by Rob Williams on May 8, 2006 in Hard Drives
There seems to be a problem that’s constant with computers throughout the years. That problem is not enough storage space to feed our habits. Whether or not you actually need *this* much storage, there’s no denying it’s supremeness.
To test out this beast, I ran it through many different tests, including real world. I didn’t have another S-ATA drive on hand, so I compared it to my primary drive, an ATA Western Digital 160GB 7200RPM 8MB. Before testing began, both hard drives were completely formatted with all partitions cleared. To completely clear my 160GB drive, I ran Darik’s Boot and Nuke for a single pass. This program essentially overwrites all data bits on the hard drive to help them become unrecoverable. Of course, we are not worried about data recovery here, which is why I only used one pass.
Here is the list of tools I used for testing the drive, in case you want to test out your own:
Let’s jump straight into the benchmarks!
Since I had two fresh drives, I figured I would see which one installed Windows the fastest. The end results are only approximate, but should not be within 5 seconds different of the actual value. The version of Windows I used was Media Center Edition 2005, which spans two CD’s. For some reason, installing with the 160GB drive, I had to swap the discs less than with the 500GB. Why? I have no idea. Here are the timelines:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB
- 22:14:15 – First Windows Screen boot following format and file copying
- 22:21:09 – Registration and Serial Key
- 22:22:32 – Continuing Installation
- 22:23:51 – Prompt for Disc 2
- 22:24:25 – Prompt for Disc 1
- 22:25:02 – Continuing Installation
- 22:25:45 – Prompt for Disc 2
- 22:26:20 – Continuing Installation
- 22:28:29 – Prompt for Disc 1
- 22:28:58 – Continuing Installation
- 22:33:06 – Computer reboots
- 22:34:30 – Visual Elements Prompter
- 22:35:09 – SP2 Related Options
- 22:35:50 – Windows Desktop
After removing the prompting for different discs, the entire installation took around 1,038 seconds, or 17.3 minutes.
Western Digital 7200 160GB
- 03:28:04 – First Windows Screen boot following format and file copying
- 03:31:39 – Registration and Serial Key
- 03:32:29 – Continuing Installation
- 03:33:49 – Prompt for Disc 2
- 03:34:18 – Continuing Installation
- 03:36:33 – Prompt for Disc 1
- 03:37:00 – Continuing Installation
- 03:41:08 – Computer reboots
- 03:41:47 – Visual Elements Prompter
- 03:42:18 – SP2 Related Options
- 03:43:00 – Windows Desktop
After removing the prompting for different discs, the entire installation took around 759 seconds, or 12.7 minutes.
It’s interesting to note the ATA hard drive had the fastest Windows install. It required less disc swapping, but that’s not why. If you note the timeframe, the S-ATA took a longer time performing the same tasks. So, the ATA drive is the winner here.