Every user can answer this question easily : turn your PC or notebook on, and you’ll notice that most of the waiting is caused by the hard drive pushing data into the main memory while Windows or another operating system is launching. While the time needed to boot into the operating system has decreased considerably over the last few years - thanks in part to BIOS optimizations - and some systems now start in as little as 15-20 seconds, this is still the main bottleneck that prevents a really smooth computer experience.
We don’t want to wait 30 or more seconds for our PCs to be ready. Nor do we want to wait 20 seconds for our favorite applications to be launched. And we should not have to accept that it can even take seconds for applications just to close !
Another important issue is backup : if it takes forever to read or write data on a hard drive, the time consumed by backup and data replication procedures will increase for even ordinary amounts of everyday data. While it was certainly possible to copy the data off an 850 MB hard drive onto another medium within few minutes, securing your audio, video and photo database will certainly take much more time today.
|Processor(s)||2x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core)
3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 cache
|Platform||Asus NCL-DS (Socket 604)
Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
|RAM||Corsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.)
2x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
|System Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB
120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100
|Mass Storage Controller(s)||Intel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)
Silicon Image Sil3124, PCI-X
|Networking||Broadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC|
|Graphics Card||On-Board Graphics
ATI RageXL, 8 MB
|Performance Measurements||c’t h2benchw 3.6|
|I/O Performance||IOMeter 2003.05.10
|System Software & Drivers|
|OS||Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Service Pack 1|
|Platform Driver||Intel Chipset Installation Utility 188.8.131.525|
|Graphics Driver||Default Windows Graphics Driver|
- Where Has All The Power Gone?
- Hard Drives: 40 MB To 750 GB - 3,500 To 10,000 RPM
- Moving To FAT32 And UltraATA/33: Quantum Fireball ST3.2A (1996)
- 512 kB Cache: IBM DTTA-351010 (1998)
- Quick & Quiet: Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (2003)
- Areal Density Analysis
- Performance Analysis
- Time Required To Write A Full Platter
- Why Is Hard Drive Performance Crucial?
- Test Results