from the yet-deeper-mysteries dept.
Derkjan de Haan writes "The Seagate 7200.10 disk was the first generally available desktop drive featuring perpendicular recording for increased data density. This made higher-capacity disks with excellent performance cheaper to produce. Their sequential throughput actually exceeded that of the performance king — the Western Digital Raptor, which runs at 10,000 RPM vs. the more common 7,200 RPM. But reports began to surface on the Net claiming that some 7200.10 disks had much lower performance than other, seemingly identical disks. Attention soon focused on the firmware, designated AAK, in the lower-performing disks. Units with other firmware, AAE or AAC, performed as expected. Careful benchmarks showed very mixed results. The claims found on the Net, however, have been confirmed: the AAK disk does have a much lower throughput rate than the AAE disk. While firmware can tune various aspects of performance it is highly unusual for it to affect sequential throughput. This number is pretty much a 'fact' of the disk, and should not be affected by different firmware."
"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk."
-- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_