Best size cluster for NTFS partition

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

By default WinXP formats NTFS to have 4k cluster sizes but what is
the best cluster size for my situation :-

I have a 60 GB NTFS partition which I use mainly for storing
downloads (software and audio). It will be used by WinXP.

What would the best NTFS cluster size be if this was a 160 GB
partition filled mainly with 200K jpegs and some 10 MB movie clips?

-------

I suspect that 4K might be the best for my 60G and 160 Gb partitions
becuase it saves space. But I don't know if there are overheads in
the MFT and other metadata when the NTFS partition gets to 160 GB.

I also read that third-party defrag utilities (like Diskeeper and
Perfectdisk) will not work on NTFS clusters above a certain size. Is
this true? What is the biggest cluster size I can have if I want to
defrag an NTFS partition?
12 answers Last reply
More about best size cluster ntfs partition
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    For disk info in xp,try reading #814954 At microsoft.

    "Alex Coleman" wrote:

    > By default WinXP formats NTFS to have 4k cluster sizes but what is
    > the best cluster size for my situation :-
    >
    > I have a 60 GB NTFS partition which I use mainly for storing
    > downloads (software and audio). It will be used by WinXP.
    >
    > What would the best NTFS cluster size be if this was a 160 GB
    > partition filled mainly with 200K jpegs and some 10 MB movie clips?
    >
    > -------
    >
    > I suspect that 4K might be the best for my 60G and 160 Gb partitions
    > becuase it saves space. But I don't know if there are overheads in
    > the MFT and other metadata when the NTFS partition gets to 160 GB.
    >
    > I also read that third-party defrag utilities (like Diskeeper and
    > Perfectdisk) will not work on NTFS clusters above a certain size. Is
    > this true? What is the biggest cluster size I can have if I want to
    > defrag an NTFS partition?
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    4K is optimal....

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

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

    "Alex Coleman" wrote:

    | By default WinXP formats NTFS to have 4k cluster sizes but what is
    | the best cluster size for my situation :-
    |
    | I have a 60 GB NTFS partition which I use mainly for storing
    | downloads (software and audio). It will be used by WinXP.
    |
    | What would the best NTFS cluster size be if this was a 160 GB
    | partition filled mainly with 200K jpegs and some 10 MB movie clips?
    |
    | -------
    |
    | I suspect that 4K might be the best for my 60G and 160 Gb partitions
    | becuase it saves space. But I don't know if there are overheads in
    | the MFT and other metadata when the NTFS partition gets to 160 GB.
    |
    | I also read that third-party defrag utilities (like Diskeeper and
    | Perfectdisk) will not work on NTFS clusters above a certain size. Is
    | this true? What is the biggest cluster size I can have if I want to
    | defrag an NTFS partition?
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Just curious. Why?


    --


    Regards.

    Gerry

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    FCA

    Stourport, Worcs, England
    Enquire, plan and execute.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Carey Frisch [MVP]" <cnfrisch@nospamgmail.com> wrote in message
    news:%23Fgz7z7nFHA.2224@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > 4K is optimal....
    >
    > --
    > Carey Frisch
    > Microsoft MVP
    > Windows XP - Shell/User
    > Microsoft Newsgroups
    >
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > "Alex Coleman" wrote:
    >
    > | By default WinXP formats NTFS to have 4k cluster sizes but what is
    > | the best cluster size for my situation :-
    > |
    > | I have a 60 GB NTFS partition which I use mainly for storing
    > | downloads (software and audio). It will be used by WinXP.
    > |
    > | What would the best NTFS cluster size be if this was a 160 GB
    > | partition filled mainly with 200K jpegs and some 10 MB movie clips?
    > |
    > | -------
    > |
    > | I suspect that 4K might be the best for my 60G and 160 Gb partitions
    > | becuase it saves space. But I don't know if there are overheads in
    > | the MFT and other metadata when the NTFS partition gets to 160 GB.
    > |
    > | I also read that third-party defrag utilities (like Diskeeper and
    > | Perfectdisk) will not work on NTFS clusters above a certain size.
    > Is
    > | this true? What is the biggest cluster size I can have if I want to
    > | defrag an NTFS partition?
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Because 4k is the data size used when the system is "paging". It just seems
    to make the operating system a bit more "snappy" [in my estimation]. I would
    guess that it may eliminate extra overhead involved when using
    larger/smaller cluster sizes, and the system is making use of the pagefile.

    --
    Regards,

    Richard Urban
    Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User

    Quote from: George Ankner
    "If you knew as much as you think you know,
    You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!"

    "Gerry Cornell" <gcjc@tenretnitb.com> wrote in message
    news:%2301zRW$nFHA.2916@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > Just curious. Why?
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    >
    > Regards.
    >
    > Gerry
    >
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > FCA
    >
    > Stourport, Worcs, England
    > Enquire, plan and execute.
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >
    > "Carey Frisch [MVP]" <cnfrisch@nospamgmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:%23Fgz7z7nFHA.2224@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    >> 4K is optimal....
    >>
    >> --
    >> Carey Frisch
    >> Microsoft MVP
    >> Windows XP - Shell/User
    >> Microsoft Newsgroups
    >>
    >> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>
    >> "Alex Coleman" wrote:
    >>
    >> | By default WinXP formats NTFS to have 4k cluster sizes but what is
    >> | the best cluster size for my situation :-
    >> |
    >> | I have a 60 GB NTFS partition which I use mainly for storing
    >> | downloads (software and audio). It will be used by WinXP.
    >> |
    >> | What would the best NTFS cluster size be if this was a 160 GB
    >> | partition filled mainly with 200K jpegs and some 10 MB movie clips?
    >> |
    >> | -------
    >> |
    >> | I suspect that 4K might be the best for my 60G and 160 Gb partitions
    >> | becuase it saves space. But I don't know if there are overheads in
    >> | the MFT and other metadata when the NTFS partition gets to 160 GB.
    >> |
    >> | I also read that third-party defrag utilities (like Diskeeper and
    >> | Perfectdisk) will not work on NTFS clusters above a certain size. Is
    >> | this true? What is the biggest cluster size I can have if I want to
    >> | defrag an NTFS partition?
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <eiMl2OAoFHA.2920@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl>,
    richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com says...
    > Because 4k is the data size used when the system is "paging". It just seems
    > to make the operating system a bit more "snappy" [in my estimation]. I would
    > guess that it may eliminate extra overhead involved when using
    > larger/smaller cluster sizes, and the system is making use of the pagefile.

    I have a drive that is used to store small images, under 30k many times,
    I have worked with the drive set at 512b and at the default 4k and even
    larger - the 512b provides the best in unwasted slack space - and you
    can really see this with 50,000+ files.

    For database servers I move their data drive/array to larger cluster
    sizes, 4k being way to small in my opinion.

    Paging means little of you are not paging a lot.

    What you have to do, to find the optimal size, is determine the size of
    70% of your files and then determine the amount of wasted slack space
    they consume and setup the cluster size for that. Sure, tracking small
    cluster sizes is a performance hit, but wasted disk space is often more
    of a problem for users.

    --

    spam999free@rrohio.com
    remove 999 in order to email me
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Also remember that if you go larger than 4k size clusters, the built in
    defrag utility does not function on that drive/partition.

    --
    Regards,

    Richard Urban
    Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User

    Quote from: George Ankner
    "If you knew as much as you think you know,
    You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!"

    "Leythos" <void@nowhere.lan> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1d67c92ff48963ba989b9d@news-server.columbus.rr.com...
    > In article <eiMl2OAoFHA.2920@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl>,
    > richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com says...
    >> Because 4k is the data size used when the system is "paging". It just
    >> seems
    >> to make the operating system a bit more "snappy" [in my estimation]. I
    >> would
    >> guess that it may eliminate extra overhead involved when using
    >> larger/smaller cluster sizes, and the system is making use of the
    >> pagefile.
    >
    > I have a drive that is used to store small images, under 30k many times,
    > I have worked with the drive set at 512b and at the default 4k and even
    > larger - the 512b provides the best in unwasted slack space - and you
    > can really see this with 50,000+ files.
    >
    > For database servers I move their data drive/array to larger cluster
    > sizes, 4k being way to small in my opinion.
    >
    > Paging means little of you are not paging a lot.
    >
    > What you have to do, to find the optimal size, is determine the size of
    > 70% of your files and then determine the amount of wasted slack space
    > they consume and setup the cluster size for that. Sure, tracking small
    > cluster sizes is a performance hit, but wasted disk space is often more
    > of a problem for users.
    >
    > --
    >
    > spam999free@rrohio.com
    > remove 999 in order to email me
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <ux282UBoFHA.3312@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl>,
    richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com says...
    > Also remember that if you go larger than 4k size clusters, the built in
    > defrag utility does not function on that drive/partition.

    I never use MS Defrag, I run the big brother to it "Diskeeper" and find
    no problems with it.

    --

    spam999free@rrohio.com
    remove 999 in order to email me
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 00:22:25 +0100, Alex Coleman wrote
    (in article <96B13CD0592D31E75@67.98.68.12>):

    > Can't find your reference 814954 at Microsoft. Is the number
    > miskeyed?

    Welcome, Alex, I see you have met our village idiot. Pay no attention to
    anything posted by Andrew the Eejit - his sole aim is to cause damage and
    disruption to as many computers as possible. He used to post with a valid
    address, but I reckon people started complaining to him personally, so he now
    posts via the CDO; he probably reckons he can't be traced that way... ;o)
    <eg>
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    "Evadne Cake" <magrat_garlick@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:0001HW.BF242FDC0019D3C8F0407550@news.ngroups.net...
    > On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 00:22:25 +0100, Alex Coleman wrote
    > (in article <96B13CD0592D31E75@67.98.68.12>):
    >
    >> Can't find your reference 814954 at Microsoft. Is the number
    >> miskeyed?
    >
    > Welcome, Alex, I see you have met our village idiot. Pay no attention to
    > anything posted by Andrew the Eejit - his sole aim is to cause damage and
    > disruption to as many computers as possible. He used to post with a valid
    > address, but I reckon people started complaining to him personally, so he
    > now
    > posts via the CDO; he probably reckons he can't be traced that way... ;o)
    > <eg>
    >

    Are you trying to win a Bulwer-Lytton award? What's wrong with using the odd
    period here and there to organise things?

    Kerry
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Leythos" <void@nowhere.lan> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1d67c92ff48963ba989b9d@news-server.columbus.rr.com...
    >
    > I have a drive that is used to store small images, under 30k many times,
    > I have worked with the drive set at 512b and at the default 4k and even
    > larger - the 512b provides the best in unwasted slack space - and you
    > can really see this with 50,000+ files.
    >

    Yea, you've gained the whole 90 MB by doing that!
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Agreed. For best overall file system performance, a 4K cluster size is
    best. You only really need to consider going larger if the drive is used
    for larger files (ie database, large multi-media files, etc...) and absolute
    speed is the primary concern.

    - Greg/Raxco Software
    Microsoft MVP - Windows File System

    Want to email me? Delete ntloader.


    "Carey Frisch [MVP]" <cnfrisch@nospamgmail.com> wrote in message
    news:%23Fgz7z7nFHA.2224@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > 4K is optimal....
    >
    > --
    > Carey Frisch
    > Microsoft MVP
    > Windows XP - Shell/User
    > Microsoft Newsgroups
    >
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -----------------
    >
    > "Alex Coleman" wrote:
    >
    > | By default WinXP formats NTFS to have 4k cluster sizes but what is
    > | the best cluster size for my situation :-
    > |
    > | I have a 60 GB NTFS partition which I use mainly for storing
    > | downloads (software and audio). It will be used by WinXP.
    > |
    > | What would the best NTFS cluster size be if this was a 160 GB
    > | partition filled mainly with 200K jpegs and some 10 MB movie clips?
    > |
    > | -------
    > |
    > | I suspect that 4K might be the best for my 60G and 160 Gb partitions
    > | becuase it saves space. But I don't know if there are overheads in
    > | the MFT and other metadata when the NTFS partition gets to 160 GB.
    > |
    > | I also read that third-party defrag utilities (like Diskeeper and
    > | Perfectdisk) will not work on NTFS clusters above a certain size. Is
    > | this true? What is the biggest cluster size I can have if I want to
    > | defrag an NTFS partition?
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    One of our servers uses 64KB block size. 700KB worth of cookie data
    can easily take 120MB in user roaming profile directorys. This can be
    copied to a 4KB block size partition and take around 7MB versus 120MB.

    SQL server (MSDE) benefits from 64KB block size.

    The benefit is if you have a bunch of large files (on a second drive,
    don't do this on you Windows system drive), you get better performance
    when loading/saving the files. If you setup a second drive just to
    store a bunch of GB MPG files, the 64KB block size makes more sense.

    This usually isn't worth it, though. If you want to increase your
    performance, setup a RAID 0 across 2 or 3 drives. If you have two
    drives that can sustain 50MB/s and you put them in RAID0 you can
    realize 90-100MB/s sustained.

    Some of this is my opinion, there are enough variables in systems today
    that others may have different opinions based on those variables.
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