reveals interesting results, splitting between the offerings from IBM and Seagate. While the 36Z15 manages to take top honors in our oft-quoted Workstation
Index (a normalized average of Light, Medium, and Heavy
loads), the X15 holds its own in the File Server
Index and maintains a slim but significant lead in the Database
Index. Since File Server differences are insignificant, concentrate on Workstation and Database results.
Constructed from reads and writes of 8k blocks, the patterns are actually quite similar... the Database pattern is wholly random while the Workstation pattern introduces a bit of sequential access as well as emphasizing reads a bit more. IBM triumphs over Seagate in Workstation performance by a margin of 6% while Seagate returns the favor in the Database Index, edging out the IBM by about 3%. It's an interesting contrast in firmware optimizations.
One can hardly expect the best when it comes to heat and noise from a 15k RPM product. Though our review sample thankfully doesn't feature any high-pitch idle noises, seeks grind away louder than all but the earliest 10k RPM drives. The 36Z15 is the hottest drive we've ever tested. Grinding away for about 2 hours in IOMeter, the drive was easily too hot to touch... this even with our PC Power & Cooling Baycool. Active cooling and/or a case with top rate circulation is an absolute necessity with this drive.
In conclusion, the Ultrastar 36Z15 easily delivers the best workstation performance we've measured to date. It shatters WinBench 99 WinMark records as well as perfoming solidly in our IOMeter Workstation Index. When it comes to servers and databases, however, the 36Z15 doesn't wallop the first-generation Cheetah X15 as well as many would hope. In the plus column, the drive offers double the capacity of the original X15, and certainly destroys all 10k competition. Just remember, however, that a contender from Fujitsu as well as Seagate's own second-generation unit remain right around the corner.