Review: LaCie Little Big Disk 240 GB


Published by Marc Büchel on 17.09.12
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How do we test?

Testenvironment

We recommend that readers who aren't interested in test procedures jump over this page and head directly to the test results.

Testenvironment

Motherboard ASUS P8Z77- V Pro/Thunderbolt  
Chipset Intel Z77 1'600 MHz
CPU Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5 GHz
Memory Crucial Ballistix 8 GByte
Graphics card ASUS GeForce GTX 580  
Storage (system) Corsair Force 3 120 GByte
Operating systems Windows 7 64 Bit
Filesystem NTFS  


We think everybody reading this article can imagine the following scenario: You just bought a hard drive which according the specs sheet should transfer 120 MByte/s reading and writing. In the reviews you read about astonishing 110 MByte/s but after you put the drive into you system it feels much slower. The whole story gets even worse when you start a benchmark which does randomread/write of 4 KByte blocks. There you only get two to three MBytes/s.

Because of this we don't want to publish screenshots of standard programs like HD-Tach, HD-Tune, ... we want our tests to be

  • reproducible,
  • accurate
  • meaningful and
  • varied ...

... sind.

We test with activated caches and NCQ (Native Command Queueing) because they're also activated under daily use. But the data size tested is always at least twice the amount of the memory. In this there will be no intereference.

We noticed that the measuring error is constantly within ±2%. Therefore we mention it only here.

Additionally we evaluate the S.M.A.R.T. data to assess if there are already errors.

The following table give you a brief overview to which points we turn our centre of attention.

Test Observations
   
Sequential Read/Write Tests
  • Are the values within the specifications?
  • Which influence has the block size?
  • Which influence has the filesystems block size?
Random Read/Write Tests
  • How severe is the influence on the theoretically possible (sequential) datarate?
  • Which influence has the block size?
  • Which influence has the block size on the filesystem?
   


iozone3

iozone3 is a benchmark suit for storage solutions which natively runs under Linux.

Therefore we are testing the throughput with different block sizes using the following commands:

KByte/s

  • iozone -Rb test4k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 4k -s4g -t16
  • iozone -Rb test16k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 16k -s4g -t16
  • iozone -Rb test32k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 32k -s4g -t16
  • iozone -Rb test64k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 64k -s4g -t16
  • iozone -Rb test128k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 128k -s4g -t16
  • iozone -Rb test256k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 256k -s4g -t16
  • iozone -Rb test512k.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 512k -s4g -t16

iops

  • iozone -Rb test4ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 4k -s4g -t16 -O
  • iozone -Rb test16ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 16k -s4g -t16 -O
  • iozone -Rb test32ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 32k -s4g -t16 -O
  • iozone -Rb test64ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 64k -s4g -t16 -O
  • iozone -Rb test128ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 128k -s4g -t16 -O
  • iozone -Rb test256ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 256k -s4g -t16 -O
  • iozone -Rb test512ko.xls -i0 -i1 -i2 -+n -r 512k -s4g -t16 -O

 

Why do we test different block sizes?

It is important to reproduce scenarios of daily usage. Certain parameters need to be variable during the test to make a statement about the product. In our test the parameters are the different block sizes. It defines the size in KBytes which is written/read on the drive during a transaction.

With this method one can test the reading and writing of either small and big files. In a normal personal computer environment you usually don't find many files smaller than 16 KByte. The relative amount of small files is much bigger on a mail or database server. Therefore tests with small block sizes are of interest for database-based applications.

In bigger RAID arrays the hard disk cache is usually disabled and the RAID-Controller takes over the job of caching. Exactly in such setups hard drives need to be very fast when reading or writing small amounts of data. Sequential throughput isn't interesting in this case.



Page 1 - Introduction / Specs / Delivery Page 7 - Random Read
Page 2 - Impressions Page 8 - Sequential Write IOPS
Page 3 - How do we test? Page 9 - Sequential Read IOPS
Page 4 - Sequential Write Page 10 - Random Write IOPS
Page 5 - Sequential Read Page 11 - Random Read IOPS
Page 6 - Random Write Page 12 - Conclusion



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