So close! Here, however, we find a fly in the ointment. Threadmark 2.0 (what else did you expect?
) is the culprit here, yielding consistently higher results under Windows 98 than under Windows 95. WinBench 98, on the other hand, presents virtually identical figures for both operating systems. Why? My only guess is that Win98 includes a new driver for the Adaptec 2940U2W used in our test bed, dated in May, while with Win95 I had to install the U2W drivers included with the card, dated in January. Perhaps the new driver includes optimizations for Threadmark. I'll take a look at performance with the Cheetah 9LP running in Win98 with the older SCSI driver to either confirm or rule out this possibility.
At any rate, we've conducted these tests for two reasons. First, we've received several inquiries saying "Ok, I see that the IBM is faster with Windows 95 and the Maxtor is faster with NT, but which would be faster in Win98?" These trials show that the disk performance you can expect from a drive under Win98 will be much closer to results obtained under Win95 than under WinNT. Secondly, the Storage Review has amassed a database of no less than 40 drives using our venerable Windows 95 OSR 2.1 software configuration. Demographically speaking, surfers who frequent computer hardware enthusiast sites such as this one are probably moving to Windows 98 much more quickly than the average user. Naturally, we were concerned with the applicability of our Win95 data to such users and were contemplating moving to Win98 as the standard test configuration. Doing so, however, would have introduce a schism in the database. The figures above, however, show that such a transition is unnecessary; we'll stick with using Win95 as a baseline, and switch to Win98 only when we change other hardware variables (processor, motherboard, ram, etc).