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Test results of the patterns imitating the small and large file copy procedure can be fit into a single small summary graph (see above). But to my mind, a diagram will be more illustrative (see below).
Large file copy imitation offers similar results for all contenders, except for the 180GXP — the difference between the 7K250 and the 7K400 is just a couple of percents for the 7K250, though the 7K400 loses more in quiet seek mode — 4%. But the difference between Hitachi hard disks grows in the imitation of small file copy procedure — both 7K250 models are positive leaders (SATA is again a tad faster due to a larger buffer, while UATA is faster with larger request queue). The old 180GXP even outscored the new 7K400 models, getting generally on a par with them in performance in these tasks.
If we average the results of the previous patterns geometrically (reading, writing, and copying large and small files) with two queue depths (1 and 64), we get the picture shown on the diagram above this paragraph: both Deskstar 7K250 models are the leaders "by total scores" (the senior one is a tad faster than the junior with four times as small buffer and slower interface), which outscore both 7K400 series hard disks by approximately 10% (SATA model turned out a tad faster). Frankly speaking, such noticeable gap between the novices and their direct "forefathers" cannot be written off to the increased seek time and number of platters. All the more – to the 10% lag in linear read speed in the platter middle. Perhaps, the reason is in modified firmware procedures (as we have seen above, they do not always lead to performance gains). As a result, in these consumer patterns the 7K400 models are only 5-6% ahead of the former hero — the senior hard disk from the Vancouver 2 series (180GXP). Though it did not best them even in the quiet seek mode.
The remaining several patterns only confirm the logic discovered above.
In defragmentation imitation "the old guys" are again out of reach of the new hard disks from the 7K400 series, and the quiet seek losses are noticeable.
And finally, the pattern of streaming read/write with large or small blocks discounts the differences between the hard disks, granting the podium of honour to Kurofune models at least for some time.