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Old November 5, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Reinstalling Vista did nothing... burst rate is still just over 70.
I'll try and get a chance to test it in my rig tonight or tomorrow.

Should I worry at all about it if it's not any better?
I've seen more than one person posting over 140 MB/sec.
How important is burst rate really?
I wouldn't worry if it was off a little... but half just seems way too low.

Last edited by somecanadianguy; November 5, 2009 at 07:32 PM.
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Old November 5, 2009, 09:53 PM
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no offense, but you do have the latest chipset and motherboard drivers installed right?
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Old November 6, 2009, 10:32 AM
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yes...
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Old November 6, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Burst speed really has very little effect on the real world performance as it is just a theoretical number. BUT in very rare cases it could be pointing to bad cache on the hard drive (or something else getting ready to die). First thing I would do is try another program and see if it is just hdtune being wonky. IF another program also shows it at about half of what it should be I would, pull the drive and test it in a different system. IF the numbers are much better, you are going to want to take a close look at the BIOS and how it is handling hard drives (maybe a wonky setting). I would also try another drive in that system to see if OTHER hard drives are effected. Try different ports, maybe its a bad port (doubtful), etc. I am assuming that the BIOS is up to date. If not flash it to the latest.

IF you have done all that and two different programs show it as low, AND its low in a different system. Then it is time to decide whether to ignore it (as it is most likely no big deal) or replace it. I would probably do the latter as storage is so cheap. YMMV
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Old November 6, 2009, 04:39 PM
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Ran HDTach on it and my 640GB to compare...

Quick Bench:
500GB - 161.6 MB/sec
640GB - 228.4 MB/sec

Long Bench:
500GB - 167.3 (CPU 14%)
640GB - 229.1 (CPU 2%)

CPU usage seems really high.
Not sure why.
Burst rate looks better though.

Haven't updated BIOS... maybe I'll do that too and see if it helps anything.
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Old November 6, 2009, 04:52 PM
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I doubt a BIOS update would help anything
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Old November 6, 2009, 05:16 PM
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At this point a bios issue is a very low order probability....but than again ANY hardware issue is low order at this point.
You have removed the possibility of virus / malware with reinstall.
You have removed potential mobo issues with a 2nd hard drive showing good numbers.
You have removed the hard drive as the most likely culprit as the hdtach numbers of 167 is good.
I would suggest swapping ports and cables (ie the cable and port you used for the 640...put em on the 500). See if that improves the numbers in hdtune. BUT, IMHO most likely culprit is hdtune being a prima donna. I certainly would not worry about a 167 burst rate. ;)

High CPU usage just shows that there is stuff happening in the background...which could be limiting the burst and avg numbers.

If you REALLY want to prove to yourself that it is not the HDD at fault. Yank the drive and rerun the benchies in a dif rig! As it will be a "D drive" in that other system, the OS overhead will disappear and you should see its real potential. IF you are worried about OS issues during reinstall....backup the drive before you yank it (acronis, ghost, etc) ;)
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Old November 6, 2009, 08:54 PM
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If you are pulling the drive from your system you should check the jumpers on the back of the drive while you're doing so. Make sure the jumper that enables "legacy" 1.5 Gbps mode is NOT installed.

Did you try to see what happens if you use different drivers for your SATA controller? For example, my rig actually gets laggy (sometimes feels like I'm accessing my files through a network) when I installed the AMD SATA/RAID drivers, so I'm running the generic driver that comes with Vista. It has the added advantage of allowing me to use SMART tests right from Windows.
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Old November 6, 2009, 10:03 PM
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Do check the SATA mode jumper if there is one. Even if set to SATA-150 however, your burst rate is barely over half of that so I seriously doubt that is the problem. I do agree with changing the driver though.

Also, and this catches a lot of guys, CHECK YOUR BIOS SETUP. Most new boards run SATA drive as if it were a conventional PATA drives unless in a RAID or AHCI mode. If set to run the drive in native IDE mode then the DMA mode must be set appropriately. Make sure that is set to AUTO or the highest DMA/UDMA mode available.

When everything is working right with that drive, you should see better than 100 MB/sec beginning STR, tapering off in the usual manner. Your access time is normal for a 7200 rpm drive. Burst rate ..... they vary widely among SATA-300 models so consider anything above 220 or so as normal.
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Old November 7, 2009, 09:32 AM
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I set to AHCI in BIOS... after install.
I'm reading some things saying that if not set at install it may not work properly.
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