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What does the cache on a hard drive do?

What does the "cache" on a hard drive do? How would having 64MB of HDD cache be better than having 32MB or less?
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  1. Best answer
    The cache is a buffer where data is kept in transition from the drive platter and being requested by the processor. The larger the cache the more data thast can be kept there as the OS is processing the info. The performance of the computer is measured by the weakest or slowest link and if the hard drive doesn't keep up it becomes the slowest link. The speed of the processor and the motherboard buss speed all factor into how fast that data can be accessed and transfered so again a bigger cache will help with the drive always having data there ready to be transfered. With a smaller cache not as much data can be prefetched and held at a time so that can slow down the process.
  2. ambam said:
    What does the "cache" on a hard drive do? How would having 64MB of HDD cache be better than having 32MB or less?

    so from whit ive read it seems to me that cache on a hdd works kinda the same as ram. In a nutshell increased cache means decresead loading time. The cache works by recoganising information used frquently and storing it so it can be accesed faster, larger cache more information can be stored in it. So to answer your questin yes 64mb would be better than 32mb.
  3. Tmac48 said:
    so from whit ive read it seems to me that cache on a hdd works kinda the same as ram. In a nutshell increased cache means decresead loading time. The cache works by recoganising information used frquently and storing it so it can be accesed faster, larger cache more information can be stored in it. So to answer your questin yes 64mb would be better than 32mb.


    So larger cache essentially makes the hard drive faster?

    I'm building a new PC this Christmas, can you recommend a high-quality 1TB 7200RPM HDD with 64MB of cache?
  4. If you want high speed access, don't worry about the cache on an HDD, just get an SSD instead or in addition. The performance difference will not be much difference with 32mb of cache vs 64mb cache, in perspective, relative to the total size of the drive even 64mb is rather minuscule.
  5. ambam said:
    So larger cache essentially makes the hard drive faster?

    I'm building a new PC this Christmas, can you recommend a high-quality 1TB 7200RPM HDD with 64MB of cache?

    Essentially yes :) and if your going for overall performance i would reccomend a wd caviar black but if you want a great price to performance ratio id reccomend a seegate barracuda. The 2TB seegate is only 20 dollars more than the one and still has pretty good performance great $/mb :)
  6. The Western Digitel Caviar Black 2 TB would be a good choice matched with a Samsung 840 128 GB SSD. The SSD being for the OS and your most played game or most used application.
  7. inzone said:
    The Western Digitel Caviar Black 2 TB would be a good choice matched with a Samsung 840 128 GB SSD. The SSD being for the OS and your most played game or most used application.


    I have no personal use for 2TB of storage. A decent 1TB would be just fine..
  8. Ok then a Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Black and a 128 gb Samsung 840 would be a good combination.
  9. yeah id go with the caviar black then pal :)
  10. Tmac48 said:
    yeah id go with the caviar black then pal :)


    Yeah, what do the dual-processors do?
  11. It gives the hard drive twice the processing power to maximize performance.
  12. yeah ^^^ That's correct
  13. inzone said:
    It gives the hard drive twice the processing power to maximize performance.


    So a dual-processor hard drive will be noticeably faster than a single-processor hard drive?
  14. I don't know if it will be noticeably faster and it may be that single processor hard drives are the old style and all the newer ones come dual. With hard drives there is not much speed difference between all the brands it's mostly dependability and longjevity thast seperates the brands. They all spin at 7200 rpm and the ones that spin at 5400 rpm are noticeably slower. There are those that spin at 10,000 rpm and the speed difference is somewhat noticeable but not the same as a SSD.
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