SiSoft SANDRA File System Tests
We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA File System benchmark module. This test's method of hard disk performance analysis it what we would consider a "light duty" consumer-level evaluation tool. The folks in IT would have your head for recommending a drive based solely on SANDRA File System test results. However, the benchmark is a popular utility within the performance PC enthusiast community and it does give a decent quick swag at high-level throughput characteristics of the total storage subsystem, which of course includes HD controllers and other associated system components.
SANDRA's Random, Sequential and Buffered read statistics show a commanding lead for the new WD1500 Raptor. We'd place more stock in the Random and Sequential Read tests since standard desktop and gaming application file access places moderate to high loads in these areas. The Raptor WD1500 is showing a 42% Random Read advantage over its smaller sibling and about 35% over the Maxtor drive, with about 19 - 25% better performance in Sequential Reads.
Write performance of the Raptor WD1500 scales about the same with the exception of Buffered Writes which are pretty much all over the map. Again buffered reads and writes are representative of performance with short bursts of data and thus not as representative of typical real-world performance, though Maxtor's DiamondMax 10 perhaps makes more efficient use of their on-board cache memory than the Raptors do according to this benchmark.
SANDRA's Drive Index rating is probably the most familiar score to many of you reading here and clearly this benchmark shows the new Raptor WD1500 series as the leader far and away, whether in single drive or RAID 0 installations. For what it's worth, this is the fastest RAID 0 performance we've recorded with SANDRA to date, utilizing standard SATA hard drives.