Defragmenting Performance

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NoOneButMe, May 28, 2008.

  1. NoOneButMe macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2006
    I know defragmenting on OS X is pretty much useless - OS X defragments files <= 20MB automatically. I'm also aware that Apple doesn't recommend defragmenting unless you have very specific circumstances.

    However, I'm still kinda curious if there are any benchmarks (hfsdebug?, something similar to hdparm, XBench, whatever) that have been run before and after running DiskWarrior and the like to see if they do help with performance or not.

    I vaguely coming across some awhile ago (I think..) however i can't find it again. Anyone have a clue what i was looking at or did my mind make it up?

    Thanks :)
  2. catachip macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2007
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    There are no benchmarks for this that I know of. The main reason is that even if one were to gain minor read speed improvements (3-5%) for certain things, it would be at the sacrifice of the optimal operating system and critical system file organization that OS X puts in place as it defragments files automatically. That is, you may read that 500 mb video file faster, but, general OS tasks, booting, etc. may be slower.

    OS X is not Windows. It uses a mode advanced and robust file system. Almost everyone you ask is going to highly dissuade you from running any defragmentation program. I have heard stories of corrupt disks and system files.
  3. NoOneButMe thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2006
    Well, thats why i want benchmarking. To figure out if there really are improvements (and if so, how big/small) there are, what they affect, etc.

    Because, thats just it. All I ever hear is stories about this. And this includes your post. No offense but there's nothing solid behind it; "..even if one were to.." " may.." and so on. I appreciate the response, but these are vague terms, which I'm trying to find data to back up. Or prove wrong. Either way.

    What I'm going for is actual data and statistics. I don't have access to enough machines (just my single MBP) to create this data on my own. And I doubt my usage is the only way people use a computer, so its not very conclusive if its just a single computer running a variety of tests.

    And NTFS vs HFS+? Thats not the argument I'm aiming for (not that I'm aiming for an argument at all). I've already got that discussion going on elsewhere (which is the reason I came across this line of thought about defragmenting in the first place)
  4. trentoncain macrumors newbie


    May 28, 2008
    I have read here and a few other Mac related sites stating it is typically good to run a defrag if you have a lot of big video files or your harddrive is around 80% full.

    I haven't been able to find any statistics for defraging harddrives. Maybe some people out there would do a defrag to make some statistics for us???

    Hope that helps!
  5. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Mar 13, 2008
    If you're not willing to compare the file systems then you have a pointless debate because this is exactly what it is about and why defragmenting has been a necessisity on some file systems.
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If your Mac Pro needs to have a defragmented volume, then it'll likely be a 2nd-4th drive that you run a project on and routinely reformat once that project is done.
  7. NoOneButMe thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2006
    @trentoncain: Thanks for the link. Its the only one so far that i've seen that does any comparisons of before/after defragmenting on OS X.

    I want to know within the realms of HFS+ if defragmenting does anything, and if so, how much of a benefit (or harm) is there. I'm not interested in if HFS+ performs better or worse compared to other file systems. Just if defragmenting on HFS+ does anything or not.

    @Sun Baked: I've got a MacBook Pro though. One hdd :)

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