New iMac - Partition HDD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ascNYC, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. ascNYC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    #1
    I have a new i7 iMac with a 2TB HDD and was wondering what people thought about partitioning the HDD and keeping just the OS on one partition and all of my files (iTunes, Aperture libraries, etc.) on a separate partition. Is this necessary or will there be a noticeable performance difference in anyone's opinion?

    Thank you in advance.

    -andrew
     
  2. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    Zero. The partitions are on the same physical disk, so there will be no improvement in performance.

    Performance would only increase if you had multiple physical disks.
     
  3. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #3
    There will be a slight negative impact on performance.

    The reason for this is that without partitioning, OS X will be keeping all files, yours and the system and apps, clustered together in the faster part of the HDD. (That's the outer, denser tracks).

    If you partition the disk, there will be unused space in the outer partition. This unused space will mean that movements of the read/write head between the partitions will take longer because it has to traverse more physical distance.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "I have a new i7 iMac with a 2TB HDD and was wondering what people thought about partitioning the HDD and keeping just the OS on one partition and all of my files (iTunes, Aperture libraries, etc.) on a separate partition. Is this necessary or will there be a noticeable performance difference in anyone's opinion?"

    Back in the OS 9 days, I used to maintain a partition for the system only, along with another partition for data and apps, another for "scratch" (non-essential) storage, etc.

    I still do that, but with OS X, it's probably better to keep your system and apps _together_. Makes updating apps easier.

    However, I still maintain my _data files_ on a separate and smaller partition. This makes it very easy to back them up, and they reside on a volume where "everything is visible" (i.e., no invisible files/folders, etc.). My home folder is in its normal place, but I don't use the sub-folders inside it for much in the way of data storage.

    Another reason I like partitioning is that even for the System partition, it "keeps things compact", so to speak. During the normal course of operation, files won't get scattered all around the drive.

    Partitions also make it easy to do maintenance and defrag if you're inclined to such things (I am).

    One thing you might consider with so much drive space is a "backup boot" partition. Not overly large, but large enough to hold the system, some apps, etc. You pretty much just create this, and then "let it be" like a sleeping dog. If the day comes when you find you suddenly can't boot from your "main" system partition, you _might_ be able to get up and running again by booting from the backup partition. And afterwards, "attack" the main partition with diagnostic and repair software and correct the problems....
     
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #5
    you can increase performance a little bit by careful partitioning of a 2tb hdd. it all depends on how much info you really have. if you have under .6tb of good software/files you can speed up 5 to 10 %


    make 2 partitons first one 1.2tb second one .8 tb keep everything on the 1.2tb and keep the .8tb for a storage to be off loaded to an archive area. And a recovery osx as mentioned above.

    if the 1.2tb area with all your daily stuff is under .6tb you should be quicker then if you did nothing at all. The 1.2tb area since it is the first partition and is half full or less has the outer parts of the disk which spin faster and have faster access. If you fill more then half of it it will slow down.

    Since that inside .8tb is not important or used on a daily or weekly basis the computer does not access it during a normal day. It only searches the first 1.2tb of space. All of this assumes your daily size needs are .6tb or less. It also assumes the firmware of the disk is well written and it is apple addon if you have an iMac so you need to test rather then guess.
     

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