Ah, yeah, one of the 'old is gold' articles
I think what you find in THGs article is extremely common in all facets of online analysis and testing, by forum members and article reviewers. They tend to use benchmarks/techniques but come up with a misleading, incorrect analysis and conclusion, and their explanations of what is happening and why are usually flat out wrong. That is one reason I ignore many articles and the credibility of authors of such articles is nil in my eyes.
In effect what they are doing is what we've done for a while, which is if you have too much extra unwanted space you don't need, you decrease the drive size to only use the outermost drive tracks hence reducing seek times by a large margin, which means the performance perceived where any seek is involved, is enhanced. The actual drive performance remains largely fixed but the faster performance comes from reduced access latencies with the much smaller head movement involved.
Synthetic apps will in these cases largely exaggerate the benefits but they are not apps I rely on since I don't run them as my work. Simple heavy read/write daily operations will be enough to show me any benefits I might gain
from such a technique.
I'll be running a test on this myself soon. I have a WD Caviar Blue 16MB 250GB and WD Caviar Blue 16MB 320GB (single platter) that I'll be comparing.
BTW, my 2001 Maxtor 40GB 2MB PATA is still alive and kicking.
I did quite a lot of heavy testing on it just the other day to compare with some newer drives. Out of all the tests, only FC-Test, IOMeter and PCMark were of any reasonable value and realistic validity, though.
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