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I have a 200gb hard drive that's supposed to transfer at 100 mb/s but it's only getting around 50mb/s. I can't figure out what's wrong with it, unless it's just a normal thing for it not to get close to its 'maximum' speed. It's running udma5, it shouldnt be a cpu problem (2.0 ghz athlon), im using a 80 wire IDE cable, and it's set as Master. It has a shuttle AK38N motherboard ("IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586A/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT823x/A/C PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 06)") that supports transfer speed at 133 mb/s. Here's some info from hdparm.
$ hdparm -tT /dev/hdc
Timing cached reads: 1216 MB in 2.00 seconds = 607.49 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 146 MB in 3.02 seconds = 48.32 MB/sec
Your hard drive is performing very well. You should be very pleased with
the results that you received from hdparm -tT.
The 100Mb/S speed that the drive supports is the "interface" speed. That is
the integrated drive electronics maximum theorectical transfer speed.
The electromechanical part of the drive (the HDA or Head Disk Assembly)
cannot transfer data at this speed and will never reach the theoretical
SCSI interfaces can operate at much faster data rates than the highest IDE
speed of 133Mb/S but even they're (better engineered-usually) HDA's can't
supply data quickly enough. In a SCSI system it takes many HDA's operating
through one fast interface to reach the maximum data throughput.
IDE interfaces can only access one HDA at any given time so it is impossible
for the maximum data transfer speed to be reached. SATA may offer some
hope for more SCSI like performance in the future as the standard matures
but until then, SCSI rules for high speed data transfer.
Faster (IDE) interface speeds allow commands and such to be organised more
quickly while allowing the HDA to continue transfering data as efficiently as
possible. Other than that there isn't much advantage.
As an example. If you obtain two identical HDA's and connect one to a 100Mb/S
interface and the other to a 133Mb/S interface and then bench test, you will find
that they perform almost identically. The disks won't spin any faster, nor will
the heads move or settle quicker, only the electroniics is operating at a higher
100MB/sec is the maximum in theory... you will never reach that.
You drive is a bit slow (I score 52MB/sec with a 80GB on a 3 years old computer) but this is probably mostly due to your motherboard, not your drive fault, atmo.