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Hard drive cache and speeds - is it noticable

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#1 mr2005


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Posted 26 December 2008 - 12:55 PM

looking at hard drives with speeds of 5400 vs 7200 rpms and 16mb vs 32mb of cache. are the 7200 rpm drives going to perform noticably better?

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 26 December 2008 - 02:05 PM

I've used combinations of both speeds with IDE/PATA drives operating at the same time (in prior years).

Laptop drives for years ran at 5400, while desk top drives could run at 5400 or 7200.

It's hard to give you good answer, with the key word/concept being "noticeably". There's obviously a considerable difference in stated speed, but I think it's only noticeable to someone looking to see it. For example, I thought that my data transfers between drives took longer when I used a 7200 PATA drive...but I find that I experience a more noticeable difference when transfering between PATA 7200 and any SATA drive. Maybe it's all in my head.

My approach is...why buy a 5400 drive when a 7200 drive is about the same price?


#3 DaffyKantReed


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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:52 AM

looking at hard drives with speeds of 5400 vs 7200 rpms and 16mb vs 32mb of cache. are the 7200 rpm drives going to perform noticeably better?

Rotational speed of the platters and areal or bit density are the two most important factors to consider.

Western Digital produces the VelociRaptor/Raptor series of 10,000RPM SATA hard drives which are noticeably faster than 7200RPM models. Faster still is something like the Intel X25-M 80GB SSD. One more step up is the ioDrive from Fusion-io. At $3000 for 80GB it is a little out of reach for most of us.

#4 DJBPace07


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Posted 31 December 2008 - 09:02 PM

In order to get data off a magnetic platter, it must spin very fast. The faster it spins, the quicker data can be read and recorded. No matter how fast the drive can spin, it still cannot equal that of a Solid State Drive (SSD). As for the cache on a hard drive, it acts as a buffer before sending data to the memory controller, the larger the cache the more data can be sent.



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