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Consumers benefit again

According to reports, we may witness a price war in the hard drive business industry. At least this is what Seagate Technology CEO Bill Watkins said on Wednesday. Seagate is currently the world's largest hard drive manufacturer and competes with such companies as Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung and Toshiba. According to Watkins "If pricing doesn't drop for us, it'll be an upside." Seagate is expecting stiff price cutting from its competitors through into 2007.

Seagate believes that despite the aggressive price cutting from competitors, the only gains they are receiving are minor. Watkins indicated that "[our competitors] are getting volume units and share, but it's lousy share." Watkins said that Seagate gains more share because of product quality, reliability and support rather than heavy price cutting. Watkins also noted that Seagate's competitors are cutting prices so much, it erodes into the profitability of its competitors.

Seagate acquired its largest competitor, Maxtor, earlier this year and announced that it would cut the company in half. Seagate mentioned that despite the job cuts, it would keep many of Maxtor's enterprise level product lines and services. Seagate also made several announcements of its own so far this year, including a 300GB, 15,000 RPM, perpendicular Cheetah and 1TB NAS products under the Maxtor brand name.

At the moment, Seagate is one of the few companies that are not under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is currently investigating more than 80 companies for stock-option manipulations and back-dating practices that give huge financial gains to executive level employees. Watkins indicated that he was confident about his company's business practices, saying "we have a very rigorous stock-option grant program. It's such a rigorous process. We feel confident."

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RE: Not what the article says
By frobizzle on 8/11/2006 4:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone have a link to real world benchmarks showing RAID0 is faster for a typical desktop computer than a single fast drive (newer Seagate or Raptor)? Everything I have read suggests they are the same or sometime slower in normal activities (like booting OS, loading WORD, Photoshop or DVD ISO files, not synthetic throughput benches) than a single fast drive? Not a flame, but I keep reading about people using RAID0 on their desktop PC and haven't seen where it's better. Thanks

Maximum PC benchmarked RAID vs non-RAID a few years ago and found for some applications, RAID was actually slower.

RE: Not what the article says
By TomZ on 8/11/2006 9:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Maximum PC benchmarked RAID vs non-RAID a few years ago and found for some applications, RAID was actually slower.

No, I don't think that makes sense. If you take a particular drive, and compare that to a RAID0 array with the same type of drive, the RAID0 drive should outperform non-RAID for most operations.

There is no question that a software RAID 0 IDE array will make your computer run faster, as the Content Creation Winstone 2001 scores clearly showed. Performance gains on the order of 13% are not negligible

RE: Not what the article says
By skyyspam on 8/12/2006 3:53:51 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, it doesn't make sense, and a raid 0 array should outperform a single drive, but this isn't necessarily the case. Also, the article you linked is 5 years old. Here's one from 2004:

We were hoping to see some sort of performance increase in the game loading tests, but the RAID array didn't give us that. While the scores put the RAID-0 array slightly slower than the single drive Raptor II, you should also remember that these scores are timed by hand and thus, we're dealing within normal variations in the "benchmark".

If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.

RE: Not what the article says
By leexgx on 8/13/2006 10:01:52 PM , Rating: 1
My 4x 80gb maxtores 10s are beating 4x raptors

Why is it coes the user who tested the raptors used properly the old NF4 chip set

Problem with NVIDIA and Silicon Image is they used hack to get Sata to work

What they did was take an UDMA 133 controller and split it among 4 SATA ports so the Max speed the hdds could do total was about 120MB/s

So what that meant was it made little difference having 2 or 4 disks in an RAID 0 config as the max speed each disk could do was about 50-60MB/s any way that totals up to about 100-120mB/s

With NF 5 (amd 64 AM2) now out they have resolved that problem I get 200MB+ data rate speed now with 4 disks and there is a benefit to using more then 2 disks

(I have seen LOTS of reviews that webs sites like tomshardware and anandtech have been using Onboard raid on NF4 chip sets to see if RAID 0 is faster and becoes of the limit on the chip set to 120MB/s disk speed will not increases, now if thay retest on NF5 570/590 chip set thay be suprised)

RE: Not what the article says
By mindless1 on 8/16/2006 2:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
We can say that with that 686B chipset (yuck!), one drive was slower at content creation benchmark. Quite inconclusive.

In general we should expect that the the more compute-bound the process, the more significant the overhead from software raid. It depends how it's implemented too, as you'd noted in another DT article feedback, PCI is running out of steam and in real world uses, today's RAID-for-performance should be on a southbridge integral SATA controller.

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