Hard Disk Performance with cluster size

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Does having partitions formatted in NTFS with 64K clusters improve hard disk
performance? Or is it dependant on the average size of files on the
partition? My hard disk drive is a 37GB (4200rpm laptop HDD). Does the
largest possible clusters increase drive performance assuming space wastage
(to the tune of 1 to 2GB) is not an issue for me?

Partition magic gave me the following report :
C: 5GB (2.54GB free) 464MB wasted NTFS 64K
D: 16GB (7.5GB free) 1.4GB wasted NTFS 64K
E: 13GB (7.5GB free) 102MB wasted NTFS 16K
F: 3.2GB (1GB free) 32MB wasted FAT 4K

Thanks
--
Koshy John
2 answers Last reply
More about hard disk performance cluster size
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    Windows XP performs best on a drive using NTFS which has
    a 4k cluster size. A 64k cluster is wasteful and will result in
    slow disk performance.

    Please read the following:

    Benchmarking on Windows XP
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/benchmark.mspx

    NTFS Preinstallation and Windows XP
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/winpreinst/ntfs-preinstall.mspx

    --
    Carey Frisch
    Microsoft MVP
    Windows XP - Shell/User
    Microsoft Newsgroups

    Get Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies:
    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/protect/windowsxp/choose.mspx

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Koshy John" wrote:

    | Does having partitions formatted in NTFS with 64K clusters improve hard disk
    | performance? Or is it dependant on the average size of files on the
    | partition? My hard disk drive is a 37GB (4200rpm laptop HDD). Does the
    | largest possible clusters increase drive performance assuming space wastage
    | (to the tune of 1 to 2GB) is not an issue for me?
    |
    | Partition magic gave me the following report :
    | C: 5GB (2.54GB free) 464MB wasted NTFS 64K
    | D: 16GB (7.5GB free) 1.4GB wasted NTFS 64K
    | E: 13GB (7.5GB free) 102MB wasted NTFS 16K
    | F: 3.2GB (1GB free) 32MB wasted FAT 4K
    |
    | Thanks
    | --
    | Koshy John
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    According to the two articles you've mentioned, it seems that it would be
    best if windows and any other programs (that i later install) lie on the same
    partition.

    But I currently use one partition for Windows (C:) and another for programs
    (big ones like encarta and office 2003, games like NFS UG2) (D:). I use E: to
    store my music, documents, videos and backups. The fourth partition F: has a
    copy of Windows XP which I use to restore C: and D: from backups stored on E:
    (if the need arises). [volume sizes mentioned in the first message].

    Therefore according to the articles you've mentioned it would be best if the
    contents of C: and D: were on a single partition. The logic of my having two
    partitions was that fragmentation caused by windows accessing and writing log
    files and prefetch data would not affect the performance of my programs and
    vice versa. Further more I found it easy to restore windows performance
    quickly because defragmenting a volume containing only Windows takes a much
    lesser time, than if the partitions were combined. [I defragment regularly -
    at least once a day. This leads to another question, is it true that regular
    defragmentation can potentially reduce HDD life?]. I would appreciate it if
    you would comment on this.

    Would you suggest a larger cluster size for the volume containing my videos
    and music? I've read on the internet that larger files are read faster on
    volumes with larger clusters.

    I was also under the impression that larger cluster sizes improved
    performance (info from PC World), but thanks to those articles I now know
    otherwise.

    Thank You once again.
    --
    Koshy John


    "Carey Frisch [MVP]" wrote:

    > Windows XP performs best on a drive using NTFS which has
    > a 4k cluster size. A 64k cluster is wasteful and will result in
    > slow disk performance.
    >
    > Please read the following:
    >
    > Benchmarking on Windows XP
    > http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/benchmark.mspx
    >
    > NTFS Preinstallation and Windows XP
    > http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/winpreinst/ntfs-preinstall.mspx
    >
    > --
    > Carey Frisch
    > Microsoft MVP
    > Windows XP - Shell/User
    > Microsoft Newsgroups
    >
    > Get Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies:
    > http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/protect/windowsxp/choose.mspx
    >
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > "Koshy John" wrote:
    >
    > | Does having partitions formatted in NTFS with 64K clusters improve hard disk
    > | performance? Or is it dependant on the average size of files on the
    > | partition? My hard disk drive is a 37GB (4200rpm laptop HDD). Does the
    > | largest possible clusters increase drive performance assuming space wastage
    > | (to the tune of 1 to 2GB) is not an issue for me?
    > |
    > | Partition magic gave me the following report :
    > | C: 5GB (2.54GB free) 464MB wasted NTFS 64K
    > | D: 16GB (7.5GB free) 1.4GB wasted NTFS 64K
    > | E: 13GB (7.5GB free) 102MB wasted NTFS 16K
    > | F: 3.2GB (1GB free) 32MB wasted FAT 4K
    > |
    > | Thanks
    > | --
    > | Koshy John
    >
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