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.
- Three And 4 TB Hard Drives For Your Digital Lifestyle
- 3 TB: Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 (HDS5C3030ALA630)
- 3 TB: Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 (HDS723030ALA640)
- 3 TB: Seagate Barracuda (ST3000DM001)
- 3 TB: Seagate Barracuda XT (ST3300651AS)
- 3 TB: Western Digital Caviar Green (WD30EZRX)
- 4 TB: Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 (HDS5C4040ALE360)
- Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 (HDS724040ALE640)
- Test Setup And Comparison Table
- Benchmark Results: Transfer Diagrams
- Benchmark Results: Interface And Throughput
- Benchmark Results: Access Times And 4 KB Random I/O
- Benchmark Results: I/O Workloads
- Benchmark Results: PCMark 7
- Benchmark Results: Temperature And Power Consumption
- Capacity Marches Forward, Commands A Premium