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WD1002FAEX - Partitions and Performance

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June 23, 2010 10:55:32 PM

Simple Question:

I have my drive partitioned 4 ways,

250GB for Boot with Win 7 [NTFS]
50GB For Ubuntu [ext4]
530GB For Storage/Data [NTFS]
100GB Unformatted [Will be OSX]

In CrystalDiskMark I get Random 4k Read/Write figures of approx. 0.9MB/s and 1.5MB/s on the boot partition and 1.3MB/s and 1.8MB/s on the storage partition!!!
Seq and 512k figures test much the same on both partitions at about 150/120 and 69/120
Windows Experience is 5.9 for Disk, 7.4+ for everything else

Build: Core i7 920 @ stock
Gigabyte EX58-UD3R in Native Sata Mode, but not ACHI enabled
6GB RAM

The Question is:

Should I abandon partitioning scheme and 'Flat-Format' the disk to get better performance on the Boot partition? Why are the figures different? Platter layout?
I know how much disk performance matters, and this is a very big difference between partitions - am I selling myself short here?

I can do without Ubuntu etc until I can afford another disk.

Thanks in advance - you guys are always very helpful.

GfS

More about : wd1002faex partitions performance

a c 180 G Storage
June 23, 2010 11:46:02 PM

Do not read too much into synthetic benchmarks. They do not represent YOUR workload.

The boot partition will be loaded first at the fastest outer cylinders of the drive. That should take about 10gb.
Then you have 240gb of unused space in the boot partition, and another 50gb from the ubuntu partition. The hard drive access arm must traverse this 290gb gap back and forth between the OS and your storage which is inefficient. If you combined your boot and storage into one partition, the arm will not move so far, speeding things up.

If you combine the os and storage partitions, put the ubuntu partition last by itself.

If you want significantly better OS performance, consider a small SSD for the OS. A Intel X25-V 40gb drive costs about $110, and the price per gigabyte will perhaps be cut in half by the end of the year.
a c 99 G Storage
June 23, 2010 11:58:56 PM

^+1: Agree.

But you will need ACHI for a SSD. I image that you have it "off" because of Ubuntu.

Best way is to get another drive (or two), and have: OS(s), Storage (& BackUps). This saves your data, and you can play with multiple OS's.

But you'll "never" get 3 OS's on 1-40GB SSD. Maybe 60GB. BTW: partitioning a SSD has little/no effect on read/write performance.
Related resources
June 26, 2010 11:54:25 PM

I would ACHI if I did an install now - I just didn't know about it at when I installed. Still |A little annoyed - sure synthetic is not like real world use, but I'm not talking about 1-20% difference. Will get an SSD soonish, though. Real cool tech....

How much [approx] would a basic USB stick be that would make a worthwhile difference if used with Readybooston this system?

Cheers
a c 180 G Storage
June 27, 2010 12:51:19 AM

Readyboost is really not that helpful, and it is often misunderstood.
It is simple enough. You take a suitably fast usb drive, and allocate up to 4gb of it to ready boost.
windows will then look for small modules that it can load faster from a usb drive than it can from the underlying hard drive.
A usb drive has minimal access time,like a SSD, but the data transfer time is much longer than from a hard drive.
Windows will create a list of those modules that you use, and pre-load them on to the readyboost drive.

When you need such a module, it will fetch it from the ready boost drive. If the module is updated, it will be written to both places.
If you unplug the usb stick, the official data is still on the hard drive.

It is not that helpful because it improves the fetch time of small modules only, and they already took minimal time.

It probably does not hurt, but it seems pointless if you have a SSD.

It is NOT any kind of a substitute for ram or a paging device.
a c 415 G Storage
June 27, 2010 2:57:14 AM

Is the boot partition really the first physical partition on the disk? If not, then it won't have the best performance.
June 27, 2010 9:07:03 AM

Was thinking of USB stick as a stop-gap, and I need one anyway. My 6GB of RAM should be enough for now, and Windows is managing a paging file on the boot partition I think.

How do I view physical partition layout?
a c 99 G Storage
June 27, 2010 6:55:25 PM

^ Start/computer/right-click, choose "Manage"/choose "Disk Management" in left pane

There will be a graphical representation of your drives, like this:



You can see that my "Disk 0", or my first drive, is partitioned up into 3 parts.
June 27, 2010 7:18:54 PM

Aaah yes. So the leftmost is the 'First'. Mine's much the same. Great, I'll leave it at the until I can get an SSD!

Thanks again.
!