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Can "HDD sector sizes" affect performance in uTorrent?


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hello! ...first off - utorrent is AWESOME!

yesterday i bought a 1 TB external usb2 hdd (single drive solution), now that theyve started to become just as cheap per gigabyte as 500gb versions...

now... to the problem i encountered... it was preformated as FAT32 and the harddrive was really fast and quick in this setting (for being a usb2 drive)... however FAT32 have a filesize limitation of 4 GB MAX per file... so i decided to reformat the drive as NTFS... and after that, the drive started acting really sluggish... especially in uTorrent, which now complains alot about "100% disk overload"...

so now to what i believe may be the cause of this... FAT32 have big sectorsizes so its easy to handle by the OS, while NTFS usually use much smaller sectorsizes... perhaps 1 terabyte is over the limit of what can be handled with good speed using the usb2 interface, with the MASSIVE amount of sectors caused by the small ntfs sectorsizes...

...so now to the question... have anyone else suffered from the same problem and how did u solve it? is it possible that this problem can be solved if i reformat using bigger ntfs sectorsizes or is ntfs perhaps just not suitable to use anyway over slower interfaces like usb2?

p.s. i also run a external "250 gb usb2 hdd" with fat32 and use it extensivly with torrents and it works flawlessly

EDIT: ONE OTHER THING... is uTorrent COMPATIBLE with custom sectorsizes? i dont want to risk creating a 32 KB sectorsize volume if it may lead to that uTorrent starts corrupting the data with the space allocation-techniques used, so that question is also important

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It doesn't write anything "raw", so you can use whatever custom sizes you want.

The thing about NTFS is that unlike FAT32, which has to map every cluster, NTFS can use something called "extents." Basically, a (contiguous) file can be mapped as "cluster x to cluster y", instead of "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx".

The difference in performance still isn't significant enough that you would need to use larger clusters.

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interresting! and thanks for the answers! :-) ...i will try searching some in the forum db... and now that i know uTorrent dont work in raw-mode i will try experimenting a little, since it really made a huge impact changing from fat32 to ntfs

i will try running a HDD benchmark to see if this USB2 HDD is good at handling high amounts of IO operations per second (im not very experienced in this matter)... if it turns out that its one of the biggest bottlenecks compared to internal hdd's i will still try experimenting with cluster sizes anyway just to see if it makes any difference... perhaps the latency (IO operations/s) of USB2 still makes a bigger difference if smaller cluster sizes requires more IO op's/s, in combination with the massive amounts of requests a complex system like torrent could do (with the massive amount of up/down-loading like i currently do)...

(even if it would seem strange, after reading what u wrote about the "mapping of extents", and most files r big and theres no fragmentation ...so i would really be surprised if the clustersizes turns out to affect the performance)

i will write here of the results of the testings

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