How much does cache size matter? - Overclock.net

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post #1 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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How much does cache size matter when it comes to hard drive performance? Would a SATA 150 drive with a 16 MB cache out perform a SATAII drive with a 8 MB cache? How much does the cache size effect performance?

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post #2 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:21 AM
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I think the first one (SATA 150 with 16mb cache) would be better, i dont think theres much of a performance boost between SATA and SATA II, i could be wrong tho

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post #3 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:24 AM
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There is 0 performance difference between SATA I and SATA II since no drive fully utilizes SATA I anyways, also 16MB cache is definitely a big performance boost.

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:25 AM
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The size of cache on a hard disk is like RAM on your computer.
It acts as a temporary storage location for the data.
Cache can respond faster than the hard disk itself (nanoseconds for cache instead of milliseconds for hard disk) so the more cache a drive has the better overall performance it will give.
I'd say the difference from 8mb to 16mb is small. On the other hand, a difference from 2mb to 8mb or 16mb is noticeable!

The thing is that in order to speed up reading you would need something like 256MB of cache or more. Small sizes are good when it comes to accelerating up writes by buffering them. But if you make these buffers too large, you might loose data if people shut down their computer when the disk has not had time to finish writing as the power goes off.

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post #5 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cokker
I think the first one (SATA 150 with 16mb cache) would be better, i dont think theres much of a performance boost between SATA and SATA II, i could be wrong tho
I'd probably agree, depends what apps you were running. Sata II currently doesn't provide much of a boost in game loading times, boot times etc, but can be of benefit when transferring large files Eg. Photoshop or media files because of the increased bandwidth.

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There is 0 performance difference between SATA I and SATA II since no drive fully utilizes SATA I anyways, also 16MB cache is definitely a big performance boost.
There isn't a great deal of difference currently, but Sata II is slightly quicker than Sata 1 if all other specs are the same.

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post #6 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
I'd probably agree, depends what apps you were running. Sata II currently doesn't provide much of a boost in game loading times, boot times etc, but can be of benefit when transferring large files Eg. Photoshop or media files because of the increased bandwidth.
It would be used for running/loading many programs at the same time (outlook, WMP, IEx5, AIM, etc.) and gaming.

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post #7 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:31 AM
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Seems like I read somewhere that 16mb cache on the hard drive will help load games faster, like each level load times and such. Anyone else think along those lines?
What does help a game load faster? Seems I have some load time lag in HL2 that is kind of annoying, though I've heard its notorious for it also.

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post #8 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy
It would be used for running/loading many programs at the same time (outlook, WMP, IEx5, AIM, etc.) and gaming.
Tbh, I'd say there wouldn't be much difference between them. A Raid0 array would give you the best performance if you could pick up 2 7200rpm 8mb cache drives instead. All depends on your budget really

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post #9 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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actually 16mb cache has a quite noticible speed gain. i defintaly noticed the speed boost when a friend got his and started throwing data to it. way faster in comparison to a 8mb cache.

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post #10 of 14 Old 12-19-2005, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste
Tbh, I'd say there wouldn't be much difference between them. A Raid0 array would give you the best performance if you could pick up 2 7200rpm 8mb cache drives instead. All depends on your budget really
Well, seeing as the drive is around $80, I could get one, and then save $80 more and get 2 and RAID them!

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