While Winbench '99 is ancient, it's still a somewhat useful tool, especially in the case of the transfer rate test. This gives an indication of how the drive is able to handle sustained reads. Starting at the outside of the disk, where the fastest reads are found, it goes all the way across to the inside. As can be seen, the newer 7K250 is faster across the entire disk. This is a complete low level test however, and we'll have to see if this shows up in application performance.
One of the other components of Winbench '99 is a set of two measured playbacks of their Business and High End tests, which can also be used to measure HD performance relating to applications from that era such as Photoshop 4, Frontpage '98, and Visual C++ 5. While tests like that don't exactly relate to current applications, it's at least more realistic than something like HDTach or Atto. In both the business and "high end" tests, the 7K250 showed a large performance gap over the 120GXP.
Winbench also includes another tool that measures access time. The elder statesman 120GXP blew the doors off the 7K250, 12.1 to 13.1 seconds. This was also confirmed with Intel's IPEAK SPT, though it didn't give quite such a massive advantage to the 120GXP. Subtracting 4.2 seconds for the rotational latency inherent to 7200rpm drives, that leaves 8.9 seconds for the Hitachi, and 7.9s for the IBM. Hitachi specs an 8.5 second seek time for the 7K250, so the drive I tested has fallen off the pace a little.
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