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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Performance | Hard Disk External Performance Factors ]

Disk Interface Factors

While overrated in many ways, the speed of the interface is important in the grand scheme of hard disk performance. The interface can form a bottleneck to overall performance if it is too low for the hard disk's maximum sustained transfer rate, and can also have other effects on real-world performance. The issues discussed in this section of course primarily affect the disk's interface speed performance specification.

The two most popular hard disk interfaces used today, by far, are IDE/ATA and SCSI (and enhancements of each), so those are the ones that I focus on in this discussion. There is an entire large section devoted discussing interface issues in general, so I won't delve into too much on that subject here. I will focus primarily on how the interface affects performance, but you will still find more information on interface performance effects in the interface section. Also see the comparison of SCSI and IDE for more issues of relevance to interface performance.

Next: Interface Type, Mode and Speed

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