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Speed issue between 2 internals Hard Drive, why so slow?

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March 11, 2009 6:39:44 PM

Hello,

I have 1 hard disk : Seagate 7200.11 500GB SATA2, 32 meg cache and 1 hard disk: Western Digital Black Caviar 1TB SATA2. 32 megs cache.

When transfering data from the Seagate to the Western (50 gig about 135 000 files) I see in Vista (Ultimate 64 bits) an average speed of 18megs/sec.

Shouldn't I get a 300meg/sec? Well... I know this speed might be theory but what do I do wrong to get only 18 megs/sec?
March 11, 2009 7:09:23 PM

Yes, you definitely have a problem. You shouldn't get anywhere near 300MB/sec. That's really just marketing hype laid on top of the newer standard. You should however get a much higher speed than you are getting. I don't know what speed you will get, because it depends on what part of the drive you are reading from and writing to. I would say at least 50MB/sec but that's just a guess.

Download HD Tune and test the read speeds of the drives to try to localize the problem. Understand, write speeds are lower.
March 11, 2009 7:53:47 PM

I run the read test on both drive for 20 seconds each and I got for the Seagate 104.3megs/sec and for the Western 104.8megs/sec.

Is that normal?
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March 11, 2009 8:05:48 PM

That looks about right for the speed tests. Probably the reason for the slower copy speed is that that you are coping many small files, not a few big ones.
March 11, 2009 8:19:14 PM

yeah those speeds like about right. the 3Gbps speed is a bit of a marketing gimmick. the SATA bus can handle that, but hard drives aren't at that point yet. My hard drive gets somewhere around 100MB/s and it does go slower when you're moving such a large number of small files. one large file would transfer faster.
March 11, 2009 8:36:56 PM

Alright, thank you all for your input :) 
March 11, 2009 9:29:21 PM

You still have a problem. You shouldn't drop that far no matter what the file size, 18MB/sec is atrocious. At least you know the drives are working properly.

What are your specs?
a b G Storage
March 12, 2009 5:26:37 AM

You may want to check your task manager while the files are transferring. You may be tapping out your resources.
a b G Storage
March 12, 2009 12:55:37 PM

What antivirus software are you using? Real time file monitoring can really put the halt on writing many small files if the Antivirus is set to scan every single file as it is being written, check your settings.
But, be warned that turning some of these features off can make your system more vulnerable.
You can test though by disabling the real time monitoring, and see if that speeds up your transfer.
If it does, at least you will now know the reason for the slow down, and you don't have to wonder if something else is wrong.
March 12, 2009 3:24:37 PM

That's possible, but he should see high CPU load.

At 18MB/sec. I would turn that off immediately and viruses be damned. :lol: 

I had cable for a while and Zone Alarm was dropping download speeds to 2-2.5MB/sec. from 4-5MB/sec. so I killed it. It forced me to reload the OS to get my speeds up, what a PITA.
a b G Storage
March 12, 2009 3:41:10 PM

^ :lol:  Yeah, that is pretty darn slow. But if he is using a fast quad, CPU usage might not go up too much, anyway thought he could try and perhaps eliminate 1 possiblity.
March 12, 2009 4:21:08 PM

It's the IO requests that are killing you with that many files. The manual for neverwinter nights PRC Mod is only like 45 MB, but moving even something that small is a pain because it contains 1000's of individual tiny files. Wish I had a solution, but it seems to just be the nature of the beast so to speak...turning off real time A/V will definately help. Also, you may want to try a product called TeraCopy. It always helps me with large size file transfers. Windows has a well known documented problem with large scale file transfers that exceed available system resources. watch your available RAM and page file in task manager while you are doing it. Either use tera copy, or break up your transfer file size into smaller "bite size" segments.
March 12, 2009 8:23:20 PM

Ok, I did a little test for you. I copied my docs folder from a 74GB Raptor to a WD6401AALS using W7. The W7 was on a separate old PATA Maxtor, so that may affect the results.

My docs was ~5GB and full of small files. At the start of the transfer I was getting ~50MB/sec. it slowly went down to ~33-35MB/sec. and then climbed back to 43-45MB/sec. I aborted the copy ~1/2 way through.

That should give you an idea. Unfortunately, I can't do the tranfser from or to the Maxtor, because it is very old and slow and that would skew the results big time.
March 12, 2009 8:44:31 PM

What's the average file size in your test? The op's average file size is 370kb. I just did a test myself with coping 4gb files from a 1.5tb seagate to a 640gb wd drive using vista x64 and got about 65mb/s. That's with Bitdefender running. I just repated the test copying files with an average size of 217kb, and got 20mb/s. So, average file size has a Huge impact on copy speeds.
March 12, 2009 10:17:24 PM

Well that's good to know, that's a huge difference. The My Docs directory is a mixed bag. a lot of small files, and a fair amount of larger ones.

He had "50 gig about 135 000 files" and I had 17,569 files and ~5G. So a super slop method would be 50,000,000/135000 = 370 and 5,000,000/ 17,569 = 285. I know, that really is way to fast and dirty, I prefer your little test with some actual controls. It is good to know that there is such a vast difference. That gives me a clearer understanding of why my speed changed so much. I imagine the amount of fragmentation would have a large effect as well, due to the increased seek time.

I'll have to run the test sometime.
March 13, 2009 1:38:17 AM

Too bad WinFS has been dropped for Win7...
!