A Quartet Of 500 GB HDDs Under $60

Application Performance and Efficiency

The File Write benchmark typically reflects low level throughput benchmarks, but it is conducted on a formatted file system.

The Windows XP Startup benchmark requires both high throughput and quick access time, which is why the Seagate drive dominates. Hitachi and Samsung suffer here, due to their longer access times.

Streaming Read Efficiency

In this benchmark, we tracked the average power required by each of the drives while executing the streaming read benchmark, and divided performance by these results. Hitachi provides the best streaming read performance per watt, as it pairs the lowest power requirements with the highest throughput.

Workstation I/O Efficiency

The workstation I/O efficiency test does very much the same, but it is based on a random I/O benchmark pattern, as it would be typical for workstation PCs. Here, the WD Caviar Blue wins, thanks to average power requirements that it pairs with the best I/O performance. The other drives finished at almost the same level.