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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In the util-linux-ng mailing thread that some commenters have already mentioned here (thread started by myself, BTW), I did a test similar to yours, only fully automated and using a ready-made benchmark named PostMark which is quite well suited for exposing this particular performance problem:

This benchmark script is able to automatically expose the optimal partition offset that offers the best performance.

In the same thread, you can read that the util-linux-ng guys have already committed a fix for this issue in fdisk:

What's left to be fixed now is parted:

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