Hard drive cache - again!

I mean for regular SATA HDD’s here.

Ok, so this isn’t my 1st time spending hours on this subject of the actually need for hard drive cache…or more so if it really matters. There has been is so much debate on this & a mixed bag of opinions, not to mention several different factors involved that can make a difference.

In choosing a SATA 7200 RPM hard drive I have, among a handful I have in my stock for another computer I’m putting together, I have two choices for my OS HDD to stick in…a 300 GB drive with 8 MB cache, or a 320 GB HDD with 16 MB cache. I’m deciding which one to use. So I took a break and spent some time researching.

Then I found this older article tonight…


  1. Conclusion

We looked at several Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 drives to get down to the performance nitty-gritty. In doing so, > we found that there is hardly any difference between two drives that only differ in their cache sizes: 16 MB cache has no significant advantage over 8 MB across our benchmark suite, and this applies both to Serial ATA and to UltraATA drives. We would have expected that at least the SATA drives would show some degree of benefit, but in the case of the 7200.10 family, 16 MB cache is a waste of money if you have a cheaper 8 MB alternative> . At the same time, 16 MB cache doesn’t hurt either if the price is about the same…

Knowing that there are differences between members of a hard drive family you should now be able to make a more confident buying decision. Hard drives whose platter configurations don’t utilize the maximum per-platter capacity show slightly quicker access times, because the operating range of the drive is somewhat reduced, while units that fully utilize the maximum capacities offer slightly better data transfer rates.

Though it’s said to not really matter much. Since this computer is going to have a better CPU than my other one, I’m leaning toward using the HDD with 16 MB cache. Maybe the 300 GB for a back up internal HDD.