iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

Fall 2001 SCSI HDD (10000 RPM) Roundup

November 14, 2001



The last large roundup of SCSI discs was published the last summer. Unfortunately, far not all manufacturers often launch new models of the high-end class. We waited a year for new products from the giants. And as we can't wait any longer we think it is high time to reestimate the leaders in these sphere.

Today we are going to consider leaders in the 10K RPM class and one model of the 15K RPM class from Seagate. Unfortunately, its close competitors from IBM and Fujitsu are not available yet.

First come the specifications:

  Fujitsu
MAN3xxx
IBM
Ultrastar 73LZX
IBM
Ultrastar 36LZX
Maxtor
Atlas 10k III
Seagate
Cheetah 36XL
Seagate
Cheetah 73LP
Seagate
Cheetah 36ES
Seagate
Cheetah X15 36LP
Capacities (GB)
18.4
36.7
73.5
9.1
18.3
36.7
73.4
9.1
18.3
36.7
18.4
36.7
73.4
9.2
18.4
36.7
73.4
18.4
36.9
18.4
36.7
Heads
2/4/8
2/3/6/12
3/6/12
2/4/8
2/4/8
8
2/4
4/8
GB/Head
9.2
6.1
3.0
9.2
4.6
9.2
9.2
4.6
RPM
10025
10000
10000
10000
10022
10041
10000
15000
Seek Time Average (ms)
4.5
4.9
4.9
4.5
5.4
4.7
5.2
3.6
Average Latency (ms)
-
3.00
2.99
3.0
2.99
2.99
2.99
2
Internal Data Rate (Mb/sec)
416-651
376-697
280-452
350-622
320-490
399-671
520-682
522-709
Sustained Throughput (MB/sec)
-
30-58
21-36
33-55
31-50
38-64
49-63
51-69
Buffer Size (MB)
8
4
4
8
4
4
4
8
Interface
Ultra160
Ultra160
Ultra320
Ultra160
Ultra160
Ultra320
Ultra160
Ultra160
Ultra160
Ultra320
Ultra160
Ultra320
Height (inches)
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
Sound Power (Bels, Idle)
-
3.7/3.4/3.4/3.4
-
3.1/3.4/3.6
3.8
3.6
3.2
3.5
Typical Power Draw (W, Idle)
7.0/7.5/9.5
6.7/6.7/7.4/9.5
8.5/9.7/12.9
10
7.5/8/9.6
10.2
8.5
10.5/11.5

It is quite difficult to compare hard drives bearing in mind only their specs as every company has its own methods for measuring different parameters. And the only comparable values are dimensions, volume and weight :)

As you can see, Seagate has the greatest number of models. A figure in their names means the maximum capacity in the series and letters mean generations: without letter, LP, XL, ES. Earlier, speed characteristics of the series of different capacity were almost equal, for example, 18LX ~ 36 LP ~ 73, but starting from 36XL/36ES/73LP it isn't so. And since the 73LP series much differs from the 36XL one we have added one model of this series to the tested 36 GBytes discs.

The Cheetah X15 36LP discs belong to the second generation of 15K RPM HDDs from Seagate.

We failed to find drives from the last 10K RPM series of IBM - Ultrastar 73LZX, and from the Seagate 36ES series. But we promise we'll update the review as soon as we get them.

Tests

Test platform:

  • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800EB
  • Mainboard: ASUS CUSL2-LS (i815, Adaptec 7899 Ultra160)
  • Memory: 256 MBytes PC133 SDRAM
  • Video: integrated (i815)
  • System disc: IBM DTLA-307015
  • OS: Windows 2000 Pro SP2

Hard Disc Drives:

  • Fujitsu MAN3xxx: MAN3367MC
  • IBM Ultrastar 36LZX: DDYS-T36950
  • Maxtor Atlas 10k III: KW36J11
  • Seagate Cheetah 36XL: ST336705LW
  • Seagate Cheetah 73LP: ST373405LW
  • Seagate Cheetah X15 36LP: ST336752LW

Here are the participants:

MAN3367MC

DDYS-T36950

KW36J11

ST336705LW

ST373405LW

ST336752LW

The Cheetah 73LP drive has almost the same PCB as in the first Cheetah X15 series. But the second generation - Cheetah X15 36LP has a new motor and a completely redesigned layout (only the flash memory under the firmware hasn't changed its size).

Tests:

  • ZDLabs Winbench 99 1.2
  • HDTach 2.61
  • Intel IOMeter

For the Winbench the discs had one partition of FAT32 and NTFS. For all other programs any information on partitions was deleted. The Winbench and HDTach tests were carried 3 times, and the results were averaged. The operating time of one pattern at each load in the IOMeter was set to 10 min.

Access time

All three tests were used to measure an access time. For the IOMeter we used the "Average Response Time" as a result for the pattern of 100% random reading with "Queue Depth" equal to 1.

On the whole, the results obtained by different programs are similar, and for the WinBench 99 and HDTach the Cheetah 73LP and Cheetah X15 36LP drives have scored identical results.

The aging Ultrastar 36LZX is still able to fight against the fifth generation of the Seagate Cheetah (36XL and 73LP). But it is too weak for a struggle against the latest models from Fujitsu and Maxtor. The latter ones show almost equal results in these tests. The Cheetah X15 36LP is of course leading. By the way, as compared to the G1 15K RPM discs of Seagate the average access time is now better by 12%!

Linear reading speed

The HD Tach gives the average results:

These results were expected as we knew the recording density data. The discs with the 9.2 GBytes per side density have the closest results.

The detailed graphs over the whole disc surface are obtained with the Winbench program (percentage of a disc size is plotted off the X axis):

The IBM is falling behind preceded by the Cheetah 36XL with a low density of 4.6 GBytes per side. The leader is, of course, the Cheetah X15 36LP. It is interesting that the other discs have very similar results. If we take into account almost equal access times of the Fujitsu and Maxtor, the integer tests will reveal the gain caused by the firmware optimization. As this past of a disc is hidden from a user, there can be a lot of interesting algorithms.

Winbench Integer Performance

Despite quite good results in the previous tests the Fujitsu MAN3367MC failed to catch up with the group of Atlas 10k III, Cheetah 36XL and Cheetah 73LP.

Here the Fujitsu disc has got closer to the Cheetah 73LP, while the Maxtor Atlas 10K III has broken away from its 10K RPM contestants from Seagate and is doing its best to beat the Cheetah X15 36LP.

Intel IOMeter

The IOMeter tests are carried out with the Fileserver, Workstation and Database patterns. The load parameter - "# of Outstanding I/Os" is plotted off the X axis.

If we exclude the Cheetah X15 36LP as a player of another class, we get a new leader - Fujitsu MAN3367FC. Earlier this drive yielded to the Atlas 10k III, and now it takes a 3-5% lead in the Workstation test and even 10-12% in the File Server and at a heavy load.

The Cheetah 36XL and Ultrastar 36LZX come the last, though the gap is not great.

Temperature

The temperature was measured by an external digital device on the side panel of the hard drive after 30- min. operation of the IOMeter test with the random reading pattern.

The Fujitsu MAN3367MC and Maxtor Atals 10K III shine in this test as well.

Conclusion

Although Seagate is leading an aggressive policy other companies do not give up. The long-awaited Maxtor Atlas 10K III performed quite well, especially in the integrated ZDLabs tests. This disc was announced in Q1 2001 and is of the third generation of 10K RPM discs from Quantum. It should be noted that reorganization of Quantum and Maxtor caused delays in delivery of this model, but it still successfully competes against the latest products from Seagate.

Fujitsu keeps on producing high-quality products. The MAN3xxx series is the fifth generation of 10K RPM drives of this company. And in the IOMeter tests it takes the leading position in its class.

Seagate is a confident leader in technologies. Among its products there is the fastest disc of 15K RPM - Cheetah X15 36LP. It is the second generation of X15 discs which beats the first one by 12% in the access time and by 50%(!) in linear reading speed. This company has also a disc of the largest capacity - Barracuda 180; although it belongs to the 7200 RPM class it is able to fight against junior models of Cheetah.

And now we are waiting for IBM to launch its 10K RPM Ultrastar 73LZX model and one of the first competitors against the Cheetah X15 - Ultrastar 36Z15.

Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Article navigation:



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.