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
|Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X opens new frontiers in datacenter storage3D Xpoint bridges DRAM and NAND||69|
|Patriot's Hellfire 480GB NVMe SSD reviewedThe NVMe competition heats up||22|
|Samsung's 960 EVO SSD reviewedMore affordable NVMe magic||37|
|Adata's Ultimate SU800 512GB SSD reviewedMicron's 3D NAND finds a new home||11|
|Samsung's 960 Pro 2TB SSD reviewedHoly crap||129|
|Toshiba's OCZ VX500 512GB SSD reviewedA19 flash bids adieu||33|
|Adata's Premier SP550 480GB SSD reviewedTaking aim at the budget segment||36|
|Samsung's Portable SSD T3 reviewed2TB in the palm of your hand||15|
|Gigabyte has two A320 boards for bread-and-butter Ryzen builds||14|
|MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G is the first custom card on e-tail shelves||6|
|Google points deep-learning machines at audio effect subtitles||4|
|Throw a Quadro card on Gigabyte's Z270X-Designare||11|
|Deals of the week: an RX 480 4GB for $150 and more||25|
|Dell UltraSharp 32 8K embarrasses 4K monitors||61|
|EVGA readies a Hybrid Waterblock for Nvidia GP102 cards||8|
|Elgato Stream Deck lets streamers play news desk||7|
|Puppy Day Shortbread||27|
|I need this because of reasons.||+41|