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What cluster size should i use?

  1. #1
    Kev African Astronaut
    I got a new storage drive for all my big shit, blu ray rips, episodes and so on. should i use 64k cluster size instead of 4? i am hoping to lessen fragmentation and have less overhead but others have told me this will only make the MFT 16 times bigger or something, so do i have more overhead or less?

    using NTFS.
  2. #2
    Donald Trump African Astronaut
    NTFS?
  3. #3
    Kev African Astronaut
    yes, NTFS.
  4. #4
    netstat African Astronaut
    with a larger cluster size you'll have more 'wasted' space on the drive, since the filesystem will round up to the next multiple of the cluster size when storing a file with a size that's not an even multiple of cluster size, ie. the default cluster size on ntfs i believe is 4KB so if you have a 7KB file it will use 8KB on disk. with a 64KB cluster size it would use 64KB on disk to store the 7KB file. if you have a 200KB file it will be broken down into 50 4KB fragments on disk in the former case, and 4 64KB fragments with 256KB disk space used in the latter

    if you have a large disk and plan to store only large files then a 64KB cluster does make sense since it will reduce fragmentation and improve read/write performance with the cost being increased disk overhead
  5. #5
    Kev African Astronaut
    Originally posted by netstat with a larger cluster size you'll have more 'wasted' space on the drive, since the filesystem will round up to the next multiple of the cluster size when storing a file with a size that's not an even multiple of cluster size, ie. the default cluster size on ntfs i believe is 4KB so if you have a 7KB file it will use 8KB on disk. with a 64KB cluster size it would use 64KB on disk to store the 7KB file. if you have a 200KB file it will be broken down into 50 4KB fragments on disk in the former case, and 4 64KB fragments with 256KB disk space used in the latter

    if you have a large disk and plan to store only large files then a 64KB cluster does make sense since it will reduce fragmentation and improve read/write performance with the cost being increased disk overhead

    wait so i will have more overhead? i dont plan on storing tiny files on it at all so the space loss is negligible but if i will lose several gigabytes in overhead then its making me reconsider changing the default.
  6. #6
    netstat African Astronaut
    the maximum space you could lose is roughly equal to (slightly less than) cluster size multiplied by number of files on disk, actual space loss will on average be half that, so i would do the math and if it's too much overhead for your liking then just use the default, it's unlikely to harm anything
  7. #7
    Kev African Astronaut
    Originally posted by netstat the maximum space you could lose is roughly equal to (slightly less than) cluster size multiplied by number of files on disk, actual space loss will on average be half that, so i would do the math and if it's too much overhead for your liking then just use the default, it's unlikely to harm anything

    im not worried about that part at all.

    what about the MFT size? a quick search said it would be 192MB default size with 4k but over 3GB with 64k. is that true?
  8. #8
    netstat African Astronaut
    my understanding is MFT is just a record of files and associated attributes that exist on the partition and its size isn't significantly affected by cluster size, but i could be wrong
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