Hard drive cache size

October 14, 2007 at 02:25:14
Specs: XP Pro, 1.5 GB

It's been a while since I've bought a new hard drive. I'm going to need to get one fairly quickly because one is going out. After looking through a lot of the ads, I think I'm deciding on a WD Caviar drive. (They're pretty reliable, aren't they?) There's one that has 8 MB cache and one that had 16 MB cache. This will be used as the replacement for my root drive. How much of a difference will that cache size make? Does that have a big impact on speed?

The 2 models that I'm looking at are WD3200JB and WD4000AAKB. The only real difference is the size and cache, that I can see. Thanks for your help.


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#1
October 14, 2007 at 02:58:48

i wouldn't touch the WD3200JB, they have a rather slow access time (17.7 ms compared to 12.9 ms), although this discrepancy is not explained with the bigger cache size.

but if you want a really fast WD, then get a Raptor with access times between 7 and 8 ms. that's what i'd recommend for a system drive.


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#2
October 14, 2007 at 07:20:34

Raptors are considerably more expensive than "normal" HDDs, plus they generally come in much smaller capacities. For example, a 36GB Raptor goes for about $100.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/02...


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#3
October 14, 2007 at 09:35:06

well, an integrated Intel graphics chip is significantly cheaper than nVidia's 8800 ultra :)

performance has its price. when it comes to speed, you shouldn't compare dollar for gigabyte

however, a 36 or 74 GB raptor will provide sufficient space for the system, then get a cheaper storage drive.


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#4
October 14, 2007 at 10:59:32

Did you check the article I posted?

"The drive (WD3200JB) also offers very good performance as well, as its data transfer rates can be compared to those of the WD320 Raptor. The 36GB Raptor still offers a higher minimal transfer rate and lower seek times, but other than that the 320GB Caviar SE combines the performance comparable of the first 10,000 rpm drive with the pleasanter general framework of a 7,200 rpm drive."

BTW, Outpost.com has the Seagate 300GB PATA HDD w/16MB buffer for $60 (shipped).

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/45...


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#5
October 14, 2007 at 12:00:34

http://www.hdtune.com/

go to 'Test Results', find the WD3200JB in the chart and think again :)

it's not so much the transfer rate but the seek time that is essential for a system drive.

the Raptors are only listed by their model numbers, but you'll spot them right away with their outstanding performance.

the 36 GB raptors offer generally a slower data transfer rate, but the 74 GB raptor is a real killer.


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