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hard drives

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How important is the cache on a HDD? I see some for 8mb some for 16 and some for 32 mb. Is there a noticeable difference in a 32 over a 16? Is it an important factor to consider when purchasing a new one?

Also is average latency important? I see some hard drives with more cache faster seek time and read time but slower latency and that doesnt make sense to me. One reason is probably cuz I dont really know what latency is but i would assume lower is better.
Can anyone help me out in what to look for when buying a new hard drive
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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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Cache is relatively important. The bigger the cache the more stuff it holds. As cache is far faster than the physical mechanics of the drive, if a drive can get stuff out of cache rather than scan the drive then performance will be faster.

As to latency - Latency is directly related to the spindle speed of the drive. The faster the disk is spinning, the quicker the correct sector will rotate under the heads, and the lower latency will be. On average, latency will be half the time it takes for a full rotation of the disk.

Here's a web page going into more detail:
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