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Windows 7: Ideal cluster size for 1.5TB NTFS volume

07 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Ideal cluster size for 1.5TB NTFS volume

The average file size will be around 8 MB. I may also have a single very large file (500MB).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 x64 HP, Windows 7 HP, Windows 7 Ult
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cluent View Post
The average file size will be around 8 MB. I may also have a single very large file (500MB).
When you format the drive, the optimal cluster size should be selected automatically, probably 4KB.

If you are offerred a choice, remember that the largest size is not always the most space efficient, although with 1.5T that is probably not a big deal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TheSchaft View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cluent View Post
The average file size will be around 8 MB. I may also have a single very large file (500MB).
When you format the drive, the optimal cluster size should be selected automatically, probably 4KB.

If you are offerred a choice, remember that the largest size is not always the most space efficient, although with 1.5T that is probably not a big deal.
I know 4KB is the default size for large drives, but is that necessarily best for performance with large files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 x64 HP, Windows 7 HP, Windows 7 Ult
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Cluent View Post
I know 4KB is the default size for large drives, but is that necessarily best for performance with large files?
The trade-offs are between speed and space, to an extent.

With the speed of modern drives, a larger cluster size will give you only marginal improvement, if any - especially with NTFS.

From a space perspective, remember that each cluster is allocated as a lump (to use a really non-technical term ). What I mean is that a file of 20 bytes will take 4K - that is the minimum allocated size.

Again, with modern drives, you will not gain a lot in efficiency with a larger size - the sectors are arranged so that a single rotation will get multiple sectors, unlike drives in the old days where you had to manually set an interlace to optimize the speed.

Bottom line - I doubt if you would see any improvement in larger clusters.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TheSchaft View Post

Bottom line - I doubt if you would see any improvement in larger clusters.

Would you get a smaller master file table with a larger cluster size?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #6

Windows 7 x64 HP, Windows 7 HP, Windows 7 Ult
 
 

Microsoft moved away from the File Allocation Table with NTFS, so I'm not sure the question applies.

Here are a couple of links that may help:

Optimizing NTFS

How NTFS Works: Local File Systems
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #7

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TheSchaft View Post
Microsoft moved away from the File Allocation Table with NTFS, so I'm not sure the question applies.
Right, now they call it master file table. I edited the the question to say: "Does the larger cluster size lead to a smaller master file table"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #8

Windows 7 x64 HP, Windows 7 HP, Windows 7 Ult
 
 

I still really don't think you will see a marked improvement with a larger cluster size, or more disk space lost to indexing tables.

You're talking about 1.5T here - that's a lot of space. I have a 1T NAS and have loaded out the entire contents of two desktops and a laptop, plus Office 2000 and Office 2007 Enterprise CDs, and haven't even made a dent in the space.

At 1,500G, your 500MB files will be lost there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2009   #9

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TheSchaft View Post
At 1,500G, your 500MB files will be lost there.
Oops, I meant to say 500GB file, maybe even 1 TB file. Does that change things? That large file will be an archive of other files. It itself will be a virtual NTFS volume, so my worry was that the 1.5TGB would be eaten by the MTFs in the two volumes. I don't know much at all about how the MTF is sized.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Nov 2009   #10

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I just posed a related question here:

http://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...tml#post365569
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Ideal cluster size for 1.5TB NTFS volume




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