half-full HD slows down?

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In the May 2013 issue of Consumer Reports in the article, "101 Secrets from
 our Experts" it states:

"If your computer hard drive is more than half full, programs and disk oper
ations like copying and backing up will slow down, since the hard drive's h
eads have to move farther across the spinning disk surface as they gather d

I'm suspicious about this statement. It seems HDs are so fast today that a  
60% full HD isn't going to slow things down. Particularly if it's defraged  
regularly. Also, the article doesn't say how much fuller than 50%. A 90% fu
ll HD isn't going to be as efficient as one that's 55% full.

Was Consumer Reports right?

Re: half-full HD slows down?

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Yes, although whether its 50% or 90% is open to debate.

I don't have any figures to back it up, but it is my experience that there  
seems to come a point (related to how full the drive is) when performance  
starts to drop off. The drive itself can be fully defragmented, but  
performance still suffers. This is one reason why I now buy the largest  
capacity disks that I reasonably can afford. I wouldn't expect solid state  
drives to suffer in the same way.

Brian Cryer

Re: half-full HD slows down?

Brian Cryer wrote:
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The platter circumference is a function of the track you're on.
Inner tracks are a "smaller circle" than outer tracks.

If you run HDTune benchmark, you can see the effect immediately.
HDTune does a sequential read benchmark.


If you place a partition down near the end of the disk, it'll
be in the "slow part".


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