16 June 2016

Standard Chartered Bank Bonus$saver reduce bonus from 1.88% to 0.88% pa for $500 spent on card for the first $100,000 dollars, spending up to $2000 on card will issue a bonus of 1.88% pa

Standard Chartered Bank Bonus$aver was one of the innovative products with chequing facility by the bank to lure customers to spend and get a higher per annum interest on it's first 25,000 dollars deposited.

With more options available from Bank Of China (up to 3.55% pa), Maybank (up to 3%), UOB , HSBC, OCBC 360, the Bonus$aver doesn't seem to be that attractive even with a mere 1.88% pa for the first 25,000 deposited.

The change in Jul 2016 will make it even worse. The only bright side is that it increased the ADB to 100,000. That is to say, if you spend S$500 on your debit card, you get paid 0.88% pa of the first 100,000 in your account (previously was 1.88% of first 25,000).

If you spend S$2000 on the card, you will get 1.88% of the first 100,000.

I' am not keen on the low interest rate. Will you be switching?

Important Changes to Bonus$aver Product Terms

With effect from 1 July 2016, we are revising our Bonus$aver Product Terms to introduce:
  1. a two-tiered card spend to replace the existing single-tier card spend;
  2. different bonus interest rates for eligible card spend;
  3. a higher cap on the Average Daily Balance (ADB) in your Bonus$aver Account for which bonus interest may be earned; and
  4. additional transactions that will be excluded from qualifying retail transactions, and will not be taken into consideration in determining whether you have fulfilled the requirement of minimum card spend.

Revisions to the existing Bonus$aver Product Terms

  1. Two-tiered card spend – (i) different bonus interest rates (for card spend) and (ii) higher ADB

    The current Bonus$aver offers you up to 1.88% p.a. interest on the first S$25,000 of Average Daily Balance (ADB)1 in your Bonus$aver Account when you charge a minimum eligible card spend of S$500 per month to your linked Bonus$aver Card.

    From 1 July 2016, you can earn up to 1.88% p.a. interest on the first S$100,000 of ADB in your Bonus$aver Account when you charge at least S$2,000 per month on eligible retail transactions to your linked Bonus$aver Card.

    Alternatively, you can still earn up to 0.88% p.a. interest on your ADB capped at S$100,000 (up from S$25,000) if you maintain a minimum eligible card spend of at least S$500 per month.

Minimum eligible card spend per monthPrevailing Interest + Bonus Interest (for card spend only)Maximum ADB on which Bonus Interest may be earnedMaximum interest earned (for card spend only)
Current Bonus$averS$5001.88% p.a.S$25,000S$470
New Bonus$aver
(from 1 July 2016)

0.88% p.a.

1.88% p.a.


1Average Daily Balance or ADB means the sum of end-of-day account balances of all days in a particular calendar month, divided by the number of days in that month.
  1. Transactions that do not qualify for bonus interest earned on card spend

From 1 July 2016, we will revise the list of excluded transactions to include additional categories. The following excluded transactions are not qualifying retail transactions and will not be taken into consideration when determining your eligibility for bonus interest for card spend:

  • transactions arising from the use of your linked Bonus$aver cards as an ATM card at an ATM or at an EFTPOS or NETS terminal;
  • balance transfers to your Bonus$aver card;
  • EasyPay monthly instalments;
  • online bill payments;
  • income tax payments;
  • payments to loans or credit facilities or deposit accounts;
  • payments to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Ministry of Manpower and Land Transport Authority;
  • EZ-link card transactions and other transit link transactions;
  • top-ups of any stored value facility;
  • AXS payments;
  • any fees and charges (including annual fees, interest charges, cheque processing fees, administrative fees, cash advance fees, finance charges and/or late payment charges and other miscellaneous fees and charges) charged to your linked Bonus$aver card;
  • any amount charged to your linked Bonus$aver card in that calendar month that is subsequently cancelled, voided or reversed;
  • balance owing on your linked Bonus$aver card from previous or other months; and
  • any other amount charged to your linked Bonus$aver card as we may determine from time to time
Unless otherwise specified, all other terms and conditions relating to your Bonus$aver Account remain unchanged and continue to be binding on you.

When will the changes be effective? How will the changes affect me?

If you continue holding the Bonus$aver Account with us from 1 July 2016, these changes will apply to your Bonus$aver Account with effect from 1 July 2016.

Where do I obtain copies of the revised terms?

You may obtain a copy of our revised Bonus$aver Product Terms on our website here from 1 July 2016. Alternatively, you may also call our 24-hour Client Contact Centre at 1800 747 7000 or visit any of our branches to request for hard copies of the revised Bonus$aver Product Terms from 1 July 2016.

Who can I call if I have questions on these changes?

If you have any questions on the changes, please call our 24-hour Client Contact Centre at 1800 747 7000 or visit any of our branches. For Priority Banking customers, you may wish to contact your Relationship Manager or call our 24-hour Priority Contact Centre at 1800 846 8000.
Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.

06 June 2016

Seagate ST8000VN0002 NAS drive Review

Seagate ST8000VN0002 NAS drive Review

Seagate ST8000VN0002 is not your normal desktop Hard Disk. It is a hard disk that is meant for a network access storage (NAS). As a NAS is the central data store for a small home office or the 'cloud' storage of family members, it is important that such data are readily backup in the form of a RAID array. In addition, the the HDD in question should have 24 x 7 realiability.

Some end users will say, why bother with a NAS drive, we could just use 2 x normal high capacity to do the daily backups. Normal HDD do have a lower mean time between failure (MTBF) which might not be suitable for such a task. You wouldn't want to keep swapping HDD every few months in order to keep the files in proper integrity.

NAS drive used to be slower in it's speed in terms of it's revolution per minute (RPM). Most of them should be rated at 5400 RPM and comes with a 64 MB cache. Seagate's NAS drive ST8000VN0002 features a 7200 RPM spindle speed, 256 MB DRAM cache with SATA 6Gbps interface. According to the specfications, it is said to be able to ustain at a maximum speed of 216 MB/s media to cache transfer rate.

It also has a MTBF of 1M hours which is closer to an enterprise class which usually rates it at 1.2M hours. In addition, Seagate NASworks technology improves the realibility by tuning drive features to deliver higher performance, superior reliability and inter operability with popular NAS enclosures. The drive comes with an optional 3 years +Rescue Data Recovery Service plan for peace of mind as it protects again data loss in any RAID environment such as human error or handling accident.

Spec Sheet

According the Spec. Sheet, the drive is supported on 1 to 8 bays and comes with Dual Plane Balance. It has a sustained transfer rate of 216 MB/s - a very impressive speed for a HDD.


How does this drive compare to existing HDD and NAS drives? First, we will check out it's performance of 216 MB/s is achievable.

We will first use our fastest desktop series WD VelociRaptor 1TB HDD WD1000DHTZ which has a 10K RPM to do a comparison using two benchmarks.

PC used is a Gigabyte Z97 motherboard with an Intel 4770K processor with 8GB on board DDR3-2400. The HDD are connected to the SATA 6Gbps port for the test.


The results are a pleasant surprise for me. A score of 239MB/s for read an 234.7 MB/s for write. That is even higher than the 216 MB/s spelt out in the spec sheet.

Although it runs at 7200 RPM versus the WD at 10000 RPM, it still exceeded the performance. in sequential read / write and even 4K tests.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

As for ATTO Disk Benchmark, the results clearly shows that at whether it is a small or bigger block transfers, the NAS drive from Seagate actually outperform the fastest 10K RPM HDD by almost 30% (64MB block).

The HDD are installed into the Synology DS213, a 2 Bay NAS with Gigabit Ethernet connection to the same PC directly. The Synology drive recognises the HDD and asked it to be initialised into the various configurations.

The default which is Synology Hybrid RAID was used to initialise the drives. After which, we have to install the DSM 6.0 downloaded from Synology website before we can begin in our tests.

We will be comparing the Seagate ST8000VN0002 with 2 Western Digital RED drives WD30EFRX in terms of performance in read write file transfer.

Using the Synology Assistant, we mapped the drive to Z:\. After which used the software TeraCopy to transfer the files (from Windows 10 installation USB stick ~ 3GB) to the NAS storage. TeraCopy will record the average transfer rate and time it took to do the transfer.

Next, we do the reverse, copying the folders from Z:\ back to the PC and record the TeraCopy transfer speed and time.

Below is a screen shot of TeraCopy followed by a chart showing the MB/s transfer rate.

In both read from and write to the NAS, the Seagate is faster than the WD30EFRX, this could be due to two factors, the faster RPM and secondly the larger cache.

Dark Green : Reading from NAS
Light Green : Writing to NAS


Next, we used DiskSpd, a command line utility to test the speeds of connected periperhals. It will test the speed, latency, I/O per sec etc based on samples generated. In this test, we used a mixture of 30% / 70 % of read / write.

The Block size is set to 8K and it will run for 60 secs with hardware and software caching turned off. There will be 2 overlapped IO and 4 threads per target with random 30% writes and 70% read with a 50MB test file.

Here are the results :

We can see from the results, the Seagate experience less latency during the tests. The lower the latency the better the transfer rate.

When we talk about I/O, the I/O per sec based on the test set is necessary to determine the performance of the target. In this case, both HDDs were tested under the same environment. It is very apparent that the higher the I/O per sec, the quicker it is. 

The difference is almost 20%.

The concurrent Read and Write (70/30) of the 50MB test file gave a more realistic representation of the actual transfer speeds in real world. 

Again, we see that the transfer rate of the Seagate is faster at 35.83 MB/s compared to 29.87 MB/s on the WD NAS drives.


HDD has always been the defacto mass storage media for data centres, NAS or PCs. As storage becomes larger, the more we should look for a HDD that has a higher MTBF and higher speed of transfer.

Seagate ST8000VN0002 seems to meet the requirements of today's NAS, with higher capacity of 8TB and 7200 RPM plus 256MB cache with faster speed than before.

Within the NAS enclosure, the ST8000VN0002 is a bit louder and warmer than the WD RED drives.  As we can see from the NAS management console, the temperature runs from 32 deg C to 42 deg Celsius idling for half an hour. The temperature should come down if the NAS is placed in a colder room.

For a similar price, the Seagate would be better value for money.
The Seagate ST8000VN0002 now retails at USD 375 on Amazon USA store. There is a shipping fee of $15.19 . On the other hand the closest rival 8TB from WD Red 8TB NAS 5400RPM WD80EFZX retails for $335.85.