Winbench 99 2

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2002-12-03 Print this article Print

.0 Business Disk Winmark Test Results"> At first, we thought something was wrong with the Seagate drive. We double-checked DMA settings, and everything seemed correct, but the Barracuda V ATA got a Business Disk Winmark score almost half that of the nearest competitor. However, the Seagate drive had a few interesting surprises up its sleeve as well soon see. At the other end of the performance envelope, the DiamondMax Plus 9 outpaced the nearest competitor, the IBM Deskstar 180GXP. Note that even the slowest drive here still ekes out a small lead over last years fastest drive.
One thing to keep in mind, though: weve heard rumblings from certain drive manufacturer technical reps, who prefer not to be identified, that their competitors actually detect popular benchmarks and tune their onboard caches to the benchmarks access patterns. However, given that the Seagate drives rated disk-to-buffer transfer rate, as supplied by the company, is lower than the competitions. This result turns out to be less surprising after all,
WinBench 99 2.0 High End Disk Winmark Test Results Again, the Barracuda V ATA trailed the pack, though the difference wasnt as substantial as it was with Business Disk Winmarks. Note that the IBM drive took the lead, with the Maxtor drive coming in second. Its also worth pointing out that the older Western Digital WD1000BB is the slowest by a significant margin. The WinBench 99 high end disk tests can be broken down by application type. Lets look at a couple of them. In the playback of a Microsoft C++ 5.0 compilation, the Barracuda actually places ahead of the Maxtor drive. Compilers are constantly reading and writing from the disk in small chunks, so perhaps the firmware in the Maxtor isnt optimized for this type of disk access. This chart shows the results of a playback of a FrontPage 98 authoring session. The Seagate wins handily. Again, the pattern is one of relatively small reads and writes, alternating. Interestingly, this is the only subset test in which the older WD1000BB drive scored well. In this case, Premiere reads large chunks of data into memory, then renders out to disk in steady streams. The Maxtor drive seems to like this type of disk access pattern better than the other drives.

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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