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PCMark Vantage Application Performance

Hard Drives, Yesterday And Today: From 500 GB To 1.5 TB
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The application load benchmark shows clearly that the newer drive provides better performance, regardless of its capacity or rotation speed.

The gaming benchmark involves handling lots of smaller files, hence the 7,200 RPM Spinpoint T166 is more suitable here. However, the two other drives were not designed to host applications requiring maximum performance.

The Windows Vista startup benchmark might be relevant for those who intend to run one of the three drives as a system drive. Clearly, the older Spinpoint T166 with its 7,200 RPM is the quickest; however, the F2 EG is close behind.

And the winner is the Spinpoint F2 EG, which delivers the best overall HDD score in PCMark Vantage.

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  • 2 Hide
    doomtomb , June 11, 2009 6:14 AM
    Quote:
    Hard drives
    have now reached the 2,000 GB (2 TB) capacity level, and performance has been steadily going up as well. Hard drive makers have finally incorporated power consumption into their design decisions, making modern hard drives not only bigger and faster, but also more efficient when looked at either from a performance per watt or capacity per watt standpoint.

    That's damn incredible
  • 0 Hide
    wveth , June 11, 2009 8:06 AM
    Nice review. However, I'm not interested in efficient HDD, just want big drives that perform.
  • -1 Hide
    Balshoy , June 11, 2009 9:09 AM
    wvethNice review. However, I'm not interested in efficient HDD, just want big drives that perform.


    Just what I said after reading it :D ... think SUV's with race car engines... or even better 18 wheel trailer trucks with space shuttle engines :p 
  • -9 Hide
    rangers641 , June 11, 2009 9:48 AM
    ha, why not have performance & energy efficiency. It doesn't make sense to discount drive efficiency. If everyone across the US used 63W drives instead of 100W drives, then we could significantly decrease our carbon footprint.
  • 1 Hide
    Snipergod87 , June 11, 2009 11:09 AM
    rangers641ha, why not have performance & energy efficiency. It doesn't make sense to discount drive efficiency. If everyone across the US used 63W drives instead of 100W drives, then we could significantly decrease our carbon footprint.


    Dude that chart is in PERCENT not watts...
  • 2 Hide
    randomizer , June 11, 2009 11:53 AM
    rangers641ha, why not have performance & energy efficiency. It doesn't make sense to discount drive efficiency. If everyone across the US used 63W drives instead of 100W drives, then we could significantly decrease our carbon footprint.

    If everyone used 63W drives we would significantly INCREASE our carbon footprint.
  • -9 Hide
    xsamitt , June 11, 2009 12:15 PM
    I guess we are back into hard drive reviews again.
    The computer hardware sure seems boring here at toms these days.
    Anyone remember the good old days when we would get 3 new articles per day.Now it's down to 5 in a week.
  • -3 Hide
    FlayerSlayer , June 11, 2009 12:46 PM
    The thing is though, that given a good 3D video card, a power sucking quad-core processor, mid-to-high end memory, and enough fans to cool the sahara, the
  • 1 Hide
    JPForums , June 11, 2009 1:22 PM
    Quote:
    Anyone remember the good old days when we would get 3 new articles per day.Now it's down to 5 in a week.


    I like reviews that are more in depth, well thought out, and executed. Fifteen to twenty one useless reviews are still more useless than one well thought out review. Of course, if I could get a larger number of well thought out and executed reviews, I wouldn't complain. I'd still like to see Tom's resurrect their monitor reviews (and add TV's too).

    Overall, this was a nice look at where we've been and where we're going. However, I would have liked to see the 7200RPM Spinpoint F1 you mentioned on the charts as well as a newer 7200RPM drive. As it stands, you're comparing today's high efficiency 5400RPM drives with a 7200RPM drive from 2 years ago. I'd like to see if any of the energy saving technology is finding its way in to the newer 7200RPM drives. I suspect that even the >1 year old 7200RPM Spinpoint F1 will do fairly well (or at least closer to the 5400RPM F1) in performance/watt due to the higher throughput.
  • 6 Hide
    Onus , June 11, 2009 2:23 PM
    It's not about political correctness (an excuse to not think) or an agenda. Why should I (or anyone) use, AND PAY FOR, something we don't need? Maybe it's just a dollar or two here or there, but it adds up, especially across an entire society. Using resources is one thing, wasting resources is something entirely different.
  • 3 Hide
    dealcorn , June 11, 2009 2:49 PM
    I miss the days when a brain dead review might reveal a new feature that solved a real problem (are they saying this device will let you load device drivers into high memory on a 286?). This is now a kinda mature industry and there is lots of evolutionary detail to appreciate but in depth reviews are necessary to appreciate that stuff. While under-appreciated by the flat liners of every stripe, its kinda nice that companies are killing themselves to address every viable niche in the marketplace from performance to frugal drives that actually perform reasonably well. For my HTPC the performance of the oldest generation is more than adequate. However, in due course, the cost per gig of the latest generation will be lots less and in my high energy cost location the energy savings will add up for this 24 X7 box. I can live with that. I like this direction.
  • 8 Hide
    vgdarkstar , June 11, 2009 4:07 PM
    The reason HDD efficiency doesn't matter.

    Lightbulbs use 40-80 watts each, lets worry about getting that down, before we start worrying about decreasing our HDD consumption from, 6 watts, to 5.4 watts...

    How much do people care about the various lighting and off to on speeds of lightbulbs, nobody. For HDDs, it's a different story, let's keep our high performing HDDs, and worry about making lightbulbs more efficient. There is a far greater margin of efficiency to be conquered in the realm of lighting than storage.
  • 4 Hide
    cadder , June 11, 2009 4:17 PM
    Power usage of a 3.5" hard drive is almost inconsequential these days. The drives tested use from 5w to 9w, while the PC that they are installed into might use 200w to 400w. Saving 5w is a very small percentage of the power used and is not worth much to the consumer.

    Well, lots of hard drives are installed into external enclosures, and saving power means saving heat, which allows for easier cooling solutions and perhaps longer hard drive life. My NAS has 2 drives and a tiny little fan. I selected WD Green drives because the NAS couldn't make use of faster speed drives and I was more interested in cooling.

    I think manufacturers should concentrate on improving hard drive reliability above all else. Too many people face data loss when their drives fail. Not everybody backs up. A lot of people that do back up use additional hard drives which ups the power usage.

    Secondly I think manufacturers should make drive models that are efficient and other drive models that are fast. People say that you can use the efficient drive for storage and a less efficient drive for the OS, but now you are using the power from 2 drives. Some people just want one fast drive, which overall is using less power than more than one drive even if multiple efficient drives are used.

    For smaller form factor drives used in laptops, it is worthwhile to save power because every little bit helps with battery life, and a good laptop might only consume 50w when in use. Saving 5w in hard drive power is a more significant percentage of this.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 11, 2009 4:22 PM
    wvethNice review. However, I'm not interested in efficient HDD, just want big drives that perform.

    And what would you be using them for?
    Tell me what program in the world would need a faster drive than this?
    If it's not fast enough, you could always put them in raid, but if you want really fast then go for smaller drives or SSD drives!

    I think these large drives are mainly used for storage and backups, and power efficiency is important, as well as disk space!
    Most backup programs don't use plain 1:1 copies, they compress the data, and even with a corei7 the CPU will be a bottleneck, not the disk (if you are backing up one harddrive to one like reviewed in the article using a compressed file).
    I mean,get real... What benefit do you have? Copying 500GB of data takes you 1,5 minutes longer?
    How many people actually need to move such large amounts of data?

    If you want to use it as an OS drive, then yes,I understand you!
    But then you're better off, buying a smaller ultra fast HD or an SSD drive for the OS, and backup the necessary data on drives like these.

    Even if you're into P2P/Bittorrent,this drive is most likely 10x faster than any normal person's internet line! (it would take a 100Mbits connection to keep up with a drive).
  • 2 Hide
    rle11 , June 11, 2009 4:23 PM
    p05esto said: "That "green" fad was gay and most people could care less...Give me my SUV, V8, ..."

    I'm confused. How can a FAD be gay? How can a fad be straight? Oh wait, I think I'm getting it now... A LOW-LIFE MORON Fad: make like an ape, throw your fist in the air, lower your voice say "YEAH - gimme mah S-U-V and mah V-8, yeah yeah yeah...
  • -6 Hide
    maximust , June 11, 2009 5:19 PM
    vgdarkstarThe reason HDD efficiency doesn't matter.Lightbulbs use 40-80 watts each, lets worry about getting that down, before we start worrying about decreasing our HDD consumption from, 6 watts, to 5.4 watts...How much do people care about the various lighting and off to on speeds of lightbulbs, nobody. For HDDs, it's a different story, let's keep our high performing HDDs, and worry about making lightbulbs more efficient. There is a far greater margin of efficiency to be conquered in the realm of lighting than storage.


    This is retarded, comparing light bulbs to hard drives? Does Samsung make light bulbs? Is this article about light bulbs? Why not forget about light bulbs and move up the carbon ladder to the next line item?
  • 4 Hide
    maximust , June 11, 2009 5:36 PM
    p05estoha ha ha, who cares about carbon footprint? That "green" fad was gay and most people could care less. Just mind-numbing trend chasers and movie stars pushing their little feel-good agendas. Give me my SUV, V8, rocket fueled super computer an shut up


    Listen to the ape, he knows what he's talking about. He's probably been buying GM stock for years and fighting any kind of efficiency targets for the auto industry because he likes dem big, dumb, oil sucking machines, to make up for other smaller parts, yeeeehaaawww baby. Knuckleheads like this fly in the face of progress, innovation and reason. When oil prices spike and their SUVs seem to be sucking away their porn and beer money, they start to blame the government and saudia arabia (even though we get most of our oil from Canada). People like this fly in the face of progress, innovation and reason, knuckleheads.

    by the way, some of you need to realize that many people do in fact want more efficient, cooler drives and don't need monster performance (so they can squeeze a few more frames from their little joysticks). other applications such as file storage and a growing HTPC market as well.
  • 5 Hide
    dmccarron , June 11, 2009 5:49 PM
    ProDigit80And what would you be using them for?Tell me what program in the world would need a faster drive than this?If it's not fast enough, you could always put them in raid, but if you want really fast then go for smaller drives or SSD drives!I think these large drives are mainly used for storage and backups, and power efficiency is important, as well as disk space!Most backup programs don't use plain 1:1 copies, they compress the data, and even with a corei7 the CPU will be a bottleneck, not the disk (if you are backing up one harddrive to one like reviewed in the article using a compressed file).I mean,get real... What benefit do you have? Copying 500GB of data takes you 1,5 minutes longer?How many people actually need to move such large amounts of data?If you want to use it as an OS drive, then yes,I understand you!But then you're better off, buying a smaller ultra fast HD or an SSD drive for the OS, and backup the necessary data on drives like these.Even if you're into P2P/Bittorrent,this drive is most likely 10x faster than any normal person's internet line! (it would take a 100Mbits connection to keep up with a drive).


    That's the same line of thinking as "what do you need 4 GB of RAM for?"
    Certainly people (developers and users) can take advantage of it now that it is easily available. Same with other advancements.

    A hard drive from the early 1990's had a sustained transfer rate of 1MB/sec or so. If that that speed remained nearly the same while capacity improved would you tell home users doing video editing or photoshop work to stripe 100 of those into a raid array? (There's a reason this was impossible outside of a studio 15 years ago). Would that be good enough for what a general user does these days? Ok - maybe you'll say that's too extreme a case - how about if we topped out at around 25MB/sec circa 2000? You'll be striping 4 of those on every new computer to get the computing experience they have now. Sure, 50-150MB/sec these days is adequate at the moment for most things, but increasing mechanical HDD performance has been far more difficult than for the rest of the components and one of the major challenges to increasing computing performance. No reasonable person disputes this. So how can you possibly argue that, save for very processing-intensive tasks, a CPU/memory subsystem which measures its performance in GIGAtransfers/sec is more of a bottleneck under ordinary circumstances and for the majority of normal use? The demand, for whatever purpose, for bigger, faster drives is the reason we have bigger, faster drives. Thinking otherwise is a sure way to stifle the impressive progress we've seen in the last few years.
  • -4 Hide
    fulle , June 11, 2009 6:10 PM
    I feel sorry for anyone who's so far behind the curve that learned anything from this article. The trends seen here are more prevelant in small form factor drives, btw.

    Ah, yes, and the enviro-hippies feel that the power efficiency numbers matter... and while I disagree, its only because I find it annoying to try to make assumptions on heat dissipation based on whether something uses 5w or 9w. From my experience, drives with identical power efficiency could have quite different effects on heat, so... largly worthless info there. Since Hard Drives basically take up nothing percent of the overal PC's power usage.

    The light bulb arguments are humorous. But, more so the enviro-hippies trying to argue how 4w matters. Hey Hippies, you're time would be better spent trying to explain to people about diminishing returns on CPU overclocking, and how pushing too far just wastes a ridiculous amount of power with minimal performance gain. Hard Drives are a shit place to battle, ya' know.
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