HD Buffer Size

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by stevietheb, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    For some time now I've been thinking about getting a firewire hard drive. It would be used primarily for storage of music (probably 20gb of the 160gb or so that I plan to get), and as a scratch disk.

    My question is: what exactly is "buffer size," and what does this mean for me, considering what I hope to use the drive for?


    P.S. I've been looking at the LaCie drives, so anyone who has experience with one, feel free to comment. Also, this drive will be used primarily for the ibook in my sig.
  2. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    buffer size is like hard drive cache. the drive uses this to help speed things up. the last few things you have done on the drive get stored there and the drives with larger buffers they even store what you could be doing next based on what you have done in the last few moments.

    2 MB is standard but 8 is much better. I have a drive with 8MB buffer and it helps a lot it seems. there are even 1 or 2 drives now with a 16MB buffer.

    so the larger the buffer the faster you hard drive..

    I say get an owc drive as they probably make the best external mac drives.

  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    it's like the gas tank capacity in your car.

    you want to travel 500 miles in two cars getting 10 mpg.

    -if one car has 10 gallon capacity, you'll need to re-fuel 5 times.
    -if the other car has 5 gallon capacity, you'll need to re-fuel 10 times.

    since re-fueling takes time, you'll end up getting to your destination faster if you use the first car.

    same thing with disk buffer - larger the buffer, quicker the access because HD will spend less time doing the slowest thing - reading it.

    just for external storage, you might as well save the money and get the one with the "standard" buffer, 2 MB. if you'll be working with video off of it or something, then it'll be worth it to have a bigger buffer. (playing music off the ext. won't be a problem with 2 MB. music files are small enough.)
  4. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    Buffers also act like temporary memory, in that when you work on files or type messages every keystroke or line drawn or box colored is storred in a "Buffer" until you either Save, or send or close a window. I have often frozen some apps I work in by not "saving" often enough, and clearing the buffer. So bigger is better.

    PS I have used LaCie external and Internal drives and found them flawless. I currently use a LaCie DVD-R±CD-R and love it.

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