Hard Drives with 8MB of Cache... Wow!

After a few weeks of wanting one, I finally bit the bullet today and replaced my two hard drives with a new 80GB Maxtor, 7200RPM, ATA/133, and 8MB of cache. They were $139.99 at Best Buy, but there’s a $50 mail-in rebate.

Now my two older drives were no slowpokes. Both were IBM Deskstar’s, one 30GB and the other 40GB. Both were ATA/100, 7200RPM, and only 2MB of cache.

I’m running on a Nforce2 board, so it has ATA/133 support already built in.

Okay, now this new drive FLIES! Dear lord, the combination of the 33-percent higher disk bandwidth and the 8MB of cache just makes my system do anything disk-related so much faster.

Usually installing Windows XP from scratch takes a while, especially when it’s “configuring network devices” and all that crap. But with this new drive, it just blew through the install in record time.

And when I downloaded the 17 “Critical Updates” from Microsoft, it took about half the time to install them than before. The download time remained the same, but once they were downloaded and the system started churning on them, they just flew by in, once again, record time.

My only regret is that I didn’t upgrade earlier. If you’ve been hemming and hawing on these new drives, I suggest you go for it.

Another benefit of the fancy 8mb models is that they usually have a full 3 year warranty; most IDE drives these days only have 1 year.

I have no idea what we’re going to use these new 250gb+ monsters for, other than porn, er, I mean, digital video.

Fan-subbed anime needs space.

It’s not just the cache. Newer drives have more density per platter – as much as 40GB on a single platter for some drives. The higher density = more data spun off the drive in the same amount of time.


Loyd Case