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How do filesystems effect speed?

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by PermaBanned, 3 Jun 2010.

  1. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Jul 2009

    Posts: 16,239

    Location: Newcastle/Aberdeen

    I was just wondering how the file system of a HDD, SSD or a partition effect the transfer speed. And through that, what the best file system is. Anybody willing to do an experiment for this? I will, but i have a weird setup that might mess with results. I'd expect NTFS to be near the bottom of the list, maybe ahead of FAT but with EXT in the lead, hypothesizing there.

    Thanks.
     
  2. wilko49

    Hitman

    Joined: 29 Mar 2010

    Posts: 833

    well, it goes something like this:

    FAT - highly compatible, slow
    EXT - fast, no defragging, allows journaling
    NTFS - better than FAT
    ReiserFS - Kills your wife
     
  3. JonJ678

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Dec 2008

    Posts: 10,371

    Location: England

    Considerably I believe. Different filesystems impart different overheads, some of them write to a journal then commit the changes to disk when the drive is idle. Doubtless there are benchmarks of this somewhere. If you want a description of the mechanisms involved, journal vs no journal is as detailed as I can offer.

    One of the main arguments in favour of ext4 was that it's quicker than ext3 (at least when booting ubuntu, the change from ext3 to ext4 made a considerable difference). I used XFS for ages on the basis that it should have been quicker than ext3, and I believe it was, though I didn't do any particular testing.

    Different file systems are optimised for different working conditions. For that matter you can certainly tune ext3 to optimise it for your particular computer. FAT32 is relatively slow, as it's simple enough to be compatible with absolutely anything.

    If I may add a similar question to yours for those more knowledgeable than we,
    What difference does filesystem choice make to reliability, i.e. resisting data corruption?
     
  4. CaptainCrash

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Sep 2008

    Posts: 1,716

    There's an article at Tom's (yes, yes, I know) which seems to confirm that ext4 is dramatically faster than ext3, at least for file copies.

    Interestingly, Theodore Ts'o (the ext4 main developer) has apparently stated that it's only a stopgap solution, and that Btrfs is the way forward. There's even a suggestion that Btrfs might be the default filesystem in Ubuntu 10.10, which surprised me as I thought it was nowhere near ready for production yet...
     
  5. AbsenceJam

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Nov 2007

    Posts: 4,304

    ZFS for example has hashing, it does scrubbing and copy on write where the hashes are checked. There are various other features and commands that add to this.
     
  6. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Jul 2009

    Posts: 16,239

    Location: Newcastle/Aberdeen

    Well i found this:

    Which essentially says that EXT4 is almost two times as fast?
     
  7. CaptainCrash

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Sep 2008

    Posts: 1,716

    Well, yes, on that evidence I guess so.

    I'm sure there's a lot more tuning to be done on btrfs though, and perhaps a more recent kernel would show it in a better light.