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RAID0 and Short-Stroking vs. standard Hard Drive Setup

I had some surprising results with this test. Let me start by saying that this wasn’t a scientifically rigorous test because there were far too many variables, but the results were still surprising.

I compared a Windows 7 installation on a single Western Digital WD1001FALS 7200 RPM 32MB cache 3.0 Gb/s max 1TB drive ( which WD has replaced with a faster model that I don’t yet own) to a Windows Vista SP2 installation on a hardware RAID 0 (striped) set of WD 160GB 7200 drives manufactured in 2005 and pulled out of some old iMac G5s. SiSoft reported these drives as running at 5400RPM, which would make these results more shocking. To reduce the distance the hard drive’s head has to move to transfer data, which is what makes magnetic storage media so slow, I created a 100GB partition out of the 320 available. That partition sits on the outermost edge of the drive platter, keeping the head ‘stroke’ distance very short. SiSoftware’s SANDRA 2014 reported this for each :
Windows 7 on single drive : 46.6IOPS, 44MB/s
Windows Vista on RAID 0 short-stroked drives : 242IOPS, 96.6MB/s

This has proven for me that downloading every game I own on Steam and Origin and storing them on a massive drive is making my powerful hardware a waste of money.

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