10K-RPM hard drive comparison

Spindle speed matters

OVER THE LAST several months, we've expanded our storage coverage significantly here at TR. First, we tackled IDE RAID with four drives, four RAID controllers, and five different array configurations. Next, we took an in-depth look at the performance of the latest and greatest "parallel" and Serial ATA hard drives from three different manufacturers. For an encore, we've decided to examine the performance of a slightly sexier element of high-end storage: 10K-RPM drives.

Our timing couldn't be better. Not only are a number of SCSI hard drives available with 10K spindle speeds, there's also a new Serial ATA drive available that spins at 10K RPM, too. Today I'll be looking at the performance of a threesome of 10K hard drives: Maxtor's Atlas 10K IV and Seagate's Cheetah 10K.6 SCSI drives, plus Western Digital's new Raptor WD360GD Serial ATA drive. Because it just wouldn't be fair to showcase those three drives on their own, I've pitted them against an IDE RAID 0 array and Serial ATA drives from Maxtor and Seagate.

What kind of performance can 10K-RPM SCSI and Serial ATA hard drives offer? Let's find out.

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