CrystalDiskMark is a synthetic test that evaluates both sequential as well as random small and large file transfers. It does a nice job of providing a quick look at best and worst case scenarios with regard to hard drive performance, best case being large sequential transfers and worse case being small, random 4K transfers.
Seagate's Barracuda XT was impressive throughout CrystalDiskMark testing. It consistently finished ahead of the group in both read and write performance. We expected the Hitachi Deskstar to keep pace since it features similar specs as the Barracuda XT, but that wasn't the case here. It actually trailed Western Digital's AV-GP drive in a few tests.