Seagate Barracuda V and SATA 150 Controllers

Seagate Barracuda V and SATA 150 Controllers - Page 3


Seagate's Barracuda V and SATA 150 Controllers
Welcome to Serial ATA - A Performance Analysis

By Dave Altavilla
Januray 14, 2003


Finally, we'll cover the Average Access times of the Barracuda V drive, as well as let you take a quick gander at all the details for the Winbench Disk Winmark tests we ran.

Winbench Business Disk Winmark Details
Real World Performance

There really isn't any mystery in this test.  In fact, the new Barracuda V SATA drive has slightly better average access times versus the Western Digital ATA100 drive.  However, the differential is marginal and the average end user would perceive no difference, when you consider it's only 1/2 a millisecond.


The rest of the individual test scores for each test in the Winbench suite, are detailed in the table below.  Blue indicates the fastest scores, red the slowest scores and black is somewhere in the middle of the pack.  The overall Disk Winmarks that we highlighted in the graphs on the prior pages here, sum up the results but this information below may be interesting to comb through at your leisure.

Winbench Disk Winmark Details
Click image for full view


A Note On Acoustics Of The Barracuda V SATA Drive:

Seagate claims this drive is one of the quietest drives on the market right now, with it's "SoftSonic" motor technology.  Indeed the spindle noise is minimal, as you can barely here the drive spin up.  However, the heads during reads and writes, make a bit of a racket, frankly.  We're not sure if this is indicative of the early sample drive we received or of the very same product that will be in the retail channel.  However, during heavy reads and writes, the drive seems to be louder than most.  It's not unbearable by any means however and once installed in a chassis, things are perfectly acceptable.  In addition, what most people complain about, when they think of Hard Drive noise, is spindle or motor whine, since it is a constant relentless noise.  The Barrcuda V is definitely superior in this regard.


Final Analysis

We can honestly report to you, that our first experience with Serial ATA was a pleasant one.  We were greeted with a well designed product, based on a new technology that is better in almost every way, as compared to the legacy technology it will be replacing.  The merits of Serial ATA technology are obvious, thinner lower profile cables, increased bandwidth, hot pluggability and a roadmap for exponential increases in bandwidth, performance and features.  The controller solutions that are out on the market today, like those we've shown you here from Promise and Silicon Image, are solid solutions but still have a bit of maturing to do.  We're hopeful that future chipset and driver revisions, will provide for better performance and flexibility moving forward.  What's even more exciting is that Intel's forthcoming (late Q1 - Q2) "Springdale" chipset, is rumored to have integrated Serial ATA in the Southbridge chip.

As far as the star of our little show here, a fish called Barracuda, we're fairly impressed by the initial performance metrics it was able to live up to.  The drive is about on par, with a high end 7200RPM ATA100 drive with 8MB cache.  In some tests, it surpassed the Western Digital Special Edition drive and in others in squeaked in just behind it, depending on which controller chip we were driving it with.  RAID performance on the other hand, was impressive, with these new Barracuda V drives, as they boasted some of the best scores we've seen from any RAID 0 array to date.  All told however, we expected a little more performance out of the new Barracuda V, since it too has an 8MB cache and the advantage of the SATA 150MB/sec interface behind it.  However, as with many things in life and technology, a little maturity will go along way.  As software drivers, operating systems and the drives themselves become more mainstream, we're pretty excited about the prospects of Serial ATA and the good things companies like Seagate will do with it.

We're giving the Seagate Barracuda V Serial ATA Hard Drive a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of...



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