I spoke to a guy that does networking work or something like that a few months ago about this, but I was just buying a case from him and didn't get many details.
He said that a faster hard disk will improve download speeds in torrents.
Well I just tested my hard disk speed and am deciding how to partition it and where to put the torrent downloading and unzipping partitions.
Does a hard disk's access time, transfer rate or burst rate limit the speed at which a 5gb torrent file is downloaded?
If you don't know, please don't reply. I don't want answers like "Well your internet connection is important too" "Make sure you have enough disk space" "The Cache size is important too" or "I like bananas". I just want a relevant answer from someone who knows, please and thank you.
As someone that has used Bittorrent for several years now, I can tell that going from my grandparents' old (let me stress the OLD part) 40GB IDE drive to my new SSD, there was absolutely no impact in the speed in which a torrent downloads.
Although you said that you don't want to hear it, your internet connection is going to be the bottleneck, unless you have a really, really old computer (from the days when Windows 98 was big).
About the partitions, really the only thing you need to worry about is how big do you want the partitions. Something you'll want to avoid is copying between partitions that are located on the same drive, as the needle will have to move very quickly from place to place across the hard drive, and will slow down considerably.
If your internet connection is ridiculously fast (fast enough to completely saturate a 100Mbit LAN), then a hard drive will make a difference. For anyone not dropping the cost of a new car each year for their internet, there's not going to be any difference regardless of the drive.
Most bittorrent clients also cache the write to the ram before flushing to the hard disk. So unless you are running with a hard disk with KB transfer speeds, the torrent download speed would be unaffected.
One point to flag here is that if you have a RAID array, the disk writes can become the bottleneck for RAID setups where writes are slow.
If this happens, first your RAM gets filled up, and then your download speed gets hammered once your torrent client hits the max amount of ram that it can use.