Definitive 2TB HD Roundup: WD, Seagate, Samsung

File Transfer Tests

Our final series of tests are what you might call more "crude measurements" in that we simply fired up our trusty stopwatch and measured the time it took to complete a drag-and-drop of a single large file or a bunch of smaller files from one storage volume in our test system to another. With our Large File test, we copied a single 3.4GB ISO file between the 120GB OCZ Vertex Turbo 2.5-inch SSD and the HDD being tested. With our Small Files test, we copied a 533MB folder (made up of 90 JPGs ranging in size from 2.27MB to 4.38MB, and 78 MP3s ranging in size from 1.98MB to 4.35MB) between the OCZ SSD and the HDD being tested.

While these are our only true "real-world" tests--copying real files from and to the test drives--the results here need to be taken with more than a few grains of salt. The results really only apply for the specific file-transfer scenarios we explore. You might very well see different performance results depending on what kind of file transfers you are performing. It's also important to note that these tests don't give a reliable indication of the sort of performance you might see with data transfers related to running specific data-heavy applications.

File Transfer Tests - Read/Write Performance
Custom "Real World" File Transfers Measured

Keeping in mind the caveats mentioned above, the results of the Large File Transfer Speed write test presents us with a few surprises, not the least of which is that the general-purpose Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB drive's write performance of 129.8MB/Sec is not far off from the performance leaders: the WD Caviar Black 2TB (134.5MB/Sec), WD RE4 2TB (131.0MB/Sec), and Seagate Constellation ES 2TB (129.8MB/Sec). Another surprise is that the performance-class Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB drive's write performance of 124.0MB/Sec sits squarely in the middle of the pack, and is even a shy slower than that of the general-purpose Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB's 126.1MB/Sec write speed.

Switching over to read performance, those surprises fade away and the status quo returns. The speediest drive on this test is the WD Caviar Black 1TB at 111.6MB/Sec, with the WD RE4 2TB (111.1MB/Sec), Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB (110.5MB/Sec), Seagate Constellation ES 2TB (109.4MB/Sec), and WD Caviar Black 2TB (108.2) all nipping at its heels.

The Small Files Transfer Speed write test gives us even a few more surprises with the two speediest drives being the budget-enterprise WD RE4-GP 2TB drive (113.6MB/Sec) and the general-purpose WD Caviar Green 2TB (111.2MB/Sec). Curiously, the enterprise Seagate Constellation ES 2TB drive (105.1MB/Sec) and performance-class WD Caviar Black 1TB (102.MB/Sec) bring up the rear.

As we saw with the Large Files Transfer Speed read test, things return back to normal with the Small Files Transfer Speed read test. The usual suspects are at the top of the list--with the WD RE4 2TB taking the number one spot with a read speed of 96.1MB/Sec, and the Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB once again being the top-performing general-purpose drive, with a read speed of 85.4MB/Sec. The Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB leads the performance-class drives, with a read speed of 95.7MB/Sec.

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