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Old June 2nd, 2007, 05:32 PM   #1
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To Partitioning and which Cluster Size?

I'm adding a second 150 gig WD Raptor drive. I'm wondering if there is any benefit to partitioning it, and if I should go with a larger than 4k cluster size.

I've read that large cluster sizes are beneficial when working with big files. But I've also found that when you stray from the beaten path too much with Windows, weird things can happen. And I've read that the actual performance benefit of a larger cluster size is negligible.

So does anyone have experience using 32 or even 64 clusters in XP? And is it worth it to partition a 150 gig hd?

Thanks a LOT!

-Peter


P.S. I won't be RAIDing. Thanks again.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 06:06 PM   #2
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Never partition a disk, it only slows it down. I would advise against changing the cluster size as well. I you want more speed get another disk to spread the load.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 06:36 PM   #3
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My best techie days are behind me, but

overall, I'd agree with Harm's advice. Partitioning would create an additional logical drive(s), adding 2 (or more) new drive letters to your system. However, they would be logical drives. My take is that you would still be bound by the number of read/write heads on the physical drive, where with 2 logical drives, those heads would now have to serve 2 drives instead of 1, possibly causing contention and slower performance.

While I believe Raptor's are considered good-to-high quality, if, for whatever reason, a cluster becomes unreadable, the larger that cluster is, the more "wasted" disk space will result.

Mostly for safety's sake, I'd go with the "plain vanilla" approach, format the disk as NTFS, and not try to crack or break any "windows".

That's my 2 cents,
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 04:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys. Here's what I've settled on: No partitioning, but yes to 64k cluster size.

Even from an organizational POV, partitioning just makes things too confusing. I'd like to use one Raptor for media files and the other for rendering. Two drives, two distict uses, no need to split the drives up even further, IMHO.

However, I did go with the larger cluster size. When dealing with very large files (if I understand correctly) a small cluster size creates a lot of unnecessary MFT entries when defining the file's location. A 64k instead of 4k cluster size should use 1/12th the number of entries. If it doesn't work I can always go back. And it seems in line w/ what MS recommends.

Thanks much!

-Peter
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