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Benchmark Results: Access Times And 4 KB Random I/O

Hitachi's 4 TB Hard Drives Take On The 3 TB Competition
By , Achim Roos

Access Time

Hard drive access times do not improve much generationally. Typically, access times are limited by the hardware's ability to relocate read and write heads. 

You want a system drive able to access data quickly, which is why even smaller SSDs are perfect for hosting operating systems and frequently-used apps. As far as typical storage applications go, it doesn't matter much whether a given disk achieves 15 or 18 ms accesses.

4 KB Random I/O

One of the most important I/O benchmarks is a drive’s ability to handle 4 KB random I/O activity. Memory pages typically have a 4 KB size and hard drive sector sizes moved from 512 bytes to 4 KB, making this block size important.

Although we see significant differences between the various drives and their performance in 4 KB random I/O, the results remain outright pathetic compared to modern SSDs, many of which push tens of thousands of IOPS. Again, we can only conclude that these high-capacity drives are best for pure storage applications.

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