Toshiba 1TB 2.5″ SATA HDD Review – Model MQ01ABD100

I/O Performance


There is little point of having a hard disk
that that can sustain fast reading and writing speeds, if the drive can’t
handle reading and writing of small random files. If you intend to use your new
drive to store and run your operating system, then the drive must be able to
cope with the many small random files that Windows will write to the drive
continually. So I feel it is very important to test how many of these random
files that a drive can handle in one second. Obviously, the more I/O’s that a
drive can handle, the faster the drive will feel and leave more headroom for
those huge multitasking sessions that users sometimes engage in.

Partition alignment and sector boundaries


Windows 7 and Vista will automatically
align a partition to 4k boundaries during partition creation. Windows XP won’t.
Windows XP is also restricted to sector boundaries, while Windows 7 will use 4k
boundaries if it can. This Toshiba 1TB hard disk is 4k boundary aware, and will
use these boundaries if possible. Of course it will also remap LBAs for
compatibility with the sector boundaries so that the drive can be used with
Windows XP.

IOMeter allows us to set the sector
boundaries for conducting the tests, and I have therefore set the sector
boundaries at 4K, which means the IOMeter tests are valid for Windows 7 and
Windows Vista users. XP users will not be able to obtain such results.

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I will provide a screenshot of the tests on
the review drive for those of you who like to see the actual test result. All
the comparison drive results are represented in the form of graphs.

If any of you would like to see a
screenshot from any IOMeter test on a particular drive, please feel free to
request one, and I’ll post the screenshot in the forum thread.

All the IOMeter tests create a 10GB data
set on the target drive, and each test is run for a duration of 3 minutes.

IOMeter 4K random write test with repeating data.


The first test involves creating continual
4KB random files on the target drive with IOMeter. I use a 4KB file size, as it
is believed that Windows will create and modify many of this size of file constantly
in the background during a typical Windows session. It is said that most 4K
random writes take place at a queue depth of only one, and we have been requested
to include this test in our reviews. As our earlier hard disk IOMeter tests
were conducted at QD4 only, we do not have earlier hard disk test results for
the QD1 comparison graphs.

Queue Depth 1

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – 4K random read (QD1)

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Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

Queue Depth 4

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – 4K random read (QD4)

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

With a single queue depth, the Toshiba hard
disk performs surprisingly well, outperforming even the Samsung F3 7200RPM
desktop hard disk. However, with the increased queue depth, the Toshiba hard
disk slips behind, but still compares well, outperforming the comparison 2.5”
hard disks. If it had maintained 1.1MB/s from the single queue depth test, it
would have beaten all our comparison hard disks apart from the Velociraptor.

IOMeter 4K random read test with repeating data.


If there are many 4k files created, then
that must also mean that many 4k files need to be read. This test measures 4k
reading performance.

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It is said that most 4K random reads take
place at a queue depth of only one, and readers have requested that we include
this test in my reviews.

Queue Depth 1

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – 4K random read (QD1)

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

Queue Depth 4

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – 4K random write (QD4)

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Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

With a single queue depth, the Toshiba hard
disk also performs reasonably well with a fair margin ahead of the Samsung M7,
but the M7 catches up with the queue depth increased to 4. When compared to
other drives, it outperforms the Hitachi 2.5” and comes just short of the Samsung
F3 500GB desktop hard disk, but a fair margin behind the other 7200RPM desktop
hard disks. 

IOMeter 512K QD1 sequential write test with repeating
data.


Sequential writing performance is also very
important; in this test sequential writing performance is measured.

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – 512K sequential write

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Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

The Toshiba hard disk is the fastest 2.5”
hard disk here, even exceeding the Seagate hybrid by a fair margin and not far
behind some of the desktop hard disks we’ve previously tested here.

IOMeter 512K QD1 sequential read test with repeating data.


This test measures 512k sequential reading
performance at a queue depth of one.

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – 512K sequential read

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

As with the write test, the Toshiba hard
disk is the fastest 2.5” hard disk here by a significant margin.

IOMeter Workstation simulation (outstanding I/Os = 64).


When running applications you will find
that there is a mixture of small random files, and larger sequential files,
being created and read. Not only that, it isn’t just one file at a time. In
this test I measure a simulated workstation pattern, with a queue depth of 64
(threaded).

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100
Toshiba 1TB 2.5” 5400RPM HDD – Workstation simulation

Toshiba 1TB 2.5" SATA HDD Review - Model MQ01ABD100

The Toshiba hard disk has done very well in
this test, again ahead of the other 2.5” hard disks by a significant margin. 

Summary


The Toshiba hard disk has done very well in
our IOMeter tests, beating our comparison 2.5" hard disks in all but the
random read benchmark with a Queue Depth of 4.  This means the hard disk should
do well when faced with small IO operations such as pagefile access as well as
large sequential read and writes such as Windows going into and coming out of
hibernation, where it stores the RAM content to hard disk.

Now let’s head to the next page for some
real world file transfer tests…

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