Vibration Is Killing Hard-Drive Speeds

I can't be the only one who's wondered - even stabilised by several screws in metal mounts - how can hard drives sift through so much minuscule data amidst minuscule vibrations? A new study suggests what we've long suspected: They can't.

...well, not all the time, at least.

In a study conducted Julian Turner, traditional hard-drive racks were replaced with the prototype carbon fibre AVR-1000. It's engineered to reduce vibration across a slew of frequencies. And as the vibrations were thwarted, random read and write times for 3.5-inch drives saw major improvements.

Performance improvements for random reads ranged from 56% to 246% while improvements for random writes ranged from 34% to 88% for a defined set of industry benchmarks. Streaming sequential reads and writes had a much smaller performance improvement...

Now, the scope of this study is geared toward the industrial server market rather than your home PC. Still, it's not hard to imagine the trickle-down effect taking place in the performance PC market. Now whether or not vibration will matter as much in a system with one or two hard drives as it does for massive servers, well, that's going to require another round of study. [Presentation (PDF) via ZDNet via Slashdot]

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