Storage Accessories For Easier HDD Handling

Test Setup And Access Time

We used a 32 GB flash drive to test the storage accessories because we wanted to determine possible bottlenecks, and because the rather low capacity is great for finishing storage benchmarks quickly.

System Hardware
2 x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core)
3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 Cache
Asus NCL-DS (Socket 604) Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
Corsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.)
2 x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
System Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar WD1200JB
Test Hard Drive I
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3500641
500 GB, 7,200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA/300
Test Hard Drive II
Samsung 64 GB SATA-II Flash SSD, SATA/300
Test Hard Drive III
Mtron Pro 7500 32 GB SLC Flash SSD, SATA/300
Mass Storage Controller(s)
Intel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)

Promise SATA 300TX4

Broadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics Card
On-Board Graphics
ATI RageXL, 8 MB
System Hardware
Performance Measurements
c't h2benchw 3.6
PCMark05 V1.01
I/O Performance
IOMeter 2003.05.10
File server-Benchmark, Web server-Benchmark, Database-Benchmark, Workstation-Benchmark
System Software&Drivers
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Service Pack 1
Platform Driver
Intel Chipset Installation Utility
Graphics Driver
Default Windows Graphics Driver

Fujitsu MBA3174RC

Samsung 64 GB SATA-II Flash SSD 

Mtron Pro 7500

Results: Access Time

We first listed the individual hard drives and their performance levels, followed by the storage accessories we tried. Samsung’s 32 GB SLC flash SSD was used to test the Crucial SK01 kit, while we used an Mtron Pro 7500 3.5” SSD with the iStarUSA and Unitek devices.

Access time is several times longer via USB 2.0 when compared to eSATA, both for Crucial’s and iStarUSA’s devices. Still, we’re looking at excellent performance that cannot be considered an issue. eSATA is clearly faster, but USB 2.0 doesn’t slow down access time by too much.