More Advanced Format drives: Samsung SpinPoint F4 EcoGreen and Seagate Barracuda Green

I’ve acquired a couple more 2 TB Advanced Format drives: a Seagate Barracuda Green (ST2000DL003) and a Samsung SpinPoint F4 EcoGreen (HD204UI, no data sheet available online).

I was extremely impressed with the Samsung HD204UI. It’s the first AF drive I’ve seen with decent performance. In fact, it’s the fastest disk I’ve tested so far—its unaligned writes are faster than the non-AF Hitachi I used as a reference last time, and its aligned writes are twice as fast.

   count    size  offset    step        msec     tps    kBps

  131072    1024       0    4096       43984    2979    2979
  131072    1024     512    4096      127047    1031    1031

   65536    2048       0    8192       14764    4438    8877
   65536    2048     512    8192       12453    5262   10524
   65536    2048    1024    8192       12460    5259   10518

   32768    4096       0   16384        4609    7109   28436
   32768    4096     512   16384        7829    4185   16740
   32768    4096    1024   16384        8413    3894   15579
   32768    4096    2048   16384        8211    3990   15961

   16384    8192       0   32768        3952    4145   33165
   16384    8192     512   32768        9050    1810   14481
   16384    8192    1024   32768        9317    1758   14067
   16384    8192    2048   32768        9315    1758   14069
   16384    8192    4096   32768        3996    4099   32793

The Seagate ST2000DL003, on the other hand, is so slow it’s not even funny. It’s actually the slowest of all the drives I’ve tested: its performance on aligned random writes is half that of the Western Digital WD20EARS. It’s three times as fast on unaligned writes, but three times nothing (100 kBps) is still nothing (300 kBps) compared to the Samsung HD204UI (15 MBps). Here are the numbers:

   count    size  offset    step        msec     tps    kBps

  131072    1024       0    4096     2419280      54      54
  131072    1024     512    4096     2199286      59      59

   65536    2048       0    8192     1283667      51     102
   65536    2048     512    8192      985184      66     133
   65536    2048    1024    8192      995423      65     131

   32768    4096       0   16384       45980     712    2850
   32768    4096     512   16384      345291      94     379
   32768    4096    1024   16384      432533      75     303
   32768    4096    2048   16384      429781      76     304

   16384    8192       0   32768       34192     479    3833
   16384    8192     512   32768      166440      98     787
   16384    8192    1024   32768      210147      77     623
   16384    8192    2048   32768      207356      79     632
   16384    8192    4096   32768       34221     478    3830

This time, I also ran sequential write tests—basically, dding eight gigabytes’ worth of zeroes to the disk in 128 kB blocks, which is the optimal I/O size for FreeBSD. This time, the results are pretty close: the Samsung HD204UI gets slightly less than 90 MBps, and the Seagate ST2000DL003 gets slightly less than 80 MBps.

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