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Western Digital 320GB Scorpio Black

Last updated 2009-06-01 - Send Feedback
Related: hard drive, storage

The Western Digital 320GB Scorpio Black is a solid performer among the 7200 rpm crowd.

It’s useful to compare it to its sibling the Western Digital 500GB Scorpio Blue, the latter being a better choice if your intent is to store 250GB or more of data.

See the review of the Intel X25-M solid state drive for more performance data; this is one drive that performs very nicely on real-world tasks.

DiskTester results

Test mule: MacBook Pro (Oct 2008 unibody) 2.8GHz 
SATA hardware: internal SATA II connector
Driver: Apple standard
Drive model: WD3200BEKT

Sequential sustained transfer

These are excellent results for a laptop hard drive in late 2008.

# Sequential sustained transfer
----- Averages for "wd320" (512MB/start, 3 iterations) -----
Chunk Size Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
32K 48.2 68.7
64K 61.7 80.8
128K 70.6 81.3
256K 74.8 80.8
512K 76.4 80.9
1MB 76.5 81.4
2MB 76.9 80.2
4MB 75.2 80.6
8MB 77.0 80.4
16MB 76.8 80.5
32MB 77.2 80.5
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Speed across the drive (area test)

These are very good speeds, but note that performance drops off quickly as the drive fills up. Laptop users storing more than 200GB of data should look carefully at the 500GB Scorpio Blue.

----- Averages for "wd320" (512MB/1MB, 3 iterations) -----
Area (295.9GB) Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
0% 77.3 80.8
10% 76.1 79.3
20% 74.2 76.9
30% 71.8 74.5
40% 71.3 71.2
50% 66.8 67.6
60% 63.1 62.2
70% 59.6 59.2
80% 54.4 54.4
90% 48.8 48.8
100% 41.5 40.9
Average write speed across the volume: 64.1MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 65.1MB/sec ----- Averages for "wd320" (512MB/32MB, 3 iterations) -----
Area (295.9GB) Write MB/sec Read MB/sec
0% 77.0 80.8
10% 76.3 79.4
20% 73.2 76.6
30% 71.9 73.9
40% 71.0 71.6
50% 66.8 67.5
60% 62.9 62.7
70% 59.6 58.9
80% 54.5 54.4
90% 48.9 48.9
100% 41.7 40.6
Average write speed across the volume: 64.0MB/sec
Average read speed across the volume: 65.0MB/sec

Create and read files

This test times how long it takes to create and flush files to disk, and to read them back, with the Mac OS X cache bypassed so as to reflect actual hard drive performance. The test is run on empty freshly-formatted drive.

disktester create-files / read-files
Action Time (seconds) MB/sec
Create 5120 1MB files 67.8 75.5
Read 5120 1MB files 64.0 80.0
Create 512 10MB files 67.8 75.5
Read 512 10MB files 64.5 79.4

With the advent of “stutter” in mediocre solid state drives, it’s not a bad idea to look at the consistency of performance.

Variance of 10MB file creation times (ms)
 
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