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64 MB Cache HARD DRIVE or 32 MB cache?

Al Durer , May 12, 2010; 05:29 a.m.

Using Windows 7 64 bit.
I'm about to buy a Western Digital 2TB SATA 64 MB Cache hard drive, or a Western Digital 2TB 32 MB Cache. They're around the same price. But I'm unsure what the difference is between 64 or 32 MB cache, downsides, upsides, if any. What I want to avoid most of all is difficulty in installation. Any tips appreciated.

Responses

Martin Howard , May 12, 2010; 05:37 a.m.

32MB vs 64MB cache is currently a marketing gimmick for the current gen of HD's.
Installation is easy assuming you having a spare SATA 2 port on your motherboard.
Once physically installed in will need enabling in Computer management >disk management.

Which WD drive are you looking at? I would take a look at the Samsung F3 drives as well, they are very strong performers.

Al Durer , May 12, 2010; 05:50 a.m.

Hallo thanks for a fast response. Yes physical installation will not be a problem I think because it will be fitting in a hot swap tray.
It would be this drive........... WD 2 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower. I'd chosen the WD because I'd installed one previously without a problem but now I find this 32/64 choice to decide on. I'd read that the Samsung's were noisy. The priority is reliability, if one can use that word with computers.


Martin Howard , May 12, 2010; 05:59 a.m.

Yes the F3 would be more slightly more noisy than WD green drive, but the performance would be greater, there is always a trade off!
I really would not worry about the difference in cache size - 32MB is plenty.

Al Durer , May 12, 2010; 07:40 a.m.

Okay thanks for your help maybe I'll give the F3 a try. All the best Al.

Edward Ingold , May 12, 2010; 08:47 a.m.

Any drive cache more than 4mb to 8mb is probably superfluous. Cache is used to span "calibration" breaks, and to store recently accessed blocks for repeated access. It is of little use for streaming applications (sound, video), and may add to the overhead of these operations. There is little to be gained in a drive faster than 7200 rpm, other than cost, noise, heat and a dramatically shortened life. WD "Green" drives run really cool, which I suspect will make them last longer too.

Al Durer , May 12, 2010; 11:37 a.m.

Edward thanks for your time and expertise. Sorry I find this pretty confusing. So would it be better in terms of longevity to go for 5400 rpm 64 MB or 7800 rpm 32GB? That's what WD is shown as having here at Amazon.de

Edward Ingold , May 12, 2010; 01:04 p.m.

7200 rpm drives seem to be the mainstream, and 5400 rpm drives are most often directed to legacy systems and older laptops. There's no significant difference in price, and I've had no longevity problems with the faster drive. I'm not aware of any 7800 rpm drives.

If you need a real speed boost, I suggest a desktop RAID 0 configuration, which divides and routes data to two disks, nearly doubling the read/write speed. This is at the expense of long-term reliability. If one drive in a RAID 0 fails, you lose data in both. I see no reason to do this unless it is part of a data server in a small network, or if you need to capture HD-SDI video at 50+ MB/sec.

Al Durer , May 12, 2010; 02:14 p.m.

Edward thanks again. Yes 7800 was my typo. No this is for stills back up and currently I have no speed problem. So looks like the 7600 rpm. Again thanks for your help. I feel more comfortable placing my order now.
Best wishes,
Al

Ted Marcus , May 17, 2010; 05:47 p.m.

There is little if any difference between 32 and 64M cache performance. But 64M is more impressive for marketing, which I suppose is an advantage. If you're concerned about performance, I would recommend the Caviar Black rather than the Caviar Green. It has some genuine design improvements that increase overall speed, and offers the best performance without spending an enormous amount for a 10000RPM server drive or a solid-state device. It's a little warmer and noisier than the Green, but I have two of them in my computer and have no problem with either noise or power consumption.

A hard drive is one of the easiest components to install. Four screws and two cables.

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