by November 1, 2004 0 comments

IT Managers who need hard drives for servers pay attention, as this 250 GB SATA drive from Western Digital is meant for you. It’s a 7200 rpm drive with 8 MB cache buffer and 2 ms track to track seek time. We tested it on an Intel D865GBF board with native SATA support, a P4 3 GHz processor, 256 MB DDR RAM, and running Win XP Professional with SP1.

We checked the drive’s throughput under various conditions using the disk inspection tests of the Winbench 99 benchmark.

The results were interesting, especially when compared against the SATA versions of Maxtor’s DiamondMax Plus and Seagate’s Barracuda drives. The drives gave average throughputs when subjected to real-world productivity as well as high-end graphics applications. However, it gave the best raw throughputs compared to the other drives. This makes this drive a good choice for servers where you need hard drives for creating raw volumes, such as in databases. Another interesting feature is time limited error recovery, which is useful when you’re using the drive with a RAID adapter. If the hard drives take more than 8 secs to respond, the RAID controller considers it to have failed. With this feature, such a ‘RAID drop’ is avoided, thereby eliminating the need to rebuild the RAID system. The drive also comes with a SATA cable that has a locking latch mechanism for a stronger connection. So check with your vendor for the same if you plan to buy one.

The bottom line: Good for apps that require high raw throughputs, such as a RDBMS.

CyberMedia Labs

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