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Which is faster IDE hard disk or USB pen drive

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September 25, 2010 4:59:45 AM

Hello,
I run a computation and data intense application on my laptop
The engineer told me that the software will work better if Installation files and Data files are in 2 different partition as the software uses Hard-disk cache
First, I would like to know if this is true that application runs faster if they use 2 partitions

Secondly, since I have only partition on my laptop, can I use a USB drive as Data source
Will it improve performance

Thanks and regards
Sasisekar K
September 25, 2010 12:43:16 PM

HDD drive is definetely faster than USB pen drive except for access time (that is the amount of time needed to find a particular file) so although i don't know your app i think it would be better to not use the usb drive unless maybe data was thousands of small files being accessed continuously...
As for first question I think engineer meant two partitions on 2 different drives as cache is the same for all the partitions in drive so i can't see any gains in there if splitting a single drive in 2 partitions....HDD cache would still be the same...

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a c 104 G Storage
September 25, 2010 2:07:16 PM
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I agree with nobel that the engineers's meant using two different drives, one for your program, the other for data. If on the same drive, the heads would have to from 1 partition to the next to execute the program and get the data. Since you have just 1 HDD in your laptop, your could make that drive faster by using a 7200 RPM drive as compared to a 5400 RPM drive that is probably installed (need to check what you have) and by adding as much RAM to the laptop that it will take.

If by pen drive, you mean USB Flash Drive, it would be faster as a data source, as compared to attaching a USB connected HDD which would be slower by virtue of it moving parts. I am assumming the USB connection ports on the laptop are USB 2.0, not USB 3.
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October 2, 2010 5:25:09 AM

Thanks a lot Nobel and John
That was very useful information

I understand 2 partitions make sense only if they are part of 2 different drives
That is a rule-out as my laptop cannot accomodate 2 harddisks
I will upgrade the harddisk to higher RPM a little later, as it means a lot of money

Recently I added another 512MB RAM to my laptop
It has significantly improved performance

However, I am seeing if I can increase productivity
I have a USB 2.0 slot in my laptop
To this port, if I connect a USB Flash Drive and keep all my data in it, will it be faster operations compared to having both data and application in the harddisk itself

Thanks and regards
Sasisekar K
a c 104 G Storage
October 2, 2010 6:01:34 PM

ksasisekar said:
Thanks a lot Nobel and John
That was very useful information

I understand 2 partitions make sense only if they are part of 2 different drives
That is a rule-out as my laptop cannot accomodate 2 harddisks
I will upgrade the harddisk to higher RPM a little later, as it means a lot of money

Recently I added another 512MB RAM to my laptop
It has significantly improved performance

However, I am seeing if I can increase productivity
I have a USB 2.0 slot in my laptop
To this port, if I connect a USB Flash Drive and keep all my data in it, will it be faster operations compared to having both data and application in the harddisk itself

Thanks and regards
Sasisekar K


Hi Sasisekar,

Lots of folks don't realize that adding RAM to their computer is the number 1 best was to increase performance. Rember just 5 years ago a common configuration was Win-XP and 256MB of RAM. Not that computer is really slow since it has to keep swapping pages from RAM to the pagefile.sys
page file for almost everything.

Theoretically a USB flash drive with NTFS will give you faster access to data than on a HDD, but if it's Word, or Excel data it doesn't make any difference. You're not moving that data around a lot. And the safety of having data on a HDD so you can't lose it or step on it or having it end up in the washing machine is important.
October 12, 2010 6:08:59 AM

Best answer selected by ksasisekar.
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