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Seagate Barracuda XT Review

Date: 2009-11-10

   Final Thoughts and Conclusions We had high hopes for SATA 6Gb/s before we starting benchmarking one of these new platforms, but other than having some nice burst benchmark screen shots we don...

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HD Tach v3.0.4.0

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random accessread/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives(ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom devicedrivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layersof software as possible and get as close to the physical performance ofthe device possible.

SATA II 3.0GB/s Performance:

Seagate Barracuda XT Review

SATA III 6.0GB/s Performance:

Seagate Barracuda XT Review

Benchmark Results: Here in HD Tach we see that really the only performance difference is seen in the Burst Speed test, which went from 190.0 MB/s to 1853.2 MB/s!  This is impressive, but we also see something that worries us in the write test when using the Marvell controller for SATA III 6.0 GB/s performance: the spike at the very beginning of the benchmark. 

Seagate Barracuda XT Review

It was discovered that the Marvell driver allocates a portion of system memory to perform caching duties. This basically means that the drive by default has “Write cachingâ€?enabled. “Write cachingâ€?in a storage device refers to the use of high-speed volatile memory to collect write commands sent to data storage devices and cache them until the slower storage media (either physical disks or low-cost flash memory) can accommodate them. Most devices that use write caching require that power be supplied continuously. If you go to device manager it was found that you can also enable write cache buffer flushing (equivalent to the Intel AHCI driver) to get further performance increases. We'll have to do some more research to find out more about this write-back caching that is happening and if it is a good thing or a bad thing. It seems that this would be a bad thing if your system weren't on a battery backup, though. 

Seagate Barracuda XT Review

The very first benchmark we ran showed an impressive 3238.9 MB/s, although we've never been able to duplicate that result again.

Seagate Barracuda XT Review

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