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What is the purpose of the cache in HDDs?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all.
What purpose does the cache on a hard drive serve?
Does it matter?
Edited by vinton13 - 7/18/11 at 10:18am
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post #2 of 7
It's a buffer zone that holds data for faster access. The larger the better. What are you looking at?
post #3 of 7
Pretty sure it deals with how much data the drive has ready for processing
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ahh. Thanks guys.
I was looking at some HDDs on Newegg as I may have to buy one soon.
I started wondering about the cache size after seeing it so much times.
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post #5 of 7
Cache is used for many things. Just like videocards, don't assume bigger means faster.

It's used for more advanced ECC in Green drives. It also buffers tracks. It generally increases over time, as platter density is also increasing - but that's no guarantee that more cache is faster.
     
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post
Cache is used for many things. Just like videocards, don't assume bigger means faster.

It's used for more advanced ECC in Green drives. It also buffers tracks. It generally increases over time, as platter density is also increasing - but that's no guarantee that more cache is faster.
This.

Don't use cache as a performance indicator in any way. You can be sure that whatever cache is present in the drive will be sufficient for that drive's setup/controller/platter density etc.

If more cache made drives faster, don't you think manufactures would add more than 8/16/32/64MB? It's not like it's expensive low-latency cache as found in your CPU - this is bog standard crap that's as slow and cheap as it comes.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!
Rep'd
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