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Thread: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-) (Zak's Partition Theory)

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-) (Zak's Partition Theory)

    I've tried this three times now, and it works

    Ready?

    Following on from this thread http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.p...ight=partition about how a partition is split....

    I recently had the coolness of a PC upgrade so I got myself a new Western Digital AAKS 400 gig drive. And I partitioned it with 80 gig as the first partition and the rest for the second partition.

    I have done this three times and tested it everytime, and I'd like to confirm that the outter edges of all platters MUST be the first partition, and it must FORCE the data out there... because the speed difference is good

    The only way I've been able to PROVE it, (because HD Tacho sees it as one device, not as seperate partitions) is with Nero.

    If you start Nero, and then ask to copy a CD, and then choose MORE and then CONFIGURE (hammer symbol) you can choose which drive to use for the CACHE and you can test all drives.

    I have a Raptor 74 gig drive as C: (called XP) It has all my applications on too
    I have the Western Digital 400 gig AAKS drive, and its partitioned as E: (called GAMES and has 20gig of those on) and F: (called DATA, with everything else on)

    I summise that because the GAMES drive is SO near the outer edges of the platter that even with all the space already used it is STILL faster than my Raptor for a lot of stuff.


    (The size is the space left, not the total)

    So, if any of you guys have the same chance as I did, and can format and partition a drive to just use about 1/5 to 1/4 of the drives volume as a faster space.....please try.

    I am sorely tempted to do that for XP install one day, when I have another drive to spare
    Last edited by Zak33; 14-08-2007 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Title Edited for Partition Theory

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    by the way, I chose that amount of space and that drive, because it gives you virtually the same amount of space as a 74 gig Raptor for half the money and without the performance drop off as it gets "full" and you get a load of spare space left over too.

    It's NOT as fast as a Raptor that's totally empty, but I'm noticing that once a Raptor is more than 1/3 full it really loses its magic. With this system it never loses it's magic cos it's all on the outter edges of a bigger drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Efficiency freak Queelis's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    My drive is partitioned to have one smaller (for OS) and one bigger for everything else, but since I have no NERO and no optical burning drive, can't tell anything

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Queelis View Post
    My drive is partitioned to have one smaller (for OS) and one bigger for everything else, but since I have no NERO and no optical burning drive, can't tell anything

    was it deliberate?

    Can you install the same game on both partitiond and time the boot loads times and the level load times?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Interesting post.

    I am contemplating attempting to speed up my drives (2x400GB) using a RAID 0 config.

    Would you expect the performance benefits you're seeing, to be boosted by running 2x these 80GB partitions in RAID 0 config?

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    Senior Amoeba iranu's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Am I reading this right. What you are doing is putting the partition at the outter edge of the platter therefore the head doesn't need to traverse too far across the disk in order to access the data. So a games drive of roughly 1/5 or 1/4 of the total disk size as the first partition will in effect be quicker than one say twice the size where the head has to travel twice as far to pick up the data.

    If this is correct then I would see there is no reason why it won't benefit a RAID 0 config.

    edited for crap spelling.
    Last edited by iranu; 14-08-2007 at 04:32 PM.
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Interesting, my plan is to use the config I posted here: http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=115684

    When i've backed everything up and read a little about RAID installs I will see what I can do/prove

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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Hmm, i'm planning on getting 2x 500Gb T166's and putting 'em in Raid 0. By this logic would that work something like this:

    60GiB OS Partition
    100GiB Games Partition

    1: Outer Edge|30GiB Odd bits OS Partition|50GiB Odd bits Games Partition|Other crap| Inner Edge
    2: Outer Edge|30GiB Even bits OS Partition|50GiB Even bits Games Partition|Other crap| Inner Edge

    Aka superfast OS and Games partitions for responsive OS and fast load times, then slower area for my movies and series?

    Would explain why at the moment on my current PC my OS is kinda slow and sluggish. As my OS partition is my last partition and I only have about 50GiB free space on 240Gb (2x 120Gb).

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by iranu View Post
    Am I reading this write. What you are doing is putting the partition at the outter edge of the platter therefore the head doesn't need to traverse too far across the disk in order to access the data. So a games drive of roughly 1/5 or 1/4 of the total disk size as the first partition will in effect be quicker than one say twice the size where the head has to travel twice as far to pick up the data.

    If this is correct then I would see there is no reason why it won't benefit a RAID 0 config.
    that is exacty what I think I'm getting....the first partition made ALWAYS seems to be faster and if you make it smallyou FORCE it to the outer edge

    Or so it seems

    I also considered maybe just creating a few small partitions on drives and RAIDING those (ignoring whats left) so see how fast they go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    When drives of varying sizes in the same product range use the same sized platters (eg. T166 400Gb, 500Gb), I assume the part that is 'disabled' is towards the centre of the platter? Just wonder if anyone knows, would be a little silly for the manufacturers to disable the fastest part of the drive for the smaller varieties -- but you never know; I mean SATA ports on enthusiast boards under the graphics card PCB, ingenius that, huh? .

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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nemz0r View Post
    When drives of varying sizes in the same product range use the same sized platters (eg. T166 400Gb, 500Gb), I assume the part that is 'disabled' is towards the centre of the platter? Just wonder if anyone knows, would be a little silly for the manufacturers to disable the fastest part of the drive for the smaller varieties -- but you never know; I mean SATA ports on enthusiast boards under the graphics card PCB, ingenius that, huh? .
    They don't necessary just trim the inner edge. For example they made a 250GB platter, but it got 30GB worth of sectors per platter that does not meet the required standard, the drive's firmware then is set not to use those area, and present itself as a 400GB drive instead of 500GB drive. Nowdays industry don't waste anything.

    On my 500GB drive, I have 15GB OS (C, 30GB Program/Games (D, 30GB Download drive (E, and the remaining 425GB for storage (F. My 2nd 500GB drive I have a 30GB Cache drive (G and 470GB for storage (H.

    I did some experiment with my 4x300G drives back while, similar to above, but with the first 30GB of each drive join into a RAID0. Assume it will take over (D and (G and become (I.

    I: STR is about 140MB/s
    I: to H: was about 30~45MB/s
    I: to I: was about 55~60MB/s
    C: to C: was about 35MB/s
    D: to F: was about 30MB/s
    D: to H: is however a full 75MB/s

    In my opinion, depends on what you do you will have different "best" disk configuration:

    Gaming:
    Disk1 | RAID0 50G Games | RAID0 5G Swap | RAID1 30G OS | Simple ??G Archive
    Disk2 | RAID0 50G Games | RAID0 5G Swap | RAID1 30G OS | Simple ??G Archive

    Video Capturing (HDTV)
    Disk1 | Simple 30G OS | Simple ??G Transcode
    Disk2 | RAID0 200G Capture | Simple ??G Archive
    Disk3 | RAID0 200G Capture | Simple ??G Archive (Optionally RAID5)
    Disk4 | RAID0 200G Capture | Simple ??G Archive

    Bittorrent Download or similar / Archiving:
    Disk1 | Simple 30G OS | Simple 30GB Download | Simple ??G Archive
    Disk2 | Simple 5G Swap | Simple 30GB Cache/Temporary | Simple ??G Archive
    If you are archiving only, skip the swap partition, and probably the cache/temp file as well.
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Making the partition smaller doesn't force it to the outside edge, it just means there's less space for things to go into therefore they're more likely to be nearer the edge. A large partition can do the same thing as long as you defragment it in a way that shunts data to the start of the partition.

    The key thing is in putting all your non-performance critical stuff in a second partition out of the way, this leaves room nearer the edge for your speedy stuff.

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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Making the partition smaller doesn't force it to the outside edge, it just means there's less space for things to go into therefore they're more likely to be nearer the edge. A large partition can do the same thing as long as you defragment it in a way that shunts data to the start of the partition.

    The key thing is in putting all your non-performance critical stuff in a second partition out of the way, this leaves room nearer the edge for your speedy stuff.
    If you are using Windows 95/98/ME I would say that is true. I find that windows explorer don't put file sequentially and my files always end up somewhere in the middle of the disk.

    I could empty the whole partition, and start copying file from another hdd using single copy thread, and that partition end up with a few thousand fragments when it shouldn't have any if it was written linearly.

    And if you use smaller partitions instead of a single big one, you don't need to defrag as much. The OS partition in fact rarely need any defragging since the programs aren't moving. So is your gaming partition.
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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Making the partition smaller doesn't force it to the outside edge, it just means there's less space for things to go into therefore they're more likely to be nearer the edge.
    no,...but making it the FIRST partiton does seem to.

    ie when you have a new HDD, if you partition it, make the FIRST partiton the small one, as I said, about 1/5 of the drives volume. The rest of the sapce is up to you.

    It "seems" (and I do stress seems) that the first partition created is substantially faster. The read heads move to the outisde of the disk and STAY there while you're using those files. If the partition is fragmented in any way, it is forced to be fragmented in the same zone, ie the outter edge. The outter area of the platters clearly has a faster speed in terms of inches/second, and with the heads not moving back and forth width wise much, and with the data all at the maximum velocity, it seems to work

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-) (Zak's Partition Theory)

    I always do this when setting up my PC(s)

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    Re: How to Speed up your Hard Disk :-) (Zak's Partition Theory)

    Hmmm, my setup currently has my Raptor as my boot/os drive
    a 250gb as games, a 250gb as temp, a 250gb as media, 500gb as media 1 and 500gb as films..

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