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Reader Report: FWB HDT 4.0 vs Apple Drive Setup Driver Performance
Published: 4/25/2000


A reader sent the results of tests with Hard Disk Toolkit 4.0 versus Apple's OS 9.04 Drive Setup driver performance with his B&W G3/450 with Quantum 10K (10,000 RPM) SCSI drive. (Although this OS version was 8.6, he used the latest OS 9.04 version of Drive Setup for the test.) Here's the reader's mail:

"Hi Mike
I have a B&W 450 with a Quantum Atlas 10k drive (kinda loud, but fast!) hooked to an Adaptec OEM 2940U2B. It was originally formatted with Apple's driver from 9.04 and benchmarked (first screen shot). I then installed HDT 4.0 and benchmarked that (2nd shot). Both had the page modes "optimized" by HDT. Both were tested booted from an 8.6 CD.

As an HDT user since day 1 I'm really disappointed since this kinda shoots down the "fastest" driver claim of FWB's. I paid only $25 less for the HDT 4 upgrade than I did for the Apple driver--and it came with an operating system! Wonder if FWB has a satisfaction guarantee....
Rick Zeman
"

His graphs of the test results using HDT's Benchtest are shown below:

Apple drives  performance
Apple Drive Setup Performance

HDT 4.0 results
HDT 4.0 Drivers Performance


I created a table to make it easier to compare the results. The difference in the two drivers is shown in percent (rounded to 1 decimal place).

Apple Drive Setup (OS 9.04) vs HDT 4.0
(Scores in bold are better)
Test
Apple
Driver
HDT 4.0
Driver
% Diff.
(rounded)
Sustained
Read (KB/Sec)
23096
23145
0.2%
Sustained
Write (KB/Sec)
26684
26587
0.4%
Peak
Read (KB/Sec)
23795
23878
0.3%
Peak
Write (KB/Sec)
27976
27059
3.4%
Min
Read/Write (KB/Sec)
22284
25589
22261
25497
0.1%
0.4%
Read
Trans/Sec
7707
7089
8.7%
Write
Trans/Sec
3499
3514
0.4%

Of course different drives could show different results, but as you can see the difference in most tests are down in the noise (possibly within the normal run/run variation). For those tests that did show more than 1% difference, Apple's drivers were faster.

Apple's drivers have gotten to the point where there is little incentive performance-wise to pay extra for a 3rd party driver, unless you need RAID capability or device support not provided by the Apple drivers. The adjustability and options of some 3rd party drivers (FWB and Intech) are a plus as are the utilities included. For the basic needs of most users however, the later Apple drivers will suffice as well as deliver good performance.



For a list of other storage related articles, reviews and comparisons - see the Storage Topics page.




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