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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RE: Try with .32 ?
by malxau on Sun 14th Feb 2010 14:17 UTC in reply to "Try with .32 ?"
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The posts on the fdisk list seem to imply that the version of fdisk you are using will do the right thing provided you're using a .32 kernel that can properly report the disk topology. Could you test with that?

Here's the post I'm referring to:

Reporting disk topology requires the hardware to also communicate that topology. AFAIK many of these drives do not. Christoph Zimmermann summarized the same observation in the thread you point to:

alexander an I have got the same conclusion on these topic:
- it is a must that the partitions are aligned correctly to 4KiB
boundries. else the drive is unusable slow.

- the drive does NOT report its physical sector size. so doing proper
programming is not enough.

It looks like the discussion in that thread is about aligning partitions by default on a sufficiently large granularity to "get by" (as Vista and above do.) Note that other technologies (eg. SSDs, RAID) benefit from large alignment (larger than 512 bytes or 4Kb.)

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