I wrote this yesterday about my take on business and snake’s oil sales men and realize that sometimes they are not trying to fool you into a decision. It is sad but sometimes people don’t try to think things through and investigate the stuff they are trying to say. Here Linus Torvalds shows us why a lot of reviews cannot be trusted, and judging from the way he says this I believe he is even referring to some people who are said to be professional reviewers. Things like this used to make me sad, then I realized that when something becomes useless they tend to become irrelevant to people and they tend to be cast off, like a year old fad. The thing is we need to try to live more aware of things and try to always go beyond what is obvious and easy to get. Do not subscribe to labels and pre conceptions, exercise that which we have that makes us more than animals!
Sadly, almost none of the reviews seemed to ever catch on to that, as they were all looking at the (totally irrelevant) throughput numbers that basically don’t matter in any real-life situation. Everybody just quoted the nice big marketing numbers, because finding the numbers that matter more to actual human perception (notably: average and maximum latency) was so much harder, and most disk benchmarks are crap and don’t even give those numbers.
Which is why I was so happy to see this review at AnandTech. Half the numbers quoted are still the worthless ones (I guess you can’t avoid quoting the industry standard benchmarks, even when they are horribly bad), but much of the actual discussion is about how unusable a drive is when it has maximum latencies in the hundreds of milliseconds.