Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

New Desktop Hard Drives: Speed Or Capacity?

New Desktop Hard Drives: Speed Or Capacity?
By

Western Digital’s Caviar Green is the first hard drive to offer an impressive 2 TB of capacity. Seagate has also introduced a new drive, the Barracuda 7200.12, but its capacity only spans up to 1 TB. Samsung recently launched its Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen drive with 500 GB of capacity, though that one will ramp up to 1.5 TB soon.

All these drives feature the same 500 GB per-platter capacity, but that is all they have in common. We look at which drive offers the best value for your money.

Performance Versus Capacity

While desktop hard drives used to be based exclusively on 7,200 RPM spindle speeds, combining both high performance and high capacity, the market is clearly moving in a different direction now. We still expect many, if not most drives to be one-for-all products, meaning that the majority of hard drives will deliver high performance and large capacities. However, the disk drive market is splitting into two segments. There will be more products with a focus on performance, such as flash solid-state drives (SSDs) and high-performance drives like Western Digital’s VelociRaptor. There will also be storage hard drives and solutions geared for higher capacity at the expense of performance.

Performance- Versus Storage-Oriented Drives

Performance-oriented drives are expected to run fast when speed especially counts for operating systems and applications. Obviously, flash SSDs, such as Intel’s X25-M, deliver maximum throughput of over 200 MB/s with almost no access time. These drives don’t even consume a lot of power.

Storage-oriented drives, on the other hand, usually offer spindle speeds of 5,400 RPM or 7,200 RPM and are geared for backup, whether you are storing photo, music, or video files. These storage-oriented drives offer capacities of up to 2 TB offer and have sufficient performance for less performance-driven applications.

Low Power Trends

The IT industry continues to jump on the low-power bandwagon, but much hype remains. For example, we believe that low power should not be touted as an extra feature, but should instead be a basic requirement for each and every product. Samsung’s Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen and the Western Digital Caviar Green address this hype by focusing on high capacity per watt. Effectively, they represent nice storage drives according to our definition. In the case of the new Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 desktop hard drive, Seagate seeks to the HDD performance crown, but as our benchmarks show, the competition is stiff.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the UK Article comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 10 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 21 April 2009 17:27
    Speed Or Capacity = erm both. Speed for the OS - Capacity for the grot.
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 21 April 2009 20:18
    waxdartSpeed Or Capacity = erm both. Speed for the OS - Capacity for the grot.


    Why do people make such comments?
    Get 2 drives or more...You should know that there is no single solution that fits all cases well.

    Get a VelociRaptor for OS/Apps and a 2TB for the grot. I actually have 4 drives. OS/Apps in mirror raid on VelociRaptors, 1 drive for games and 1 drive for general data + my NAS etc. Or look at SSD for the OS. It is best to partition the data you have based on the usage of your system. If you want a single HDD then you must be suicidal. No offence =)
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 21 April 2009 20:21
    Regarding the review, WD once again are on top of the game =)
    Always reliable, fast and I am surprised about the noise levels. I cannot hear my VelociRaptors and they are 10000rpm drives. (Ok I know they are not the drives in the review, but still WD).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 22 April 2009 11:58
    VelociRaptors are premium drives, costs about 2~3 times the normal drives of the same capacity. I wonder if the VelociRaptors drives can outperform a pair of interleaved Raid drives.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 22 April 2009 13:38
    What people dont realise is that Western Digitals are nearly impossible to do head swaps on, so if your drive fails, your pretty much buggered if its a heads/preamp problem.
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 22 April 2009 16:19
    ICE_COOLWhat people dont realise is that Western Digitals are nearly impossible to do head swaps on, so if your drive fails, your pretty much buggered if its a heads/preamp problem.


    And does the head swap cost less or is more successfull than a mirrored drive? That is why there is RAID =)
  • 0 Hide
    vasthegreek , 22 April 2009 16:25
    conman77VelociRaptors are premium drives, costs about 2~3 times the normal drives of the same capacity. I wonder if the VelociRaptors drives can outperform a pair of interleaved Raid drives.


    THAT is the main issue !!! PRICE !!! One of my drives could have got me 4 normal WD drives. But usually what you pay for is what you get. I don't think that a single drive would outperform raid-0 on the other hand you can do raid-5 instead of raid-0 etc. I think it is really hard to decide what is the best choice cause we don't all have the same use of our data and computers. You got to think or power consumption too and, overall heat in the case etc. However I was pleasantly surprised with the VR's regarding heat, noise and speed.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 22 April 2009 21:19
    where's Miles? has he not got anything pointless to say about this article?
  • 0 Hide
    Hockeyguyinoc , 23 April 2009 07:12
    Just a comment that will help newbies understand what they are looking at. For the benchmark graphs add somewhere that lower numbers are better/higher numbers are better or something like that. I would put it either access times or at the bottom of the graph. Just my two cents for someone who is new but wants to learn something.
  • -2 Hide
    voicepass , 27 April 2009 19:17
    VoiceGuard™ Border Controller(VGBC) bypass ISP blocking VoIP
    For political & economic reasons, ISP may block VoIP in your country. How to solve it using VoiceGuard™ Border Controller(VGBC)?
    Due to unique architecture, when deploying VGBC at customer CPE side, VGBC can work in the way similar to that of soho router, but it only encrypts and decrypts SIP and RTP packets on link layer, not to hand-up these packets to IP stack for forwarding while bypassing other data packets originating from SIP terminals. In this scenario, peak throughput and minimal CPU overhead can be easily achieved.

    Key Benefits:
    Minimal Overhead and High Call Quality
    Easy to Use and Cost-effective
    Unlimited Call Session Number
    Highly Interoperable with any Third-party Products and Services, e.g.: Linksys PAP2
    Support termination server blockade
    ***************************************************************************
    VoicePass™ Service Plan for Residential and Home User
    VoicePass™ is new kind of service specially for bypassing VoIP blocking imposed by ISP for residential and home user. It allows subscriber to use VoIP freely in blockage region such as Middle East and Africa without compromising of voice quality. Outgoing and incoming call is always available dependent upon what ITSP or service provider supplies. With VoicePass™ subscription, zero configuration setup is at your finger. What you do only is to enjoy cheap VoIP rate and crystal voice. 24x7 support assures communication anytime and anywhere.

    Key benefits:
     Work with any ITSP and service provider
     Minimal overhead and crystal voice quality
     Easy-to-use and cost-effective
     Zero configuration setup
     Surpass conventional VPN scenario

    Regarding comparison between VoicePass™ and VPN, please refer to
    http://www.voicepassnet.com/vgclientsdkcomparison.html.

    ***************************************************************************
    VoIP Anti blockage SIP softphone/Dialer ---- VGCommunicator
    Fully SIP based PC softphone service.
    Features:
    • Supports branding with custom skin and logo
    • Compatible with Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista
    • NAT/Firewall traversal support
    • Work with any 3rd party SIP Server
    • SIP outbound proxy support
    • Display caller account balance
    • Display call credit time
    • Embed Flash advertisements
    • DTMF tones can be integrated with voice mail or other tone driven systems
    • Multilanguage user interface
    • Integration with customer website
    • Voice Activity Detection
    • Automatic Echo Cancellation
    • Automatic jitter buffer adjustment
    • Last number Redial
    • History of 10 last dialed numbers
    • Quick dial list
    • Quick provision for customers, only user name and password required
    • Auto software update
    • VoiceGuard™ VoIP anti-blocking engine embedded, widely used in UAE , Asia & Africa ISP blocking VoIP market
    And we provide customzation Softphone/Dialer service to the VoIP providers.
    For more info, pls refer to http://www.voiceguardnet.com/vgcommunicator.htmlOther members of VoiceGuard for VoIP anti-blocking as follows:
    • VoiceGuard™ Standalone Client(VGSC) for Windows – Perform encryption for any brands of ATA/Softphone, such as Linksys PAP2 & X-lite
    • VoiceGuard™ Client SDK(VGSDK) - Incorporate voip anti-blocking capability into existing legacy softphone and dialer running on Windows(Softphone/Dialer customization service is also available with VGSDK)
    • VoiceGuard™ SPE VoIP Adapter(VGSPE) – VoIP anti-blocking ATA device which is available in 1 - 4 FXS & FXO ports
    • VoiceGuard™ Border Controller(VGBC) – Support any brands of ATA/Softphone for existing legacy ATAs, such as Linksys PAP2
    ***************************************************************************
    VGSCLite released for VoIP Anti-Blockade, get free trial
    For political & economic reasons, ISP may block VoIP in your country. To protect your VoIP business & profit, SpeedVoIP Communication Technology Co., Ltd. is providing Security VoIP software solution, VGSCLite, which installed on the PC at the client side. And it’s specifically for softphone such as X-Lite.
    Key Features:
    Maximum call completion rate and maximum voice service duration SIP core standards and a variety of drafts supported Proprietary link layer protocol for controlling Any 3rd-party Softphone/ATA/Gateway/IPPhone/IAD and SIP Proxy/Registrar/SBC supported The most comprehensive codec including g.711/g.723/g.729ab/iLBC/gsm/speechX supported Bypassing Narus and Verso platform detection Flexible user-customized encryption policy driven Strict call path protection and security up to termination Only simultaneous signaling/media/T.38 fax packet support across any firewall. No network or firewall modification is required. Excellent voice quality without any latency and performance compromise Small footprint terminal SDK Available on all major platforms.
    Pls review: http://www.voiceguardnet.com for details & get free trial at http://www.voiceguardnet.com/download.html
    ***************************************************************************
    VoiceGuard™ VoIP Adapter/ATA VGSPE for VoIP Anti-Blockade
    VoiceGuard™ is versatile and powerful VoIP anti-blocking solution for ITSP and VoIP Reseller which can protect call completion and lead to maximum service duration while prevents revenue leakage for ITSP, which can work with any 3rd-party SIP proxy or softswitch.
    VoiceGuard™ VoIP Adapter/ATA(VGSPE)for security & anti-blocking is available in 1-, 2-, 4-port FXS & FXO models
    VGSPE Comparison Matrix:

    VGSPE Model Ethernet Ports FXS Port FXO Port PSTN pass-through Port USB-B Port
    VGSPE-1.1 2RJ45 (LAN/WAN) 1 0 Yes Yes
    VGSPE-1.1 Pro 2RJ45 (LAN/WAN) 1 1 Yes Yes
    VGSPE-2.1 2RJ45 (LAN/WAN) 2 0 Yes Yes
    VGSPE-2.1 Pro 2RJ45 (LAN/WAN) 2 1 Yes Yes
    VGSPE-4.0 2RJ45 (LAN/WAN) 4 0 No Yes
    VGSPE-4.2 Pro 2RJ45 (LAN/WAN) 4 2 Yes Yes

    Key Benefits:

    Minimal Overhead and High Call Quality
    Easy to Use and Cost-effective
    Any 3rd party SIP proxy/Registrar/SBC supported
    Termination trunking gateway supported

    We also provide anti blockage hardware for existing legacyATA from other vendors.
    • VoiceGuard™ Border Controller(VGBC) –hardware, support any brands of ATA/Softphone, such as Linksys PAP2
    Other members of VoiceGuard for VoIP Anti blockage as follows:
    • VoiceGuard™ Communicator(VGCommunicator) – Fully SIP compatible Softphone/Dialer for PC2Phone and PC2PC services
    • VoiceGuard™ Standalone Client(VGSC) for Windows – Perform encryption for any brands of ATA/Softphone, such as Linksys PAP2 & X-lite
    • VoiceGuard™ Client SDK(VGSDK) - Incorporate voip anti-blocking capability into existing legacy softphone and dialer running on Windows(Softphone/Dialer customization service is also available with VGSDK)
    Due to the effective work we have done, our website http://www.speed-voip.com has been blocked by ISP. Please visit our website via VPN or turn to other website http://www.voicepassnet.com www.voiceguardnet.com

    Candy
    Email: candy@voicepassnet.com
    MSN: svoipsalesgold@hotmail.com
    Website:www.voicepassnet.com www.voiceguardnet.com
    www.speed-voip.com (This web may has been blocked in some Middle East area)
    Technical supporter Guru MSN: jlsnmp@163.com