Cluster Size question

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Pfipps, Jul 27, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Pfipps

    Pfipps Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Posts:
    181
    Does increasing the cluster size really improve HDD performance? I have done searches, but there hasn't been any real study on real life performance.
    On HD tune, my HD has best performance in 32K logical cluster blocks, but still.
     
  2. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Posts:
    3,719
    According to a guy I know who manages many systems, cluster size in a server type environment can make a difference.

    I did an experiment a few years ago with SATA drives in Raid0 to see how cluster and stripe size differences might show in benchmarks. Maybe you can glean something from it. Right on the main page at www.mrwoojoo.com

    Sul.

    EDIT: Btw, in XP to use clusters greater than 4k, you will need some files changed around. PM me if you get to that point I can help you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  3. Pfipps

    Pfipps Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Posts:
    181
    What are the axis...es measuring?

    I have two HDDs on my pc, but they are not striped. I don't even think my BIOS will allow it.

    Also, I just changed the cluster size on my "storage"' HDD and not the OS, because from what I have read, the 4k size is optimal for a desktop XP/Vista/7 OS drive. My storage drive has some really huge files, and so I thought it would make a difference there.
     
  4. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Posts:
    3,719
    The tests were to see what the differences in read and writes would be with stripe/cluster sizes. The theory of the correct stripe/cluster size to the majority of file sizes says that when they match, speed is at its optimum. Each benchmark is supposed to give a representation of those differences.

    You can easily change your cluster size it is true. You can see in my tests that there are definately measurable differences. I cannot remember now but I went through those and decided on a specific stripe and cluster size based on those results.

    In the real world, using the default stripe and cluster sizes, the differences were not easily seen. It was not until I was doing a lot of read/writes (copying) or loading certain things (such as game maps/levels etc) that the tweaks became apparent. Back then I could tell the difference, but with the hardware I have now, I just don't concern myself because everything is fast enough.

    Sul.
     
  5. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Posts:
    1,201
    Pfipps, if the objective is to “improve HDD performance,” then you may wish to consider upgrading to 15K RPM SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) hard disk drives. Not an inexpensive investment, but the enhancement in performance is very noticeable.
     
  6. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Posts:
    829
    for video file or other large files using 64kb cluster is highly recommended, that's what I use on my mediapc hard drives. The large clusters help prevent stutter of the video when streaming.

    Also I notice the larger clusters allow for better defragging of large full drives. On my mediapc, one of my drives would never defrag under 12 percent, after further investigation, I found that it had 4kb clusters. The drives using the 64kb clusters all defrag down to 0 percent.

    I never notice any "performance hit" using the 64kb clusters on storage drives. For the windows OS drive I use the default 4kb clusters.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.