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hard drive cache 64MB to 128MB is it better?

i can remember when 128MB was the norm for RAM and when 128MB was the same of a hard drive so now we have hard drive arrays totally up to over 1 Peta-byte of data storage. so in the 4TB hard drives would a 128MB cache actually help would it hurt the drives speed in a spindle drive? simple question in a SATA 6Gbps drive will 64MB cache be faster or slower than the same drive but with 128MB cache?
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More about hard drive cache 64mb 128mb
  1. The cache should be able to help the drive with very small writes so that it can go to the cache and them be written to the drive. It can even be used to hold data that is being read.

    With the right firmware, it should be able to say grab the current data set you are using if it is sequential and go off and do something else without needing to return to the platter until it has read all the data from cache.

    For the most part the cache only tends to help with BURST rates. These do not translate into too much of a boost in day to day use.

    You should look at SSHDD(Solid State Hard Disk Drives) as they combined a much larger(4-8 gigabytes on most) section of nand flash(same as a SSD uses) to allow often used data to be kept in this ultra fast section for improved performance. Even writes can be accelerated by sending them to this cache fist and writing them to the disk at a later time. This is also good because nand holds data when the power is out so it may be a bit safer if data makes it to the nand faster.

    A review on such a drive. This is an older one. The newer ones are even better :)
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt-review-finally-a-good-hybrid-hdd/2
  2. nukemaster said:
    The cache should be able to help the drive with very small writes so that it can go to the cache and them be written to the drive. It can even be used to hold data that is being read.

    With the right firmware, it should be able to say grab the current data set you are using if it is sequential and go off and do something else without needing to return to the platter until it has read all the data from cache.

    For the most part the cache only tends to help with BURST rates. These do not translate into too much of a boost in day to day use.

    You should look at SSHDD(Solid State Hard Disk Drives) as they combined a much larger(4-8 gigabytes on most) section of nand flash(same as a SSD uses) to allow often used data to be kept in this ultra fast section for improved performance. Even writes can be accelerated by sending them to this cache fist and writing them to the disk at a later time. This is also good because nand holds data when the power is out so it may be a bit safer if data makes it to the nand faster.

    A review on such a drive. This is an older one. The newer ones are even better :)
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt-review-finally-a-good-hybrid-hdd/2


    yes i know but that does not answer the question that just says to get something different. i was asking if the larger cache size will actually help at that storage size or is it just a marketing thing on the hard drive. here is a link to the hard drives which i am referring to for the 64MB to 128MB cache question.
    64MB cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236407
    128MB cachehttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178309
  3. Best answer
    Well one is an enterprise class drive vs a consumer drive.

    I do not think the average user would notice. maybe a few benchmarks or enterprise type work loads may get some benefit.

    I do not have that drive to run you a test with and do not seem to see any reviews for that drive.

    To add to this, Windows has its own drive caching that helps performance too.

    EDIT

    Found a review, still reading it, but lets see what it says.
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/60131-seagate-constellation-es-3-4tb-hard-drive-review.html

    Quote:
    A lot of the performance potential comes from the fact that Seagate has designed these drives with 128MB of onboard cache which is placed alongside heavily tweaked the firmware. These two factors allow the Constellation take full advantage of its 4TB of space. Usually an increase in cache amount doesn’t necessarily equate noticeable real world throughput increases, but in this case it allows these drives to thrive in RAID environments. For enterprise customers, this is a key metric since it will allow them to reach critical mass from a capacity standpoint while also achieving their performance goals.


    Remember that drive platter density also plays a role in performance.

    I actually have a drive with just 16megabytes(1TB notebook drive) of cache and it works just fine for what it is.
  4. nukemaster said:
    The cache should be able to help the drive with very small writes so that it can go to the cache and them be written to the drive. It can even be used to hold data that is being read.

    With the right firmware, it should be able to say grab the current data set you are using if it is sequential and go off and do something else without needing to return to the platter until it has read all the data from cache.

    For the most part the cache only tends to help with BURST rates. These do not translate into too much of a boost in day to day use.

    You should look at SSHDD(Solid State Hard Disk Drives) as they combined a much larger(4-8 gigabytes on most) section of nand flash(same as a SSD uses) to allow often used data to be kept in this ultra fast section for improved performance. Even writes can be accelerated by sending them to this cache fist and writing them to the disk at a later time. This is also good because nand holds data when the power is out so it may be a bit safer if data makes it to the nand faster.

    A review on such a drive. This is an older one. The newer ones are even better :)
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt-review-finally-a-good-hybrid-hdd/2


    I’m thinking about taking out my MacBook Pro’s optical drive and replacing it with a 2 TB hard drive. I checked out some hard drives and I noticed that Seagate has two drives which are very similar and the only difference between them is that one has a 32 megabyte cache while the other one has a 128 megabyte cache. I’ve noticed that if I’m watching a movie in the backseat of a moving car and the car hits a bump in the road, a 5400 RPM hard drive will usually stop playback momentarily as the read/write head needs to find the spot where it left off. Would a 128 megabyte cache help avoid that problem? Or is a 7200 RPM drive the only way to avoid it?
  5. That depends on how the drive uses its cache. If they use to mostly to cache writes, it may not make a difference.

    Can you check if your notebook has a free fall/sudden motion sensor. It may be parking the drive to prevent damage when a bump is detected. I say this because on my old laptop(and I mean old) bumps did nothing at all(on either drive.).
  6. nukemaster said:
    That depends on how the drive uses its cache. If they use to mostly to cache writes, it may not make a difference.

    Can you check if your notebook has a free fall/sudden motion sensor. It may be parking the drive to prevent damage when a bump is detected. I say this because on my old laptop(and I mean old) bumps did nothing at all(on either drive.).



    Yeah, mine has a sudden motion sensor. Though, for some odd reason, I didn’t have that problem when I upgraded to a 750 gigabyte SSHD.
  7. I am not sure it if can read a drives onboard sensor or not.

    The SSD portion of the SSHD also should help since it may be able to cache much more data(8 or more gigabytes of SSD).

    The only other thing I could recommend may be a flash card. they make some that are shorter so they do not stick out of the computer. OR use an SSD in the system :)

    I do not see faster spindle being better for this(the heads only move so fast from park to ready again) and can not promise the extra cache would help.
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