Western Digital WD5000KS 500GB SATA HDD

Test System & Sandra 2005

For testing the Western Digital WD5000KS SATA HDD, we used an Athlon 64 3800+ processor on a DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR motherboard. We also used 1GB of low latency Corsair DDR (TWINX1024-3200XL) and a 120GB Maxtor SATA hard drive which held the operating system partition. The WD5000KS was compared to the following drives: a 750GB Barracuda 7200.10, a 500GB Barracuda 7200.9 and a 500GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K500.

HotHardware Test System
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -

Video Card -

Memory -

Audio -

Hard Drives -


Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 64 3800+

nForce4 SLI chipset

Radeon X1800 XL

1024MB Corsair XMS PC3200 RAM

Integrated on board

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10

750GB - 7,200RPM - SATA 3Gb/s

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9
500GB - 7,200RPM - SATA 3Gb/s
Hitach Deskstar 7K500
500GB - 7,200RPM - SATA 3Gb/s
Western Digital WD5000KS
500GB - 7,200RPM - SATA 3Gb/s

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers

Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2
nForce Drivers v6.82
DirectX 9.0c

ATI Catalyst v6.3

Benchmarks Used:
SiSoftware Sandra 2005
Futuremark PCMark05
HD Tach 3.0.1

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 provide a decent quick glance at high-level throughput characteristics of the total storage subsystem, which of course includes HDD controllers and other associated system components.

Preliminary Benchmarks With SiSoft SANDRA 2005 SR3

While the WD5000KS doesn't score too well in the Buffered Read test, it posts excellent results in the Sequential and Random Read tests, especially when compared to the other 500GB drives. This is what we like to see because we tend to place more stock in the Sequential and Random Read tests since standard desktop and gaming application file access places moderate to high loads in these areas.

Once again, the WD5000KS meets or beats the performance of the other 500GB drives in the Random and Sequential tests, but it can't quite keep up in the Buffered Write test. Again, we feel that the Sequential and Random scores are more meaningful.

Most of you are probably familiar with Sandra's Drive Index rating, and this graph basically does a nice job of summarizing what we saw above in the read and write tests. The WD5000KS drive is the leader among the 500GB drives tested and puts up a respectable fight against the 750GB Barracuda, which is the only drive in the group that features perpendicular recording instead of longitudinal.

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