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Whats the difference: 8mb vs 32mb buffer?


KK_
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Can anyone explain what the real difference is between them in a short way and tell me which is better?

Edited by KK_

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If I can put my words right and explain my idea of memory buffer - the small amount of memory, or cache on harddrives is there to store bits going to and from the hard drive platters. The bigger the buffer, to a point, the better performing drive you have. 32mb drives are much more superior to an 8mb drive.

 

It's the exact same thing as cache on a CPU. A years ago, they only had 128 or 256kb but now with multiple cores and better technology you're looking at 8mb+ of cache on these chips.

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Plus the drive will not get accessed as much with a larger buffer, thereby, maybe, making it last a little longer. More memory is always good, I know because I lost most of mine when I turned 60....

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It's a buffer. Commonly accessed data can be stored in the buffer (cache). Data that's in cache can be accessed much much faster than doing to the spinning disk itself. Therefore, the more cache you have, the more data that can be accessed very quickly.

 

In short, cache is good and can make a pretty significant difference :) For the difference in cost, it's almost always worth it to pay for the extra cache when available.

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In short, cache is good and can make a pretty significant difference :) For the difference in cost, it's almost always worth it to pay for the extra cache when available.

There's no reason to get anything less than 16MB these days, and 32MB when possible.

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A larger cache size doesn't affect performance as much as other factors. An 8mb hdd and 16mb hdd can tie up in benchmarks and/or the smaller sized cache hdd can get a better score (and

vice versa) Same goes for 16mb and 32mb HDD's

 

 

Clay does have a good point though, there are so many HDD's out there at a resonable price that 8mb HDD's aren't as popular on the market.

 

But when it comes to 16mb and 32mb, don't jump on the 32mb gun right away, find a review of the drive and see how it stacks up to the rest of the competition. The extra cache probably won't justify the higher price, unless there is some sort of deal going on.

Edited by damian

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A larger cache size doesn't affect performance as much as other factors. An 8mb hdd and 16mb hdd can tie up in benchmarks and/or the smaller sized cache hdd can get a better score (and

vice versa) Same goes for 16mb and 32mb HDD's

 

 

Clay does have a good point though, there are so many HDD's out there at a resonable price that 8mb HDD's aren't as popular on the market.

 

But when it comes to 16mb and 32mb, don't jump on the 32mb gun right away, find a review of the drive and see how it stacks up to the rest of the competition. The extra cache probably won't justify the higher price, unless there is some sort of deal going on.

yeah I thought the reason my dad's new Seagate 7200.12 performed so well was because it was a 32mb drive but it's not. It's just a *measly* 16mb, but it's really fast anyway. I'd say more cache may help more with a bigger drive though 750GB+??

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yeah I thought the reason my dad's new Seagate 7200.12 performed so well was because it was a 32mb drive but it's not. It's just a *measly* 16mb, but it's really fast anyway. I'd say more cache may help more with a bigger drive though 750GB+??

All the HDD improvments of the last couple years, really are improvements. Native Command Cueing comes to mind, but there are many other HDD innovations from different manufacturers, including a larger Cache. The cache is just that, a repository of information, an info buffer. The HDD is asked to retrieve stored info by the CPU and may have prefetch requirements. The HDD puts info into the "Cache" or rather the info Flows thru the Cache on its way to the Ram and CPU. As the CPU uses up the cache info, it may or may not use all the info stored there. The HDD may or may not load more info into the buffer depending on the requirements of the CPU. Since this is all happening at pretty much a sustained rate when the CPU is crunching something such as GAME Info or other types of programing fodder, the more Cache, the more info that can be stored there for instant use. No waiting around for those heads to travel over those spinning discs searching , searching, searching for those lost bits of info lol.

Bigger Drives can store more info but the Flow Capability of that info to the CPU is what counts. Sometimes you may require alot.. sometimes not.

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