Performance Results

By Nick Stam  |  Posted 2002-11-06 Print this article Print

: Large Directory Backup - Driver Tweaks"> Both the USB and PC Card-attached drives were set to "Optimize for Quick Removal" in the Device Manager by default. We changed settings of the USB drive to "Optimize for Performance", but left disk write caching disabled, as shown below.
The following shots show the ExtremeTech 2002 subdirectory copy for both the USB and PC Card devices with the Optimize for Performance setting. You can see here that the PC Card version finally moves ahead, as data is able to be blasted across the PC Card interface from the Windows disk cache faster than across USB 1.1. Sure, we wish we had a USB 2.0 notebook to compare, but not this time.
Next, we tried the Enable Write Caching on Disk in addition to Windows disk cache for the PC Card-attached drive and scores actually went down a bit. As you can see in the results below, the drives own disk cache seems to get in the way for mostly write operations. But wed need a lot more experimenting with different scenarios to make definitive conclusions here. We also wanted to see the effects of defragging the drive on the USB results, and they were largely similar, given our drive wasnt terribly fragmented to begin with. We may perform further testing with the write verification option enabled in the future, but for now, were satisfied that the drive performs adequately and is very stable in operations.

Nick Stam Co-Founder, ExtremeTech
Ex-Director, PC Magazine Labs

Nick is a founder of the ExtremeTech website. He worked with co-founder Bill Machrone designing the site, staffing up, and getting initial content developed for ET's formal launch on June 12, 2001. Nick was Senior Technical Director of ET until mid-2003, while concurrently performing duties in PC Magazine Labs.

Nick was a technical director in PC Labs from late 1991 through mid-2002, and was Lab Director from mid-2002 until March 2005. Prior to PC Magazine, Nick was in the computer industry in various development, systems engineering, and management roles since mid-1980, and he received an MS in Computer Science from SUNY Binghamton.

In March 2005, Nick decided it was time to leave Ziff Davis Media (parent of PC Magazine and ExtremeTech) to pursue other opportunities, but wishes all the best to the ET and PC Magazine staff and reader communities!

Nick can be contacted at


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