Linked by theosib on Sun 14th Feb 2010 10:45 UTC

Recently, I bought a pair of those new Western Digital Caviar Green drives. These new drives represent a transitional point from 512-byte sectors to 4096-byte sectors. A number of articles have been published recently about this, explaining the benefits and some of the challenges that we'll be facing during this transition. Reportedly, Linux should unaffected by some of the pitfalls of this transition, but my own experimentation has shown that Linux is just as vulnerable to the potential performance impact as Windows XP. Despite this issue being known about for a long time, basic Linux tools for partitioning and formatting drives have not caught up.

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by sj87 on Sun 14th Feb 2010 13:24 UTC
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I did battle with this issue just this morning. I had to manually configure the partitions to both begin and be length of multiples of eight using parted.

I didn't actually suffer of major read/write performance loss, only some random reads made the drive go crazy and very slow. Write speed topped at 70 MB/s, and after setting the partitions well-aligned it has gone up to 80 MB/s.

It has been suggested that WD might internally offset block addresses by 1 so that LBA 63 maps to LBA 64. -- I performed a test that demonstrates that WD has not done this

You're both wrong and wrong. It's a hack mode that can be enabled by connecting pins 7-8 on the HDD. But of course it's not enabled by default, because it would totally screw up every other OS.

Edited 2010-02-14 13:25 UTC

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