Tag Archives: Tom’s Hardware

SSD is the future of the enterprise – still

Enterprise SAS drives are today’s best choice for most IT shops

The smart guys at Tom’s Hardware have done a yeoman’s job of sorting the facts from the fiction regarding SSDs for the enterprise.  Their conclusions:

  • SSDs are far faster than the speediest 15K SAS drive.
  • SSDs are far more expensive than the speediest 15K SAS drive.
  • Owners of high-end enterprise applications should look into adding SSD to increase overall performance – but think through all the possible ramifications. 
  • The rest of us should be patient and enjoy the superior performance vs. price of enterprise disk drives. 

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Tom’s Hardware notebook drive roundup

Comprehensive evaluation of the top four 7200 rpm notebook drives

Tom’s Hardware compared performance notebook drives from Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung and WD with the depth and precision that only Tom’s can.  The value-add here is their understanding of the complex mix of factors that interact in real-life notebook use: performance, power, durability, security. 

Note that “performance” class 7200 rpm drives are on their way to becoming “mainstream” class, since more people are replacing desktops and expect desktop performance. 

Conclusions from the review:

Although we found ups and downs for each of the four products, all the drives passed the basic requirements for high-performance notebook hard drives, with great benchmark results. However, you should not just go any purchase any of the four drives, as their characteristics mean that some are more suitable for specific applications.
#4 Samsung’s Spinpoint MP2 is a good performer, delivering great throughput of up to 86 MB/s, and dominating the PCMark05 application benchmark, which is pretty relevant. Yet the drive is not a suitable overall recommendation, as its access time and I/O performance are a bit weak, and it’s as power-hungry as first-generation 7,200 RPM drives by Hitachi and Seagate. In terms of efficiency, Samsung is simply not yet where it could be.
#3 The Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 offers balanced performance and delivers good results across all benchmarks, but it does not win a single one of them except the Windows XP startup benchmark of PCMark05. If you want maximum performance or efficiency you might want to look for another drive, but if you find this model installed in your new notebook there is no reason to worry—it’s a good product.
#2 Western Digital’s new Scorpio Black has arrived with a bang. It has the fastest access time and great I/O performance, beating all the other 2.5″ hard drives. Though its throughput cannot quite match the transfer rates of the Seagate drive, WD manages to get excellent results in all of the benchmarks. And despite good but not exciting power consumption results, we found some surprises: WD implemented a sensible power management solution, which has the drive consume the least power at low-power idle and when playing DVD video off the HDD.#1 Seagate Momentus 7200.3. We were looking at the four hard drives from a mobile user’s perspective, so we paid close attention to performance per watt ratings. Not only does Seagate hit new transfer rate records, but it also beats the competition by providing the best combination of low power consumption and high performance. It might not win all the benchmarks, but overall it is on top. Its lead over WD was very small, though.  

Seagate sees the importance of 7200 rpm for notebook and Tom’s sees the results in Momentus.  Expect to see more of the good stuff in future versions of this winner.

Tom’s Hardware’s ultimate workstation has SAS and SATA

Seagate and SAS/SATA flexibility get the nod for their Big Guns of Business platform

When it comes to storage, Tom’s Hardware gets it. 

It’s not because they chose Seagate’s Cheetah 15K SAS and Barracuda ES SATA drives for their Big Guns of Business workstation platform.  It’s that they understand the truly revolutionary benefits of SAS and SATA in combination. 

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is taking workstations (and servers, and storage systems) where SCSI never could because of native mix-and-match compatibility with SATA. 

That means you can have screamin’ SAS, massive SATA, or both.  And change it up tomorrow if you want. 

More and more system vendors are getting this.  Strongly consider SAS-based systems from here on out.

Tom’s Hardware: Notebook SSDs take more power than disk drives

The difference between specifications and reality

Tom’s Hardware compared the power draw of SSDs and 7200 rpm disk drives in notebooks under real-world usage scenarios.  The SSD-based notebooks had shorter battery life! 

How can this be, given that the idle and active power ratings of both devices are comparable?

Disk drives almost always run at or close to idle power consumption rates.  SSDs do not.  Read the Tom’s Hardware post for a detailed explanation.

This throws another bucket of the cold water of Reality on notebook SSD hype. 

The lesson here is to thoroughly evaluate new technologies like SSD in your environment before jumping off the deep end.  SSD is no doubt exciting; it just needs a little time to mature.

Can anyone confirm that their SSD laptop has less battery life than their drived version?