Why is a hard disk fast to access?

Questions about hard disks' performance, issues, tips, and software.
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Why is a hard disk fast to access?

Post by kiran »

Why is a hard disk fast to access? Hard disks are not fast to access. A hard disk is probably the single slowest component in a modern PC.

Compared to other components of the PC, like the CPU, caches, RAM and solid-state storage, hard disks have low data transfer rates and very high latency.

A good hard drive can transfer between 100 MB/sec and 250 MB/sec. The latency to access any given piece of data is typically around 10 ms.

A cheap SATA solid state drive can transfer around 500 – 600 MB/sec and will have latencies around 1 ms. A fast NVMe SSD can transfer around 2,500 – 4,000 MB/sec and have latencies around 0.25 ms.

In terms of data transfer rates, even Gigabit Ethernet can transfer 100 MB/sec, and 10 Gb Ethernet can transfer up to 1 GB/sec.

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