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Martint

Hardrive Question

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hey guys

I got 2 Hd's, 1 master, 1 slave, both WD 80 GIG Hd's.

The master hardrive has 2MB buffer/5200rpm while the Slave has 8MB/7200rm buffer.

Now..would I notice a huge increase in my computer speed if I switch them. Like put XP or Vista on my current slave with 8mb buffer and 7200rpm?

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You would get a substantial speed difference putting xp on the faster drive. I think the hardrive is the weak link in many systems. People tend to overlook that part when trying to increase performance.

Edited by shanenin

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it'd probably be a little faster. I noticed a pretty good difference going from a 160GB IDE 8MB Cache to a 250GB SATA300 16MB Cache.

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it'd probably be a little faster. I noticed a pretty good difference going from a 160GB IDE 8MB Cache to a 250GB SATA300 16MB Cache.

What does "faster" mean. I always hear about faster HDDs. How are you guys measuring the speed? Are we talking about seconds or milliseconds and what tasks are you talking about? Are you talking about search times, read times, or write times? Would the average person really notice any difference? What's a practical application that I could run and see/measure the difference in?

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I don't have any hard science or benchmarks to back up my statement, I figured a hardrive that spun 30% faster could load and find info 30% faster. That seems significant. I may just be talking from my back side :-)

HDtach is a good program to measure and compare numbers of your different hardrives, but as sethook pointed out, do these gains translate to noticeable differences, i'm not really sure. I upgraded from an athon xp 2600 to a dual core athlon x2 4200 and did not notice a huge difference in day to day stuff. It did shine in cpu intensive tasks like encoding, but I don't do that everyday.

Edited by shanenin

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ok, here's a good way to find out. Run a PCMark benchmark test on the 5400 then if you switch to 7200, run PCMark again and compare the results and see if there is a difference. I have experience all around faster loading and writing. I'm about to install some games and my PCMark and 3DMark stuff to really test it out.

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hey guys

I got 2 Hd's, 1 master, 1 slave, both WD 80 GIG Hd's.

The master hardrive has 2MB buffer/5200rpm while the Slave has 8MB/7200rm buffer.

Now..would I notice a huge increase in my computer speed if I switch them. Like put XP or Vista on my current slave with 8mb buffer and 7200rpm?

I think you will see a difference and I would also, if you plan on doing it put it as Primary Master. When the PC searches it will look there first. Any buffer size difference is going to be faster. That why we all want more RAM it is just a buffer.

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http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref...otherCache.html

All modern hard disks have an internal buffer, or cache, that is used as an intermediate repository for data being transferred between the hard disk and the PC. It is described in detail in this operation section. The size of this buffer is usually given as a standard specification on modern drives.

Having some cache in a drive is somewhat important to overall performance; the drive will use it to buffer recent requests and to "pre-fetch" data likely to be requested by the system in the future. If this data in the cache is in fact needed, it will be transferred to the system at the drive's external transfer rate--much faster than would be possible if there were no cache. However, the number of requests that fit into this category is relatively small. Increasing the size of the cache even by a substantial percentage doesn't change this very much, because no matter how large the cache, it will always be a very small percentage of the total capacity of the drive. Caches today, despite significant increases in size, are still far less than 0.1% of the size of the disk drives they serve.

As memory prices have fallen into the "dirt cheap" range, drive manufacturers have realized that they can increase the size of their buffers at very little cost. Certainly nothing is lost in doing this; extra cache won't hurt performance; but neither does it greatly improve it. As a result, if interface transfer rate is the "reigning champion" of overrated performance specifications, then cache size is probably the "prime contender". Some people seem to think a 2 MiB buffer makes a drive four times as fast as one with a 512 kiB buffer! In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find even a 4% difference between them in most cases, all else being equal. Not surprisingly, both external transfer rate and cache size are overrated for the same reason: they apply to only a small percentage of transfers.

The cache size specification is of course a function of the drive's cache characteristics. Unfortunately, manufacturers rarely talk about any characteristics other than the cache's size

http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref...ansSpindle.html

The hard disk spindle is the shaft upon which the platters are mounted; it is driven by the spindle motor, one of the most important components in the hard disk. Obviously, the faster the motor turns, the faster the platters spin. The spindle speed of the hard disk is always given in RPM (revolutions per minute). Typical speeds of drives today range from 4,200 RPM to 15,000 RPM, with 5,400 to 10,000 RPM being most common on desktop machines. See this operational discussion of spindle speed for a table of the most common speeds employed today and in the past, and a list of different applications that use them.

Spindle speed has gone from being one of the least-discussed to one of the most-discussed hard disk specifications in only a few short years. The reason is the creation of increasingly fast spindles. For the first several years that hard disks were used in PCs, they all had the same spindle speed--3,600 RPM--so there was literally nothing to talk about in this regard! Over time, faster drives began to appear on the market, but slowly, and starting with high-end SCSI drives not used in most systems. Once the trend started, however, and the obvious advantages of higher spin speeds became apparent, the trend accelerated. Still, it is only since about 1998 that mainstream IDE/ATA drives have been readily available for the desktop in spindle speeds higher than 5,400 RPM. The most common speeds today are 5,400 and 7,200 RPM, and 10,000 RPM IDE/ATA drives are likely just around the corner (since they are now standard on SCSI with the SCSI high-end moving to 15,000 RPM!)

Today, spindle speed is the first thing you really should look for when assessing a drive; the speed of the spindle is the primary method by which drives are categorized into "classes". Almost any 7,200 RPM drive will be faster, and more expensive, than a 5,400 RPM drive of the same size and generation. The spindle speed directly correlates to the drive's rotational latency, affecting positioning performance, and also influences the drive's internal transfer rate. However, there is more to this: the difference in speed between different classes of drives is due not only to the speed of the spindle, but the fact that manufacturers tend to design these drives to be faster in other ways as well, knowing they are targeting a market more concerned with all facets of performance.

The spindle speed is of course influenced primarily by the spindle motor's speed and power. However, there are other issues involved in designing higher-RPM drives: you can't just slap a faster motor into an existing model! The size and number of platters is also an important design consideration, and the areal density of the drive also has an impact--faster drives sometimes require reductions in density compared to slower drives.

In fact, the overall quality of the entire hard disk becomes much more critical the faster you spin the platters. Issues with higher-speed drives include increased noise and vibration, and cooling concerns, though these have improved greatly with second, third and subsequent generation high-speed drives.

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Those must be your burst speeds, I think the more important one is average read speed.

my seagate 320gb 7200.10 SATA drive:

Burst speed: 226mb/s

average read: 65.7mb/s

random access: 13.5 (I think lower is better)

My 40gb 7200rpm hitachi ide drive:

Burst speed: 73mb/s

average read: 48mb/s

random access: 12.6

Your 5400 rpm drive is getting better numbers then my hitachi 7200rpm drive

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