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Stock *ahem*
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Discussion Starter #1
So I snagged HDTune 2.55 and ran it to see what I could find out about my drives.
smile.gif


I used the default settings in my benchmarking - which is that the testing is biased more to "Accurate" than "Fast" and the block size is 64 KB.

What I'm now wondering is how to interpret these results... all drives are 7200 RPM unless otherwise specified.

Samsung 750 GB (boot/OS drive)

460

Hitachi 1 TB:

460

Seagate Barracuda 1 TB:

460

And finally, my Seagate Barracuda 2 TB: (5900 RPM)

460

So what are these things telling me?
 

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Probably sleep deprived
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For one, your Boot Drive is probably the slowest drive in the system...
 

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Premium Member
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Well, your SATA controller apparently maxes out right around 120MB/sec, so don't bother getting anything faster. Why? All hard drives have that blue arc downward. Platters are circular - when a platter spins at a fixed speed the read/write head can cover more surface area on the edge, and thus reads or writes more information.

fbdaf713_HDTune_Benchmark_Hitachi_HDS721010CLA332.png


When a drive goes straight like that, it means your SATA controller is bottlenecking it. The drive is capable of higher speeds, but other parts of your computer are not.

Also, notice the yellow dots only go half-way into this benchmark?

LL


That's because HDTune v255 uses 32bit signed ints for its tests. That's approximately 2 billion; 2 billion 512b sectors equal 1TB. HDTune v255 is only testing the first half of the drive, so this Seagate drive's access times are actually far higher than it claims. (Probably a little under 19ms)

HDTune Pro actually reveals a lot more information than HDTune v255. It has a RandomAccess test that can reveal how a drive performs when reading or writing files/blocks of certain sizes. Here's an example:

hdtuneproahcirandomacce.png


These are all random reads. They involve seeking to a location on the drive (such as a file) and then reading a certain amount of data. The graph shows that when reading in 4KB chunks, my drive only manages 0.239MB/sec... ouch. But when reading slightly larger files, it's much better performing. Most games have fairly large models and textures (at least 1MB large), so that number is probably most relevant to game loadtimes.

The reason the 64KB and 4KB read scores are so low is because every read or write requires a seek before the data can be accessed. Those seeks take on average 10-25ms. 7200RPM drives are usually in the 10-18ms range, and 5400RPM drives are usually in the 15-25ms range. If a seek takes 25 ms, and there are 1000ms in a second, you can only do 40 of those per second.
wink.gif


Now take a look at this graph:

hdtuneproahcibenchmarkvi.png


The sequential speeds there actually tell me a surprising amount. on the edge my drive is very near 135-150MB/sec. If you divide by 1000, you're left with 135 to 150KB/ms. This is important for understanding a drive's performance.

Lets say my drive needs to seek to a file to read it? That will take somewhere around 14-20ms on average. Reading a 4KB file would take exactly that long. Now, if the file is 250KB, because we know the KB/ms speed, we can estimate it will take 2ms extra to read all that data. If it's reading 1MB, it will take 8ms extra. (22-28ms) If it's 2MB, 16ms extra (30-36ms) In the time my drive can read two 4KB files, it can read 2MB of data sequentially. That is why hard drives love larger reads/writes, and especially love video work or screen recording.

One final thing - when only part of a drive is in use, the head can stick around closer to where it is needed. This results in lower seek times to actual data than the benchmarks claim. To help with visualizing this, you can tell HDTune Pro to "short-stroke" a drive. (only use the first part of it, up to whatever capacity)

Here's an example:

hdtuneproahcirandomacce.png


I have 500GB of games on my Steam drive, so this benchmark is actually more relevant to how my drive will perform than the farther above RandomAccess test.
thumb.gif


Well, that's most of what you/I can glean from these graphs. If you have any other questions, I'll try to answer them as best I can.
 

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Hehe - thanks.
biggrin.gif


Well, I'd be happy to do a writeup if someone wants one. I can go even more detailed if necessary, but the above post is probably short enough that people will actually read it.
thumb.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Hehe - thanks.
biggrin.gif

Well, I'd be happy to do a writeup if someone wants one. I can go even more detailed if necessary, but the above post is probably short enough that people will actually read it.
thumb.gif
I bet if you did take the time to post something like that people would flip. I know a thing or two about HDD's and Benchmark programs but you just gave me something I have to keep reading to soak in. lulz.
 

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Stock *ahem*
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Discussion Starter #8
Very informative! I wonder why the SATA controller is limited to 120 MB/sec; my MSI board has six ports that the P55 chipset controls, and two more that are SATA 3.0 controlled by some other brand. I haven't been using the 3.0 ports, so I don't know how their performance handles.

Then again, this is a rather basic board I got to replace a troublesome Gigabyte P55 board, so it's not going to be MSI's latest and greatest.
smile.gif
 

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Probably sleep deprived
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

Hehe - thanks.
biggrin.gif

Well, I'd be happy to do a writeup if someone wants one. I can go even more detailed if necessary, but the above post is probably short enough that people will actually read it.
thumb.gif
I would LOVE a full write-up on drives.

Im fairly knowledgeable about them by OCN standards, but its one of those things(like power supplies), that im always learning more about because of how fascinated I am with the component.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilWrir View Post

I would LOVE a full write-up on drives.
Im fairly knowledgeable about them by OCN standards, but its one of those things(like power supplies), that im always learning more about because of how fascinated I am with the component.
Well put. I think the community has hinted Kramy. lulz!
 

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Premium Member
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8,233 Posts
You just need to configure your setup better. For example here is my setup:

469

This is three Western Digital Black 640gb Drives in Raid 0.

Now this is my SSD

474
380

Even with a sata 2 controller you get plenty of speed. Plus in all reality for all real world things there isn't to much of a difference between my old 470 drive and newer 830 drives on sata 3. Really all you gain is faster sequential read and write speeds.

I say toss your two 1TB drives into Raid 0 and install your OS onto that, use the 2tb for backup and storage and the 750gb for random data. If your willing to pick up a ssd, and I hope you do, then use that as your OS drive and use the raid for games and main fast access storage. Your OS drive is by far the weakest link in your system.
 

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Hello. Please help me. I just got my new laptop Asus N56VZ. I installed WIndows 7 OS and noticed that there are huge lags when using computer. Programs load very slow, freezes for short time a lot. So I decided to do some tests on my HDD. There are results. Please tell me is my HDD the cause of this problem, if not, then what could be the problem? Help please.



 

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Storage Nut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graliz View Post

Hello. Please help me. I just got my new laptop Asus N56VZ. I installed WIndows 7 OS and noticed that there are huge lags when using computer. Programs load very slow, freezes for short time a lot. So I decided to do some tests on my HDD. There are results. Please tell me is my HDD the cause of this problem, if not, then what could be the problem? Help please.



i dont see anything sticking out to me.

Get a SSD, that will fix it.
biggrin.gif
 

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Thank you, I will try that. I just installed everyithing that came in CD included with PC. Not sure if there were all necessary drivers.
Could it be that I damaged HDD while making partitions?
 

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Hi everyone,

Here's a shot of 3TB Seagate drive bought seperately and put into a box and used as an external drive, connected through USB3, benchmarked with HD Tune Pro 5.50 as you can see.



The system is a friend's and he asked me why the graph looks like that. I told him the graph is usually curved on HDDs because of the platters being round and difference in distance the head has to travel and all.

Mainboard 970a-g43 (I'm guessing and MSI)
CPU AMD x4 965
RAM 8GB G Skill 1333
PSU 635 b us green*
HDD Seagate 2TB 7200prm
OS Windos7 x64
*Green Planet is a company here in Iran which provides chassis and PSUs and cooling. Some of the PSU are CWT and other brands, not sure about this one's OEM.

I was wondering why are those sudden lows in read happening? Does it have to do with insufficient power? (sth can be done with changing power plan?) or changing SATA power cable? or a controller problem? Is it normal behavior for AMD platforms with USB3 at that time? Any ideas? Is sth wrong with the HDD or the fact that it's been put into a box and used as an external?

P.S. Here's a shot of the system drive, another Seagate 2TB 7200rpm, having undergone the same benchmark with same software suite. He says he had OS on a WD green before this and there were no sudden pikes and lows in the graph with the WD.

 
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