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Seagate's Savvio Offers Mobile Form Factor for Enterprise-Caliber Storage

Conclusion

The Savvio was certainly persuasive where it mattered. The read/write heads have comparatively less distance to travel, a fact which clearly benefits all I/O benchmarks. The Savvio does not need to shy away from a direct comparison with an 18 month-old IBM Ultra320 hard drive of the 3.5" class - only in the workstation benchmark does its bigger cousin show it how to do it.

Access time as measured at 7.7 ms is encouragingly short for a 2.5" drive - notebook drives take on average twice as long before they get around to reading a randomly chosen sector. Good 10K SCSI drives spinning at 10,000 rpm are not generally much faster.

As expected, the Savvio does not break any records for data transfer rates - provided you don't make an unfair comparison with notebook models. At about 60 MB/s, the top speed can be rated as "good;" more isn't possible as things stand. It should be stressed, though, that the transfer rate at the end of the medium is faster than offered by 3.5" models, which makes for a good showing indeed.

However, we also noted that the Savvio does not stand a chance against fast 15K drives - the Maxtor 15K we used is being superseded by the 15K II, which should again bring considerable speed gains. It should be clear, therefore, that if speed is what you need, you have no alternative than a 3.5" drive turning at 15,000 rpm.

Viewed in the long term, Seagate has not only entered a new market, but also heralded the end at some later date of 3.5", 10,000 rpm enterprise drives. The "big guys" get warmer, need more energy, make more noise and can rarely display their remaining speed advantages in the server environment. From a number of aspects, 2.5" models on the other hand are the more sensible option. We can only advise the competition to follow suit - and fast.