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Topic: Hard drive partitioning?

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  1. #1

    Hard drive partitioning?

    If I'm using a large (250GB) dedicated SATA drive for sample libraries, will I get any better streaming performance if the drive is partitioned into 2 or more sections as opposed to leaving it at 250GB? (I'm on a G5, by the way)

    thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    Simply, no

  3. #3

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    If you've partitioned it and are accessing the data from two partitions at the same time the drive will spin just the same way (as far as I know), so no difference at all.

  4. #4

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    It doesn't make any difference to streaming, but this is supposed to help with fragmented files isn't it? i.e. if your files fragment, it reduces 'how far' they can fragment. It also seems to make defragmenting faster.

    Steve

  5. #5

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    There is one aspect which may make a difference - the throughput available is the best towards the outer cylinders of the disk, so it may make sense to
    try to put the heavy polyphony libraries as close as possible to the beginning of the disk. (lowest numbered partitions are generally towards the beginning)
    Whether it is worth going to this effort for what is probably a very incremental benefit is debatable.

    Greg.

  6. #6

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    I've heard of this technique being used before but I don't think it will have much impact with today's high speed drives.

    One tweak you can make to both NTFS and FAT systems is to set the size of a cluster (the basic unit of file storage on a disk) from 1KB to 64KB in NTFS and FAT32, and from 512 bytes to 64KB for FAT16. Smaller clusters typically waste less space, because every file (even if it's only 1 byte long) uses at least one cluster and almost always leaves its last cluster only partly filled. However, PCs can read larger clusters more quickly, thus boosting disk performance!

  7. #7

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    On a related topic, when an underrun *does* occur, it'd be nice if the application advised the user. (or for there to be the option to). I've noticed a few demos on rather prominent library developer's web sites that have clicks in the recordings. (Not sure what software was used to create the demos.)
    For critical work, I'd like a great big red skull & crossbones to appear on the screen, along with a very audible alarm. I don't think Giga advises the user if the disk can't keep up, does it?

    Greg.

  8. #8

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    That's very interesting - I didn't know things had changed in that respect - thanks for the info.

    Here's a URL which indicates that it was, at least at some stage, like I describe:http://osr5doc.sco.com:1997/PERFORM/disk_IO_mech.html

    I also clearly remember this behaviour being well documented in a commercial video server product - that video server explicitly put the primary video blocks on the outer cylinders (lower logical block numbers), and the backup mirrored copy on the inner cylinders. (higher logical block numbers)

    But things must have changed now.

    Greg.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    I've bounced this idea off my brother who's a senior scientist for Seagate, and he dismissed it as being silly. According to him, the way data is "sprayed" onto modern multi-platter drives is complex, and does not really reflect what you see in disk usage graphs. In short, you can't fill up a disk in such a planned manner. It's not like cutting an LP.

    Whenever I bring up this subjects he tells me not to worry about it. If I persist with further questions, he drops by with a huge stack of current technical data, research papers, trade journals and product specifications. I've learned to keep my mouth shut and have faith. If I don't, my trash recycler is going to kill me.

    Lee Blaske

  9. #9

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    I've just read that URL which I posted again - it actually says that for small transfers, the inner cylinders are better. So it may actually be that the *inner* cylinders are better for soft synths, due to the fact that it's reading relatively small chunks of data (for all the different samples which make up the library/instrument). It also says that the blocks can be numbered starting from either the inner or the outer cylinders. (I had thought that the lowered numbered blocks always started at the outer cyinders.)

    But yes, if that Seagate scientist is right (which would seem extremely likely , and we now have no control whatsoever, then the whole discussion is moot anyway. (despite the fact that "if anyone should know, he should", I'm still a bit skeptical of his response, as you can probably tell. I'm sort of wondering whether he may have misunderstood exactly what I was trying to say, perhaps)

    Greg.

    Quote Originally Posted by sullivang
    That's very interesting - I didn't know things had changed in that respect - thanks for the info.

    Here's a URL which indicates that it was, at least at some stage, like I describe:http://osr5doc.sco.com:1997/PERFORM/disk_IO_mech.html

    I also clearly remember this behaviour being well documented in a commercial video server product - that video server explicitly put the primary video blocks on the outer cylinders (lower logical block numbers), and the backup mirrored copy on the inner cylinders. (higher logical block numbers)

    But things must have changed now.

    Greg.

  10. #10

    Re: Hard drive partitioning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    You might get marginally better performance, but one thing you would NOT want to do would be to simultaneously use sounds from two or more partitions. That alone would put a crimp in the way you could use your samples.
    Lee Blaske
    Lee, i don't understand. Where is the difference if you play two different libs or sample from two different partitions or just playing 2 or 3 samples/libs from the SAME partition ?!?

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