Definitive 2TB HD Roundup: WD, Seagate, Samsung

CrystalDiskMark Testing

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 4KB transfers. 

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks
Synthetic File Transfer Tests



 Samsung EcoGreen F3 2TB

 Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB




 Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB

 Seagate Constellation ES 2TB





 WD Caviar Black 1TB




 WD Caviar Black 2TB

 WD Caviar Green 2TB






As far as CrystalDiskMark's sequential write speeds are concerned, the trend we've seen with the previous tests continues--with the fastest drives being the Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB (142.7MB/Sec), Seagate Constellation ES 2TB (138.4MB/Sec), WD RE4 2TB (138.8MB/Sec), WD Caviar Black 1TB (131.3MB/Sec), and WD Caviar Black 2TB (128MB/Sec). As to the general-purpose drives, the Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB is once again the leader at 116.8MB/Sec.

The same five performance and enterprise drives are also once again the leaders on CrystalDiskMark's sequential read test, but they are also joined here by the WD RE4-GP (157.3MB/Sec). As a matter of fact, the top four drives here are all WD drives, with three in particular having standout performance: the WD Caviar Black 1 TB (193.6MB/Sec), WD Caviar Black 2TB (179.8MB/Sec), and the WD RE4 (177.3MB/Sec). No surprises here either with the best-performing general-purpose drive: the Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB had a read speed of 119.9MB/Sec.

We see similar patterns on the CrystalDiskMark's 512KB and 4KB write and read tests as well--but with a few exceptions creeping in. While the WD RE4 2TB is the undisputed leader on all of these worst-case scenarios, the Seagate Constellation ES 2TB falters a bit on the 512KB and 4KB tests, with middle-of-the-pack performance. The WD RE4-GP 2TB also manages to elbow its way in into the list of better-performing drives. The Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB also takes top honors on the 512KB and 4KB write and read tests for general-purpose drives.

We're starting to sound like a broken record here, but once again the 6Gb/Sec drives didn't see any noticeable performance gains as a result of their faster SATA interfaces. As to our 120GB OCZ Vertex Turbo 2.5-inch SSD, we had one surprise: Its 512KB write speed of 148.5MB/Sec was only a hair faster than the WD RE4 2TB's 145.3MB/Sec write speed. The rest of the OCZ SSD's write and read speeds were significantly faster than its HDD cousins, with a monumentally huge margin on the random 4KB transfer tests: the OCZ SSD's 4KB write speed was 17.83MB/Sec and 4KB read speed was 29.38MB/Sec. The best performing HDD on this test--the WD RE4 2TB--could only manage a 4KB write speed of 3.35MB/Sec and 4KB read speed of 1.32MB/Sec. This exemplifies just one of the many performance areas where HDDs just can't hold a candle to SSDs.

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