SATA Hard Drives Run Riot: Maxtor, Hitachi, Western Digital 250 GB

Comparison Table

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ManufacturerHitachi / HGSTMaxtor CorporationWestern Digital Corporation
Assembly Family7K250DiamondMax Plus 9Caviar SE
CapacityHDS722525 - 250 GBHDS7722516 - 160 GBHDS722580 - 80 GB6Y200M0 - 200 GB6Y160M0 - 160 GB6Y120M0 - 120 GB6Y80M0 - 80 GBWD2000EB - 200 GBWD1600EB - 160 GBWD1200EB - 120 GB
Rotation7.200 U/Min7.200 U/Min7.200 U/Min
InterfaceSerial ATA 150Serial ATA 150Serial ATA 150
Cache8 MB8 MB8 MB
Fluid Dynamic Bearingyesyesno
time8.5 ms< 9.3 ms8.9 ms

Test System

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ProcessorIntel Pentium 4, 2.2 GHz512 kB L2 Cache (Northwood)
MotherboardAsus P4P800S-E Deluxe EditionIntel 848P Chipset (ICH5-R)Intel D845EBTIntel 845E Chipset (ICH4)
RAM512 MB PC3200, Buffalo Tech
ControllerSerial ATA : 82801ER (ICH5-R)Parallel ATA : 82801EB (ICH4)
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400
Network Card3COM 905TX PCI 100 MBit
OSWindows XP Pro 5.10.2600Service Pack 1
Office ApplicationsZD WinBench 99 - Business Disk Winmark 2.0 c’t h2benchw
High-End ApplicationsZD WinBench 99 - High-End Disk Winmark 2.0
Performance-Measurementsc’t h2benchw
I/O performanceIntel I/O meter
GraphicNVIDIA reference driver 29.42
ChipsetIntel INF Drivers 5.02.1002
Resolution1024x768, 16 bit, 85 Hz refresh

Unlike in past tests, this time around we decided to go with the h2bench2 from c’t magazine, since the results do not vary as widely. For that reason, the results of this test cannot be compared with those in previous articles without qualification.

We tweaked the test parameters for the temperature measurements as well in order to more accurately simulate real-life conditions. In concrete terms, that means the I/O meter ran for about two hours, subjecting the drive to a fair amount of strain. Only then did we read the temperature using an infrared measuring device ; the highest recorded value is reflected in our diagram.