Transfer speed of Hard Drives

Posted on


I have 2 pc’s at home of a different specs. However both have 160GB Hard Drives that claim to spin at 7200 RPM. I don’t know the other stats like cache size.

Last night they were performing identical tasks.

Namely they were extracting a 6 gig’s worth of data. It was an .exe that when double clicked extracted the entire contents to a folder.

One pc completed in 3 minutes and the other in 10 minutes. The estimated speed was 18Mb/s PC1 and 6 Mb/s on PC2

PC1 is a Quad Core pentium with 2 gig ram.
PC2 is a Dual Core AMD with 2 gig ram.

Any ideas why speed was so dramatically different? FYI PC2 was extracting from a compressed folder.

IMO the two should of been relatively identical assuming that the Hard drive is the bottleneck on PC’s Any ideas are cool. I can’t believe it’s the jump to Quad Core but then against my beliefs the difference between the 2 is not to be ignored.

Unfortunately PC2 is my own :D. Any advice?



If PC2 had to extract the .exe from a compressed folder (before then extracting the .exe’s contents), and PC1 did not, then that sounds like the cause of the difference. And on top of this, because PC1 has a quad core CPU, it can potentially decompress the .exe contents faster.

How are the two hard disks connected? SATA disks will be faster than IDE, and if you’ve got IDE disks on the same channel (in a master/slave setup) only one disk on a channel can be read/written to at a time – so if you’ve got multiple disks one might have been held back by other activity. Any background tasks could have affected it as well.

If PC1 did the extraction from between two hard drives, this could explain some of the difference.

Apart from the other ideas expressed in this thread, it could be that PC2 is simply slower. The bottleneck could be anywhere, either memory or CPU cache or memory card controller, or hard disk and/or its disk cache and many more.

You should really try this with an uncompressed disk, to have a better idea of where the difference is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *