New hdd slow 4k writes?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by AntLion, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. AntLion

    AntLion n00b

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    Just got a new hdd. Seagate BarraCuda 4TB (ST4000DM004}
    Before I installed it internally, I formatted it in a usb dock and ran crystaldisk mark to test the empty drive.

    Annotation 2019-07-09 054603.png

    Then I started to fill the drive and after filling it a tiny bit wanted to test again.

    Annotation 2019-07-09 171449.png

    As you can see the 4k writes decreased exponentially.
    I decided to try again internally so I could see if sata vs usb would change things and it did not.

    Annotation 2019-07-09 175259.png

    Haven't bought a new hdd in many years and have nothing to equally compare it to so I am unsure if this is normal. If not, any idea what is to blame? A setting somewhere or perhaps a defective/failing drive?

    Some additional info: Passes all tests in the seagate seatools software, temps are fine, quiet in operation.
    File sys is ntfs partitioned as guid and with default allocation size of 4096.
     
  2. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If I were to guess, maybe because of Shingled Magnetic Recording? It slows down random writes, because it overlaps other sectors.
     
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  3. AntLion

    AntLion n00b

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    Not sure what that means, but these results are not typical for this drive or any hdd manufactured in the last decade.
     
  4. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    SMR is a method of overlaying groups of data tracks (called bands) like shingles on a roof to increase data density. It works because the drive's read heads are smaller than the write heads. However, when you have to write data, all of the tracks "uphill" from the one you're writing to have to be read into memory before your data can be written. After your data is written, all of the uphill tracks must be re-written again. So you could be rewriting several megabytes of data just to change 4KB, which means very slow writing performance that is typical of SMR drives that have had data written to them (of which the yours is as far as I can tell).
     
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  5. AntLion

    AntLion n00b

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    Thanks for the info. While the info is valid, these numbers are still below the norm and as such I decided on a refund.
     
  6. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Have you tried a different drive in that enclosure? That could be doing funny things to the benchmark.
     
  7. AntLion

    AntLion n00b

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    Look again at my op and notice that I also tried internally via sata and saw the same results.

    Anyway this can be marked as closed since I already took the drive back. This was my first Seagate drive and I think I will revert back to brands I've used and had good luck with. Most likely will go for a WD red.
     
  8. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They are the norm for this drive. SMR’s. have large caches to mitigate the poor write performance for the average consumer use cases. But if the cache is overwhelmed, like during an unrealistic benchmark writing 5GB of 4k data to random places, the write performance falls off a cliff.
     
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  9. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You need a PMR drive if you want 4K performance to be as you expect from a hard drive.