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Topic: Best Win98 Cluster Size for Gig's

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  1. #1

    Best Win98 Cluster Size for Gig\'s

    I\'ve been reading an article on opitimizng Win98 for audio production. It recommends formatting the drive with 32k clusters instead of the 4k clusters that Win 98 defaults to.

    Do you think that I should do this? I have two physical hard drives. One is partitioned and used for programs and audio, and the other is used only for .GIG files.

    I would plan to leave c: (programs) at 4k, reformat d: (audio) using 32k, but wonder what would be best for e: (GigaSampler data).

    It is clear to me that doing this would be beneficial for the audio (Cubase) files, but I wonder what would be best for the GigaSampler .GIG files.

    Thanks,
    Lawrence

  2. #2

    Re: Best Win98 Cluster Size for Gig\'s

    The issue is not the cluster size per se. That\'s really an artifact of the size of the parition and the type of partition that you\'re using.

    The reason Win98 \'defaults\' to a 4k cluster size is that you have probably created a FAT32 partition. This happens when you run FDISK to partition your drive and answer \'Y\' to the question about enabling large disk support.

    The old standard, FAT16 (or just FAT), is incapable of handling paritions larger than 2GB, and on a 2GB drive the cluster size would be 32k. The advantage of FAT16 is that it does yield better performance because a translation step is not required every time the disk is accessed.

    So, to get the best possible performance out of your drive, you need to get rid of the FAT32 paritions and reparition the drive into multiple 2GB FAT16 paritions. HTH

    Tim http://www.elithic.com

  3. #3

    Re: Best Win98 Cluster Size for Gig\'s

    The word should be \'partition.\' Sorry about that.

  4. #4

    Re: Best Win98 Cluster Size for Gig\'s

    Actually you can create a FAT32 partition with larger cluster size than FAT16 with the /z switch. For example, \"format /z:64 c:\".
    In theory these large clusters in FAT32 should give better performance than an equal sized FAT16 partition, but I\'m not aware of a translation step with fat32, so if that occurs it might diminish the performance. Can you explain the translation with FAT32?
    Anyway, the larger the cluster size, the better performance in general, because it means there will be fewer clusters needed to fill the partition and hence a relatively small table to go through for each disk access, and also it means the disk accesses more data at one time for files which are larger than the cluster size(you can be practically guaranteed this is the case for any audio file). The bad side to using a large cluster size is it wastes disk space when files are smaller than the cluster size - system files are frequently this sort.
    Also FAT32 allows partitions larger than 2 gigs, which FAT16 doesn\'t allow. For what it\'s worth, I use fdisk and select \"allow large partitions\" or something like that, which in effect specifies fat32 will be used. And when formatting I use the /z:64 switch, although you could also use /z:32 or smaller if you wanted. The number following \'z:\' specifies cluster size in kilobytes. I\'ve heard 64 is the maximum allowable. Hope this helps!
    -Jeff

    [This message has been edited by hurchalla (edited 04-24-2000).]

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