my IT department has a great relationship with CDW who is out primary vendor for hardware I can pretty much RMA things with no questions asked.

For a while now I have been making RAID1 standard on all of our HP xw4600 and xw8600 workstations, these workstations come with a single 250 GB Seagate 7200.10 drive, not a bad drive and very reliable in what I have seen as very few have failed. It gets about 80 MB/s Average Reads in HDTach and has a 16 MB cache (most drives this size only have 8 MB). Well when seagate stopped selling this drive I had to come up with a replacement so we could keep the RAID going on our machines and the new 7200.12 250 GB only had 8 MB of cache. So I started ordering 320 GB 7200.12 drives with 16 MB of cache. Some machines have a 250 GB and a 320 GB in RAID1, others have 2 320s or 2 250s. They all seem to play nice together and I have no had any of the drives in these arrays fail on me yet!

Anyway I will cut to the firmware part, I really never paid TOO much attention to drive firmware as some people do, however after the whole 7200.11 fiasco and reading quite a bit about the 7200.10 AAK firmware I have started to pay close attention to it and I always try to RAID drives with the same firmware, bench drives with different FW to see the differences if any, ect.

Skip to this morning, a nice large shipment of hardware that I have been awaiting from CDW came in, this included 4 320 GB Seagate 7200.12 drives. Eager to see what FW they were packing I cracked them open and to my surprise I see a number I have yet to see before, CC44. Prior to this most of out drives have been either CC35 (Thailand made) or CC37 (China Made) so seeing this new CC44 was a shock. I immediately wondered if it was any better than CC37 or if there was no difference. After some Google searches I came across quite a few threads, many that you had posted with this info about the stats being very similar but the seek times being sky high. I thought for sure you had a case of really bad luck because I could not imagine a drive with that high of a seek time.

Now I have never benched the CC35 V.S. the CC37 but today I first benched the CC37 and it had numbers like I expected, I don't have them in front of me but it was something like 14ms seek, 91 Aver Read and 222 burst speed. Now the CC44 on the other hand was identical except the seek was 17.9 ms, I ran it again and it was 17.8. I was amazed, I am not sure what is going on with this firmware but I am going to be keeping an eye on these drives. I will also see if real world performance is noticeably slower at all.

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