Although Native Command Queuing is most definitely an elegant and intelligent way to minimize the impact of a hard drive's mechanical latency, our test results show that better performance certainly isn't guaranteed with the Barracuda 7200.7 NCQ and Promise's FastTrak TX4200. The best applications for NCQ are undoubtedly the kinds of multi-user environments that IOMeter simulates. With an increasing number of concurrent I/O requests to read or write data from different areas of a disk, command queuing's optimized request rescheduling really shines. NCQ also scales better with lower I/O loads than Western Digital's Tagged Command Queuing, whose CPU utilization is also much, much higher.
Unfortunately, IOMeter is about the only place where NCQ seems to help the Barracuda 7200.7. In fact, command queuing actually hurts the drive's performance in typical single-user applications, sometimes by a significant margin. Trying to pin down why NCQ slows the Barracuda down in some tests is more difficult, although the Raptor with TCQ is also plagued by poor single-user performance, so overhead associated with the Promise FastTrak TX 4200 controller may be the culprit.
At the end of the day, Native Command Queuing is undoubtedly The Right Thing to do. It's clearly a winner for servers that face multi-user loads, but the implementations we tested need to mature before they become attractive alternatives for single-user desktops. Given that it's entrenched in the Serial ATA II spec, we'll be seeing a lot more of Native Command Queuing moving forward. I can only hope that the next generation of drives and SATA controllers will, across the board, at least be no slower with NCQ than they are without.
54 comments — Last by indeego at 12:38 AM on 05/06/05
|Toshiba's OCZ RD400 512GB SSD reviewedNVMe inches towards attainability||21|
|Mushkin's Reactor 1TB SSD reviewedA familiar one-two punch||30|
|Adata's XPG SX930 240GB SSD reviewedAnother 16-nm Micron MLC challenger appears||24|
|OCZ's Trion 150 SSD reviewedOCZ and TLC, take two||18|
|Transcend's SSD370 solid-state drive reviewedPlanar MLC flash remains alive and well||25|
|Samsung turned our SSD Endurance Experiment into something incredibleAs long as I know how to write, I know I'll stay alive||59|
|OCZ's Trion 100 and Crucial's BX200 SSDs reviewedNew TLC drives promise entry-level value||72|
|Samsung's 950 Pro 512GB SSD reviewedV-NAND and NVMe collide||105|
|Intel Computex keynote confirms Kaby Lake and Optane for 2016||16|
|Asus shows off Avalon modular case and GX800 liquid-cooled laptop||4|
|Samsung designs minuscule single-package NVMe SSD||20|
|Thermaltake shows off The Tower and more at Computex||9|
|Adata shows NVMe and TLC SSDs at Computex||1|
|Corsair@Computex 2016: fans that levitate, fans that illuminate||8|
|Patriot adds 2TB model to Ignite SSD lineup||12|
|Intel boosts the high-end desktop with its Broadwell-E CPUs||79|
|EVGA@Computex 2016: Custom Pascal cards, new PSUs, and more||8|
|Everyone from Asus to Zotac has announced a non-reference GTX 1080. I see what you did there!||+46|