500GB Seagate 7200.4 slower than 500GB Scorpio Blue????

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RogerB, May 19, 2009.

  1. RogerB macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #1
    I have been using a Scorpio Blue Drive (WDC WD5000BEVT-22ZAT0) in my 2009 17" unibody MBP while waiting for the Seagate 500GB 7200.4 revision. The new Seagate drive arrived yesterday and I swapped it out (the Scorpio Blue will be my backup drive).

    I ran xbench on the freshly formatted drive was disturbed to see a result that was about half as fast as the Scorpio Blue. I then cloned the old drive to the new, verified, repaired permissions, turned off spotlight, etc. and tested again. the results are below.

    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
    Physical RAM 8192 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,2
    Drive Type ST9500420AS
    Disk Test 34.47
    Sequential 106.77
    Uncached Write 112.48 69.06 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 126.04 71.31 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 72.06 21.09 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 147.93 74.35 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 20.55
    Uncached Write 5.99 0.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 124.64 39.90 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 81.40 0.58 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 133.88 24.84 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.6 (9G2141)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,2
    Drive Type WDC WD5000BEVT-22ZAT0
    Disk Test 64.27
    Sequential 118.17
    Uncached Write 114.89 70.54 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 128.48 72.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 93.89 27.48 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 149.00 74.89 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 44.14
    Uncached Write 16.87 1.79 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 123.71 39.60 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 66.95 0.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 120.22 22.31 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Both drives have about 180GB free space.

    Not encouraging. I am ready to swap them back and return the Seagate.

    Besides the drive differences, there were a couple upgrades while waiting: 10.5.6 --> 10.5.7 and 4GB RAM --> 8GB RAM.

    Anybody else seeing this slow performance on the newer Seagate Momentus drives (Firmware 0002SDM1)?

    -Roger

    A little more info.

    Here is the same Scorpio Blue in an external firewire 800 drive:

    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
    Physical RAM 8192 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,2
    Drive Type Ext Hard Disk
    Disk Test 55.27
    Sequential 84.18
    Uncached Write 96.65 59.34 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 94.17 53.28 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 56.21 16.45 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 114.10 57.35 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 41.14
    Uncached Write 15.44 1.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 105.78 33.86 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 68.47 0.49 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 119.20 22.12 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    About the same performance as when it was internal.

    -Roger
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    Look at your partition scheme. Once I've cloned the drive without having the partition scheme on GUID and the cloned drive was slow.

    Benchmarks done by major publication all state the 7200.4 as much faster.
     
  3. interconnect macrumors regular

    interconnect

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #3
    something doesn't seem right here. i would retry the test on the same exact hardware (not making any changes whatsoever) and a fresh install of leopard (same version) on each drive.
     
  4. RogerB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #4
    It is definitely GUID. Could not boot otherwise.

    That is true for the first version that had problems but I have not seen any for the revised version yet.

    -Roger
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    Why would you benchmark full drives?
     
  6. RogerB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #6
    I agree something is not right.

    Not really possible to put a clean install on each drive since these are my work drives and do not have the time to spend all day copying data back on to both drives.

    The two drives now have identical software and both can boot the MBP. I did test the Seagate in a freshly formatted state and again with all data on it. Same results either way.

    -Roger
     
  7. RogerB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #7
    I benchmark it as I use it and to compare with previous benchmarks on other drives. That much space on a non-fragmented drive should not significantly affect performance.

    I also benchmarked it empty with no significant difference.

    -Roger
     
  8. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #8
    I think a lot of people underestimate the Scorpio Blue 500gig drive's performance, especially in real life situations. And it's 2/3 the price.
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    Did you get your units messed up? 180MB free on a 500gb boot drive is not the way to run a computer.

    Somehow I highly doubt that.
     
  10. Warranty Voider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Maine, US
    #10
    I have also noticed that my Scorpio Blue 500gig drive is significantly faster than any other notebook drive I've had, including 7200rpm. I've also noticed an increase in battery life while using the Scorpio Blue. Big thumbs up to Western Digital for making an awesome drive. :D
     
  11. RogerB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #11
    You are correct, I have 180GB free on each drive.

    Why? XBench results vary from test to test but the results were essentially the same.

    -Roger
     
  12. Warranty Voider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Maine, US
    #12
    I'm just guessing, but I think it's because as more and more data get written to the disk, there is less physical space to write new data. Because of this, empty space for new data gets strewn around the disk in little bits (no pun intended). This makes the read / write head of the HDD more around more which takes more time which decreases performance.
     
  13. oak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    #13
    The Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB notebook drive is fast for large sustained ...?

    Interesting. According to: http://www.barefeats.com/note05.html

    "The Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB notebook drive sets a new standard for large sustained transfers and storage space ..."

    Not sure how to interpret the results.

    Perhaps one needs to first figure out where the dividing line is at for "large sustained transfers..."

    Is it 80MB > according to the barefeats site?

    So people who need to transfer large, non-fragmented blocks of data over a sustained period of time, repeatedly? What programs need to do that? Photo/film editing and 3D rendering type application's? Do the new 3D games need that type of access behavior?

    Perhaps, this would be good for archiving?

    I chose it to write and retrieve large (>256K blocks), simulation vector files for a particular application I run. I don't intend on letting the drive fill-up. Rather, I will archive my results as needed to keep the disk overhead down as time goes on.

    Here's a sample from my UMBP 15" 2.66 with the ST9500420AS (Only 60GB used of a 345GB partion, sharing the remainder with boot camp.)

    Capacity: 465.76 GB
    Model: ST9500420AS
    Revision: 0002SDM1

    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.6 (9G2133)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,1
    Drive Type ST9500420AS


    Disk Test 54.34
    Sequential 129.31
    Uncached Write 171.77 105.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 165.14 93.44 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 71.53 20.93 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 197.02 99.02 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 34.39
    Uncached Write 10.82 1.15 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 181.64 58.15 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 85.39 0.61 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 150.74 27.97 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    I've found some additional information regarding performance and behavior:

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/967/7/ (Excerpt; page 7 of review.)

    It appears that, as the outside of the platter is reached, the access times are reduced. This will produce a lowered average access time. Looking at the original post this may be the case. However, in my benchmark, where the drive is not as full, the access times are more impressive. Again, the size and (relative) alignment of accessed data blocks appear to be relative to the overall access time, especially critical, per the type of access the particular application performs for the task at hand.
     
  14. mianesva Guest

    #14
    Here are my numbers on same drives/machine

    Just got the drive yesterday from newegg. New firmware for seagate 0002SDM1

    Unibody 09 17" 4GB RAM 2.93 CPU

    I ran test on WD
    I cloned drive using superduper.
    I swapped drives (ie. put seagate inside MBP)
    I ran test on Seagate

    The sequential times are much better on seagate. I think the difference is that the WDC likely has faster seek times. That is why the times are better on the 4K block random tests (but not on the 256K blocks).... everything else the 7.2K seagate is faster.


    WD Results 52.92
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,2
    Drive Type WDC WD5000BEVT-22ZAT0
    Disk Test 52.92
    Sequential 85.51
    Uncached Write 92.11 56.55 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 96.28 54.47 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 59.96 17.55 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 112.95 56.77 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 38.31
    Uncached Write 13.87 1.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 117.62 37.65 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 66.21 0.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 115.00 21.34 MB/sec [256K blocks]


    Seagate Results 53.07
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.7 (9J61)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro5,2
    Drive Type ST9500420AS
    Disk Test 53.07
    Sequential 108.31
    Uncached Write 127.34 78.18 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 128.55 72.73 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 67.49 19.75 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 154.28 77.54 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 35.14
    Uncached Write 11.32 1.20 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 152.78 48.91 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 84.03 0.60 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 141.32 26.22 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  15. dlhuss macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #15
    not sure what's up with the test, but WD is kicking Seagate's butt in general for the past few years, and i bet this is no exception
     
  16. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #16
    Shortly after installing my WD500g Scorpio Blue into my MBP I ran this with Xbench:

    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.3
    System Version 10.5.6 (9G55)
    Physical RAM 4096 MB
    Model MacBookPro3,1
    Drive Type WDC WD5000BEVT-22ZAT0

    Disk Test 54.97
    Sequential 86.66
    Uncached Write 108.65 66.71 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 120.28 68.05 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 46.03 13.47 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 144.60 72.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 40.25
    Uncached Write 15.09 1.60 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 98.02 31.38 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 68.79 0.49 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 119.62 22.20 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  17. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #17
    Interesting, your score is pretty much equal to people running the Seagate 7200.4 on a WD 5400. I wonder why that is. If this is the case, I'll definitely get the WD if Seagate doesn't even have the clear speed advantage.
     
  18. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #18
    I'm not sure Xbench is always the best indicator of performance, and think the Seagate 7200.4 will likely yield more speed in real life by maybe 10-15%, but the real question is... is this difference worth the difference in price? I'm happy so far with the WD Blue, but when adding an external 500gig portable drive, I opted for the Seagate FreeAgent 500g over the WD Passport at the same price because I liked the form-factor of the Seagate much better. I noticed that the external Seagate 500gig (5400) drive inside makes little clicks that I don't hear on the installed internal WD Scorpio Blue 500.

    I still think the WD 5400 Scorpio Blue 500g drive is the best 5400rpm drive available at the moment for overall performance, including heat, energy consumption and quietness.
     
  19. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #19
    I looked around at the drive options and I decided on the Scorpio Blue myself
    So far... awesome

    Most of the reviews I read compared the speeds favorably to the 7200s, including the Scorpio Black

    Agreed

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  20. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #20
    A Seagate 5400.6 Momentus beats the Scorpio for energy consumption and vibration, but the Scorpio wins out on speed and noise.

    Looking again at mianesva's results, it seems XBench has some weird weightings to produce the overall figures. On Random the Seagate loses once, wins three times yet loses overall? Hmm...
     
  21. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #21
    If the Seagate 5400 500g drive has less vibrations than the WD then it's got to be virtually vibration-free because I detect no vibrations from my WD 500g drive. That's certainly a good thing, but I doubt vibration is a deciding issue here on these drives since they're so close (the 5400 drives.)

    I also don't quite understand the Xbench scoring system... there are lots of other testing programs used in reviews, but one thing about the Scorpio Blue 500gig drive is that it consistently wins on data throughput rates against all but a few 7200 rpm drives. The Seagate 7200.4 500g drive does beat the Scorpio Blue in some throughput measurements by a pretty good margin, but in other tests they're a lot closer than expected.

    Here's a WD5000BEVT test from Legit Reviews.

    Here's a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB test from Legit Reviews.

    The Seagate does outperform the 5400 Scorpio Blue, which it should given the dual-250gig platter design for both drives, and the rpm difference. But, the Scorpio Blue is one really fine drive for the money overall.
     
  22. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #22
    Thanks for the Legit Reviews link. Very useful information.
     
  23. thiagos macrumors 6502

    thiagos

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    NYC (Manhattan)
    #23
    I have the 2.5" Seagate 500GB 7200RPM on my 17" MacBook Pro (which I bought a week and a half ago from Newegg). Here are the Xbench results:

    Disk Test 53.41
    Sequential 104.76
    Uncached Write 100.40 61.64 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 124.24 70.29 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 72.36 21.18 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 157.41 79.12 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 35.84
    Uncached Write 11.67 1.24 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 150.28 48.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 83.10 0.59 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 138.33 25.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]




    And I have the 500GB Scorpio Blue 5400RPM on my 15" 2.53Ghz MacBook Pro.

    The results are:

    Disk Test 59.99
    Sequential 95.39
    Uncached Write 114.63 70.38 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 117.78 66.64 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 56.95 16.67 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 139.65 70.19 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 43.76
    Uncached Write 16.43 1.74 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 122.14 39.10 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 69.77 0.49 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 124.37 23.08 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  24. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #24
    My source. But I do agree that the Scorpio Blue is a really nice drive for the money. It's a great time to be buying now with a healthy amount of competition in the Hard Drive market. We should be seeing larger 2.5" Hard Drives out there early next year too. Disk Drives are here to stay for a while longer yet.
     

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