ZIFFPAGE TITLEBenchmark Results

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-09 Print this article Print

We ran the same set of benchmarks as we ran with our recent large drive roundup. This means that we can compare the performance directly with some the most recent parallel ATA drives. We put the following products under test:
Seagate ST3120023AS (120GB) check prices
Seagate ST3120023A (120GB) check prices
Western Digital WD2000JB (200GB) check prices
IBM Deskstar 180GXP check prices
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 check prices
  • Winbench 99 version 2.0 Disk Tests. We ran the two Winmark tests (Business Disk Winmark and High End Disk Winmark. We also ran the CPU utilization, access time and transfer rate inspection tests. The transfer rate was normalized to 8MB (8000KB), as suggested by the designers of the Winbench 99 disk test -- that is, the transfer rates for the applications playback tests were set to 8000 kilobytes per second.
  • Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2003, to see how the drives performed under a set of real-world applications, executing scripts that represent real user workloads.
  • Business Winstone 2002, to test performance with a standard suite of desktop business applications.
Winbench 99 2.0 Business Disk Winmark Test Results & CPU Utilization The result is pretty startling -- the Seagate S-ATA drive outpaced all the others, by a wide margin. We repeated this test three times to be sure, and obtained essentially the same result each time. One clue to this amazing result may be found in the CPU utilization test. Note the substantially lower CPU utilization. Its possible that the Silicon Image S-ATA controller simply has low CPU overhead relative to the embedded parallel ATA controller in Intels ICH4 I/O controller hub. Since Winbench 99 is a low-level that tests read performance above write performance, its likely that the low CPU utilization, plus some firmware optimizations, may have resulted in the higher Business Winmark Score.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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