Settling the HD debate WAS: Re: [mythtv-users] A warning about Samsung HDDs

Steve Adeff adeffs at
Tue Nov 1 10:57:44 EST 2005

On Monday 31 October 2005 15:20, Robert Denier wrote:
> I didn't see this mentioned so I thought I'd add it.  Hard drives come
> with different amounts of cache ram.  I believe 16MB is about the
> largest out now.
> The point being that a larger cache may result in a bit less work for
> the moving components which in turn may result in longer life.  I'm not
> sure this would matter in practice though.  Still, if your getting a new
> drive, I'd look for at least an 8MB cache for performance reasons if
> nothing else..

in fact all the extra cache does is allow the drive to appear to operate 
faster. hdparm has a -t and -T tests, one for cache speeds one for actual 
disk speeds. Since the amount of data being written stays the same there is 
no real difference in component wear. The platters will be spinning no matter 
what and the head movement is done electromechanically, so theres no real 
wear and tear to be concerned about.

> Another thing worth considering, particularly if you use many of the
> same drives is how much power they use.  High power usage will make them
> harder to keep cool and cost some more electric wise..

this is a good point, as it affects power supply requirements (always 
calculate based on the max current rating).
I've found power consumption has gone down overall for harddrives, leveling 
out fairly recently. Plus the amount of heat difference is minor between 
drives and in a properly cooling case will result in perhaps a degree 
temperature difference.


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