I am trying to determine the hardware cache size reported for my 7200.11 750330 drives. Can you tell me which diagnostics you are running? I tried SeaTools from DOS and could not find any reporting of cache size.
I am running the latest firmware - AD14 (I upgraded myself when 3 of 6 new drives incorrectly reported their model number, the fw fixed that). I will let you know if my cache is properly reported if you can tell me which diagnostics to run.
Unfortunately, I have bad news to report. My ST3750330AS drives are all reporting 0 KBytes Controller Buffer Size on Drive :-( I am running the AD14 firmware.
This may also explain the funny result I got from HDTune (hdtune.com) for these drives. They report the Burst Rate well below the Average Transfer Rate... that should never be the case if the cache on the drive was working.
Do you know if there is any fix yet? Of course I bought these drives for the large 32 MB cache.
BTW, I have now removed (in the last 30 minutes) the compatibility jumper these drives ship with which forces them into SATA I / 150 MBps mode. They are now running in 300MBps mode (reported by Sisoft Sandra). And the performance of the drives in HDTune is improved, but still showing lack of burst transfer indicating lack of cache.
Here's what I've benchmarked so far...
Transfer Rates MB/s (Min, Max, Avg, Burst)...
With compatibility jumper-
Single Disk - 48.9, 103.2, 84.3, 61.8
2 disk RAID 0 - 70.2, 144.3, 124.5, 61.8
Without compatibility jumper -
Single Disk - 50.0, 108.1, 85.3, 82.4
2 disk RAID 0 - 98.3, 204.6, 163.5, 82.4
All tests with ST3750330AS 7200.11 SATA drives on ICH9R controller on ASUS P5E motherboard
Got through to Seagate level 2 support. They recommended I connect the drives without going through a RAID controller for testing purposes. Note, I am using the X38 chipset on an ASUS motherboard. I was using the SATA RAID setting in the BIOS (which uses the ICH9R embedded controller.) With that, SeaTools for Windows cannot successfully run an inquiry on the drives.
So, I switched the SATA BIOS setting to IDE. Same physical ports on the motherboard, but different interface, didn't have to do an F6 WinXP install nor supply any drivers to install windows.
With this configuration, I am able to run SeaTools for Windows and successfully query the drives.
* Problem is, SeaTools does not report on the cache (I don't see any indication of cache after running an inquiry.) That was the point of this reinstall (to be able to run SeaTools, according to Level 2 support, to get an indicator of the reported cache.
* SIW still reports 0 KBytes for Controller Buffer Size on Drive
* However, here is the fascinating part: HDTune benchmarking one drive using the IDE setting in the BIOS rather than RAID now shows:
It strongly appears that in this configuration, the on disk cache is working, as the burst rate is nearly 200 MB/s and about 2.5x the average transfer rate.
I still want a utility which will accurately read back the amount of cache on the disk so we know what is being reported to the OS. On the other hand, this seems to suggest that the issue is with the ICH9R controller from Intel or perhaps just in the firmware for that controller and maybe it's something the motherboard manufacturers need to resolve. I hope Seagate will work with them on it! I'll be glad to help, but I need to get this new system up soon, so I won't be able to keep reinstalling windows or reconfiguring drives for more than a couple days.