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File Transfer Speed


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I measured file transfer speed between partitions 1) both in a same physical drive and 2) each in a different physical drive. The measurments were made on WXP and WVT by using a file having 1048MB in size. Results are as follows:

1) Partitions in the same physical Drive

WXP : 18.55 seconds

WVT : 38.91 seconds

2) Each partition in different physical drive

WXP : 9.31 seconds

WVT : 19.13 seconds

Do these numbers indicate normal operation? Vista's speed appear way lower than the maximum allowed by SATA-150. I am wondering what the realizable speed is. The speed may be affected by many factors.My hardware spec is shown below. Clock speed of the CPU is 1.8GHz. RAM is in single channel mode and is running as DDR333.

Could anyone shed light on the matter of file transfer speed?

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A couple of things to note:

1. If you are testing with anything less than Vista SP1, re-do the tests after upgrading to SP1

2. Vista counts the *whole* time it takes to copy a file and doesn't rely on the cache manager to copy the file to RAM and then write it to the disk later, whereas XP simply starts the copy of the file to disk, but is using the cache manager to "speed up" transfers (it finishes when the file is copied entirely to the cache manager and has started writing to disk). Meaning that if you were to power off your machine during a large file copy that "looked" finished in XP, you could actually end up with a corrupted file, because it wasn't *really* finished copying to disk. Read here. From TFA:

The other case where SP1 might not perform as well as original Vista is for large file copies on the same volume. Since SP1 issues smaller I/Os, primarily to allow the rest of the system to have better access to the disk and hence better responsiveness during a copy, the number of disk head seeks between reads from the source and writes to the destination files can be higher, especially on disks that don’t avoid seeks with efficient internal queuing algorithms.

One final SP1 change worth mentioning is that Explorer makes copy duration estimates much sooner than the original Vista release and the estimation algorithm is more accurate.

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