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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

Performance factors that are solely a function of the capabilities of the hard disk drive itself are the internal performance factors. However, there are also external performance factors to be considered, which relate to how the hard disk relates to other components in the system. Everything from the file system used on the disk, to the disk's interface speed, to the performance of the CPU and other key components, can affect disk performance.

This section discusses external factors that affect the performance of a hard disk in the "real world" of a system. Note that many of these factors are so external that they don't relate directly to the drive itself, but rather the rest of your system. As such, they often don't correspond directly to any of the hard disk performance specifications. Rather, they influence the real performance you will see when using the drive on a daily basis.

Since external factors can be different for the same drive in two different systems, this is a good reason to be careful about assuming that a given performance level on one PC will translate directly to another.

Next: Disk Interface Factors


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