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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

Hitachi One Terabyte Drive
versus Other 3G SATA Drives

Originally posted August 3rd, 2007, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist.

Hitachi is shipping their 1000GB (One Terabyte) 3G SATA drive, the Deskstar 7K1000. We ran it through a series of speed tests to see how it compared to two 750GB drives as well as a 500GB drive.

SpeedTools.com (aka Intech Software) includes QuickBench 4.0 as a part of their SpeedTools Utilities. It's a benchmarking tool we've often used to test individual hard drives. The newest version is even more accurate than before.

We used the small random read and write Standard Test as a way of simulating the typical activity of an OS X boot drive. One nice new feature of QuickBench 4.0 is that it computes the averages of 1K to 1MB blocks. As in the past, though, we chose to average 64K through 1024K. Also we made five runs. So the average not only includes a range of block sizes but five cycles at each block size.

For large sustained reads and writes, we used the Extended Test in QuickBench 4.0. We averaged the results for 60M to 100MB block size -- 5 runs each.

Fastest in
bold RED
Hitachi 1000G = Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (HDS721010KLA330)
WD 750G = Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (WD7500AAKS)
Seagate 750G = Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (ST3750640AS)
Maxtor 500G = Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500GB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (7H500F0) -- out of production since Seagate purchased Maxtor -- still available from some resellers -- used to be our favorite Mac Pro and Power Mac boot drive -- sibling to the L01F500 DiamondMax 11.

At one terabyte, the Hitachi 7K1000 sets a new high water mark for single drive storage. But though it's faster than the previous "Capacity King," the Seagate 7200.10, the new 750GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 drive is the surprising new Speed King among 7200rm SATA drives for both random and sustained transfers.

Furthermore, if you don't need the full 1000GB, the Western Digital 750GB Caviar is selling for about half as much as the Hitachi 7K1000.

What about Seagate's 1TB drive?
Though we have tested a pre-production One Terabyte Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drive (ST31000340AS), we can't publish those test results. We can say that, when doing large sustained transfers, it was faster than any of the drives tested above. And it's available in a 750GB model, too. As soon as we get our hands on a production model, we'll add the production results to the graphs above.

3G SATA versus FireWire 800
Other World Computing not only supplied us with the Western Digital 750GB Caviar drive, but also sent us their Quad Interface Mercury Elite AL Pro enclosure. If you are looking for an external single drive solution, this is one worth consideration. It gives you the flexibility of using either USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or eSATA ports to connect to the drive enclosure. And it matches the look of your Mac Pro or G5 Power Mac.

We compared the fast WD 750G drive's large block sustained transfer speed using both the FireWire 800 interface and the eSATA interface (connected to a 3G SATA host adapter). As you can see, the eSATA interface squeezes out the most speed:


Bare Feats tests the random performance of ten Mac Pro drives.

AMUG's review of the Western Digital WD5000YS versus others

Bare Feat's earlier "Best Boot Drive for Mac Pro" test where we boot, launch and duplicate using single drives and RAID 0 pairs.

Apple Online Store

You can purchase the Speed Tools Utlities, that include QuickBench, directly from
SpeedTools.com. If you have purchased any version of Speed Tools or QuickBench in the past, you are eligible for a FREE upgrade to QuickBench 4.0.



Other World Computing

Small Dog Electronics

Trans International

Apple's online store (click on STORAGE in the left margin of main page)


Other World Computing -- Mercury Elite AL Pro

Wiebetech -- ToughTech XE

FWDepot -- FireXpress Quad 4-in-1

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2007 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster and mad scientist