HDD Bottleneck

January 18, 2007 at 18:54:47
Specs: Windows XP Pro SP2, AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GH

Whenever I transfer files between my HDs my system slows to a crawl. I know it's somewhat typical but sometimes it will take almost a minute to open firefox or IE. I picked my hardware very carefully and made sure the bus speeds match on everything. I'm even able to play games with higher specs than my system. The only thing I can't get rid of is my HD bottleneck.

I have a Seagate Baracuda 7200RPM 250GB SATA150 8MB Buffer. I have 40GB allocated for windows and the remaining space for files. I also have a Western Digital Caviar 7200RPM 250GB SATA150 16MB Buffer. I am using SATA150 cables. I have about 4 SATA ports and I've tried using different ones but it doesn't seem to help. One thing I noticed after hooking up the WD HD is my system takes about 15 seconds longer to finish POST. I have run full scandisk and speed disk (Norton) and everything else imaginable to help with the problem. Any suggestions?

Windows XP Pro SP2
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHZ Venice Core
Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI Motherboard
1GB Geil DDR400 Dual Channel
ATI Radeon X800 GTO Fireblade Edition 256MB DDR PCIE


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#1
January 18, 2007 at 22:34:35

These days the hard drives are always the bottleneck.

If you are transferring large amounts of data, the cache on the hard drives and the max burst data transfer rates (150mbps in your case) become irrelevant in a short time, and the drives slow down to their max sustained data transfer rate which is about a third of their max burst data rate.

Make sure your hard drives are actually running at their max rates:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devic...


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#2
January 20, 2007 at 05:07:07

Hmmmmmm, that's kind of a bummer. I've already configured them as explained above. I forgot my WD HD is SATA2.
I ran the speed test through device manager and it shows the following:

Seagate - Theoretical Limit 150.0
Burst Speed 116.7
Sustained Speed 68.4

Western Digital - Theoretical Limit 300.0
Burst Speed 136.8
Sustained Speed 65.1

The results are pretty consistent. Is there really nothing else I can do? Thanks.


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#3
January 20, 2007 at 09:08:30

You can't do anything to increase the max sustained speed of the hard drives - your rates are better than average by the way.

But you may be able to tweak your Windows configuration otherwise so that the time it takes to do something like that takes a little less time, because less Windows "core" memory is being used.

Such as

Response 4 in this....
Stop un-necessary Startup programs from running.....
http://www.computing.net/windows200...

or turning off Services you don't need because you don't use them.

Or you could just transfer less data at a time, so that the hard drive caches and max burst speeds do still have a significant effect.
And don't do other things that use a lot of your cpu time at the same time as you are transferring data, such as burning a CD or DVD, or running Defrag, or playing a game, or downloading huge files, etc.


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