Optimal NTFS cluster size?



Any advice appreciated!

I'm setting up a second drive (80 G)for capture and data so.... there will be several partitions on this drive. My OS partitions (on a separate drive) use the 4K cluster size.

1. If my capture partition is about 50 G, what would be the best cluster size? Would it be better to match the 4K size of my operating system or use the 32 or 64K size?

2. On this second drive besides the dedicated capture partition, I will have several small partitions for things like drive image, other data. Would I get better data transfer rate if I place the capture partition at the beginning of the drive? Which part of the drive is generally the fastest?

thanks for your help...kristin

Thank you for the excellent resources! I have been trying to work this out before setting up this drive and, although most of the response is opinion, one response (re: matching cluster size) had me wondering:

If you are using programs that buffer the data in memory as part of
capture (likely) then there is a theoretical benefit in a virtual
memory system in having the clusters match the page size of the
virtual memory (ie 4K in an Intel type CPU). The RAM areas mapping
consecutive pages of VM are not necessarily consecutive, so that if
you have a larger size, transfers to disk have to be via a matching,
contiguous, buffer: with 4K they can be direct from the original
location. The point is known to be relevant to the page file -
whether the programs you use will be sophisticated enough to make use
of the point, I don't know. But I think I would stick to the 4K size,
which is the default for almost any size NTFS partition.

I do not have experience with drive management...this is a "learn as you go" process. So...the articles you provided were very helpful. The above statement is a little beyond my grasp of relevant concepts vs actuality at this point.

?? kristin
Excuse me for being blunt: that's a load of crap. Every modern harddrive has a fairly large buffer (Diskcache) in which the data is stored after being read from disk. This process is completely transparent to the application and what's more, Windows XP will not allow any application to read directly from disk. The notion that the data would be read-stored-transported-stored-swapped and still maintain its 4K structure is completely rubbish.

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