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3gb/s vs 6gb/s

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June 18, 2010 6:27:55 PM

Basically, I'm trying to decide between these two HDDs. Help please. :D 


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

vs

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know TH is a big fan of the Spinpoints but I was wondering if the 6gb/s might speed things up a bit? Bigger cache too.

And yes, I know I should get an SSD. But no, I do not have the money for that right now.

More about : 3gb 6gb

June 18, 2010 6:50:49 PM

Unless you have the machine to handle it, I'd stick with the 3.0Gb/s drives. From everything I've read, 95% of the systems out there and that are being built, don't even use the full 3Gb/s of standard drives. Save your money and just look for a drive with the most cache you can get, that will help the most, IMO-and in others I've read. Also, If your looking into a SSD, make sure you do your reading. Unlike a standard "Disk" drive; you don't Defrag and have a handful of settings you have to set differently. The speed of a SSD is impressive though!
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June 18, 2010 7:01:28 PM

My mobo has 6.0gb/s SATA so it'll work, and the WD does have a bigger cache. So should I go with that then?
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a c 342 G Storage
June 18, 2010 7:16:41 PM

With a mechanical HDD (that is, NOT the new solid state SSD's) you will never get the disk mechanism up to that 6 Gb/s max burst speed capacity of the communication system involved, so the speed of the spinning disk operations (and its heads) will be the limit. Right now and into the near future, it will be hard to get those up to the speed of SATA 3.0 Gb/s, so that's all you will need for mechanical HDD's. For that reason I see no justification for paying extra for 6 vs 3.

HOWEVER, the Cache size is a different matter. It certainly is true that a 64 MB cache will speed things up over a 32 MB cache on many common types of applications. The difference may not be huge (it's less that the impact of 32 MB over 16 MB), but it is real. Try looking around here and on other sites for disk performance reviews that use actual measurements - not just speculation based on specifications and PR fluff - to see exactly how much difference the cache size makes, but be sure to compare devices that are as similar as possible except for the cache size. Then you can decide whether those differences are worth the price difference you are looking at. My ideal would be a modern SATA 3.0 Gb/s HDD with a 64MB cache 7200 rpm.
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June 18, 2010 8:13:40 PM

The difference is $10 though... SATA 6.0Gb/s isn't going to HURT me right? So at the very least, $10 for a bigger cache isn't that bad is it? Plus SATA 6.0Gb/s can definitely read the cache faster, if I'm not mistaken
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a c 415 G Storage
June 18, 2010 10:33:30 PM

SATA 6Gbit/sec won't hurt and it will read faster from the cache, but although it's the kind of difference you might be able to detect with the right kind of performance measurement you won't actually notice anything in typical usage. I personally wouldn't spend more money for it, but as long as it's not very MUCH extra money then go right ahead.

I think it's worth spending extra on a Motherboard with 6Gbit/sec ports because it's an investment in the future if you want to upgrade to a very fast SSD later on. But the speed of a hard drive is fixed by its density and spin rate, so if the drive isn't capable of utilizing the bandwidth today then there really isn't any potential future payoff for buying one with a faster connection.
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a c 342 G Storage
June 19, 2010 1:08:26 AM

Yeah, for a $10 difference you get no more mechanical performance but you DO get double the cache - it's worth it!
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June 19, 2010 4:17:19 AM

yeah that's probably what i'll do, thanks everyone
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