I'm looking to see if anybody has any suggestions for the problem that I am seeing. I just built up a new box with a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev 1.1 motherboard. Right from the factory, it was running the F9 BIOS which is the latest version available. In this computer, I'm running a brand new Seagate 7200.12 1TB hard drive.
Regardless of how I configure or run this computer (Windows 7 or Vista..both 64-bit), using the Intel ICH10R or the Jmicron (gigabyte purple) SATA ports, with or without the motherboard chipset drivers and SATA drivers, in IDE mode or AHCI mode, I get great throughput results (90-100MB/s), but terrible access times.
The PROBLEM is that the hard drive access time is always been 25-35ms....rather than the 15ms times where it should be.
I've moved this hard drive over to another computer and have tested with HDTune there as well and it was 98.5MB/s with an access time of 15.1ms....which is exactly what I would expect. So, I think that clearly the problem is NOT with the hard drive, but rather the GA-EP45-UD3R motherboard. I even switched out the SATA cables that I was using on the new computer...and re-used the cable that I tested with on the other computer and the same problem persisted.
I should mention that aside from seeing this number in benchmarks, the performance of the machine seems just fine...
Anybody seen this, got any BIOS setting suggestions or do I just have a bum mobo here? I have started up an email ticket with Gigabyte to see if they have any ideas.
Bilbat: Thanks I will check out that link and see if there is anything in it which might help me.
Daship: I guess it's possible that indexing could be running. I am testing with 2 OS's which Index (Vista and Win7) and I am primarily testing right after an OS install or after boot up.
With regards to write caching, it is enabled on the drive. And I am getting really good speeds overall with the drive, consistently between 90-100MB/s with a single SATA drive with burst speed around 170MB/s....it's just the access time to the hard drive which is causing me concern. With the HDTune test, you can see consistent performance and then numerous drops during the test. However, when I tested the same exact drive on another machine the test was consistent and no drop offs.
I would suggest you dont use it when testing. Use another drive to boot up OS in and then test it.
While not having the drive in use while testing is optimal....I wouldn't think it would be necessary. For example, people post results of their HD performance all of the time, especially when they are doing a 4 X SSD drive in a RAID0 array.....I would expect that they are actually using the drive.
I am going to "borrow" a drive from work for some testing...so I will put an OS on this drive and can run my Seagate as a secondary to see what happens.
Well, it seems that the problem is a combination of the hard drive and my motherboard together.
I got a 160GB Seagate 7200.10 hard drive from work...which when tested 4 times at work averaged 16.1ms access time on a Dell GX755 workstation. I put it into my case, installed Win7 64-bit and tested with HDTune and my average access time was 16.1ms.
I went back and tested my 1TB Seagate 7200.12 as a secondary hard drive (not running the OS) and my access time was 24.9ms. So, it's off to get a different hard drive for Windows to run from and save this Seagate for other tasks.
I'm assuming you've checked to see if this might be one of the Seagates with the 'ditzed up' firmware; I don't think I've seen discussion of it causing seek timing problems specifically, but the story just seems to get deeper and deeper as it develops! I got two 1.5s, that were in a piece of molded foam formed holder that I thought was just 'cut off' the block of twenty from Seagate - one had bad firmware, the other was fine (unless NewEgg just stuck two random ones into a piece of foam 'laying around')...
I'm not aware of firmware problems with the 7200.12 versions...just the 7200.11's. I'm not seeing anything at all regarding this drive and firmware on the Seagate site. And like I said, it works just fine with results that I expect on my other computer. And the other computer could use an upgrade in terms of storage size anyway. It's currently a dual boot with 320GB hard drive.
What software are you using to test your drives? I have several and will test them tonight if I can. I have almost all Seagate from 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB not to mention some older 20GB, 40GB, 80GB, and 120GB. Plenty of drives to build a database!
I think I have HD Tach and SiSoft Sandra which will create some reliable benchmarks.
Two drives so far, ST3500320AS (500GB SATA) and ST3750640AS (750GB SATA) and both gave me 13ms access times.
The transfer rates between them were different (28.2MB/s - 110.3MB/s for the 500 with 81.1MB/s average, and 39.3MB/s-69.3MB/s for the 750 with 66.3MB/s average) as were the burst rates (160MB/s & 148MB/s).
So the seek times are lower than 25ms for sure. I did not remember to check the BIOS settings or anything else so I'll have to do that tonight. Sorry.
I should point out that a quick check of the specs shows that these two drives have average seek times of < 8.5ms so I am getting HDTune reporting double those values much like you are getting.
So this requires a bit more investigation to see 1) if there's a problem, 2) HDTune is reporting an incorrect value.
Ok, here's my update using both HD Tune and SiSoft Sandra (which ended up providing the same numbers)
Western Digital 120GB #1 19.7ms
Western Digital 120GB #2 13.5ms
Seagate 120GB 16.2ms
Seagate 500GB 13.1ms
Seagate 750GB 13.4ms
Seagate 1TB 15.3ms
Seagate 1.5TB 13.5ms
All of these numbers are roughly double the stated values in the specs for each drive. I am not sure what that indicates; either an oddity in how the benchmarks take place, or a theoretical manufacturer's value versus actual real life performance. Mind you all drives have data on them.
So, the Seagate values are definitely roughly half of what you are seeing.
The 500GB and 750GB drives are internal SATA, the 1TB and 1.5TB drives are eSATA and the remainder are external USB IDE drives.
I have more drives in other computers but would probably come up with similar results.
That's it for now. I'd have to check settings next to let you know what I have to compare to your own.
I've faced the same problem. I dont think it is caused by the hard drive. I've installed Windows 7 (64 bit) and it tooks a very very very long time to finish installed the OS. I've compare with my other pc Pentium D... and Pentium D mainboard with 2Gb of ram and 80Gb IDE HDD way way way faster than EP45-UD3R mainboard with 8Gb of ram and 80Gb SATA HDD. This problem also happened to my previous EP45-UD3L(i've changed EP45-UD3L to EP45-UD3R). Is this problem occured to all EP45 mainboard series? Is there any solution for this problem?