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Does More Cache Mean Better Performance?

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AngelfireUk83

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Just would like to ask about HDD cache does the more it have mean better performance when transfering files, if I remember the more cache means its better at smaller files when transfering is that right.

I was looking at buying a new extra HDD for slave for music and game installs plus to move the page file across, I was looking at the Hitachi 250 or 320GB varient but even thou they say 16mb cache clicking to find more info they say 8mb.

I searched the manufacturers code on each drive and other sites say the same it has 8mb not 16mb.
 

Old Thrashbarg

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
It might show a bit of gain in benchmarks, but in real-world use, anything above about 8MB cache on a drive isn't going to make a lick of difference. It's more about marketing, sorta like the amount of RAM on video cards. What matters more for hard drives is the platter density.

But as for choosing a hard drive, why are you looking at those old Hitachis? You'd be much better off spending the little extra and getting a WD 640 or something... much better price per GB and a huge jump in performance.
 

deathman20

High Speed Premium Senior
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Well harddrive cache tells you one thing.... smaller amount typically older the drive and less throughput it has. The higher the amount the faster the drive is. From what I've noticed at least more recently that the onboard cache = 1/4 to 1/2 of the harddrive speed in MB/sec write/read capabilites. There has to be some corrilation to this. I know DVD burners don't need more then a 2MB of cache but as well its not writing/reading over 20MB/sec typically.

32MB is the sweet spot for drives now adays, though for a small drive that your using for Music and games, don't think it really matters that much. For an OS drive it might be more of use. As Old Thrashbarg mentioned, higher density platters is what really makes the drive go, so a nice newer 500Gig drive or the WD 640Blacks is where its at for price/performance. Though 1TB's are getting pretty cheap now too.

It might show a bit of gain in benchmarks, but in real-world use, anything above about 8MB cache on a drive isn't going to make a lick of difference. It's more about marketing, sorta like the amount of RAM on video cards. What matters more for hard drives is the platter density.


Though not to jump off the deep end ram on video cards is VERY IMPORTANT. If you ever had it run out of ram on an nVidia card (at least an older one) you would notice a huge drop in performance because the card doesn't have direct access to the data.
 
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