What should be the Cluster Size of 18 TB external hard drive

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  1. Posts : 153
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 20H1 (Os Build 19043.1165)
       #1

    What should be the Cluster Size of 18 TB external hard drive


    Hello I have a 18 TB External Hard Drive that I plan to format from ExFat to NTFS.

    What I want to know that what should be the cluster size that I use; when I format the hard drive.

    The cluster sizes that the software AOMEI Partition Assistant shows me are:

    What should be the Cluster Size of 18 TB external hard drive-cluster-size.png

    Kindly let me know. Any help in this regard would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What should be the Cluster Size of 18 TB external hard drive-windows-10-version.jpg  
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  2. Posts : 874
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    It would make sense to use what is suggested as 'Default'
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  3. Posts : 43,380
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #3

    With no background as to your intended use the question is unanswerable.

    If you store fewer large files (>> chosen cluster size) for a long period (low churn) then cluster size becomes somewhat irrelevant.
    If you store a great many files but larger than cluster size on the disk, then wasted space increases the larger the cluster size for at least 1 cluster per file.
    If you store many small files (smaller then cluster size) then wasted space increases.


    You're overthinking it. You will get a result for the best cluster size depending on the data file size. Don't spend too much time running benchmarks, as they only indicate what you should expect depending on the parameters of the particular benchmark.

    You get faster transfers with a larger cluster size that makes a difference with large files. The larger file when using bigger cluster size requires fewer accesses to get the data. But you will not see this for smaller files and you waste a lot of space -- files that are a lot smaller than the cluster size result in a lot of unused space.
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  4. Posts : 153
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 20H1 (Os Build 19043.1165)
    Thread Starter
       #4

    dalchina said:
    With no background as to your intended use the question is unanswerable.

    If you store fewer large files (>> chosen cluster size) for a long period (low churn) then cluster size becomes somewhat irrelevant.
    If you store a great many files but larger than cluster size on the disk, then wasted space increases the larger the cluster size for at least 1 cluster per file.
    If you store many small files (smaller then cluster size) then wasted space increases.
    It is a hard drive which will have everything stored on it music videos, movies, music in FLAC/Mp3
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  5. Posts : 18,034
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #5

    Hello @kufr,

    For additional current information on Block Size / Cluster Size , Copy & Paste the following command into a CMD Prompt and press Enter.

    Code:
    
    PowerShell "Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_Volume | Select-Object Name, FileSystem, Label, BlockSize | Sort-Object Name"

    For example: Block Size 65536 = 64 KB allocation unit size. Block Size 4096 = 4 KB allocation unit size.

    You can also query and get more information by using fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo <Drive Letter>:

    Also have a look at this => How to: Find out NTFS partition cluster size/Block size

    I hope this helps.
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  6. Posts : 844
    Windows 7
       #6

    4K is also another ideal cluster size for normal user files. It's also the default Windows memory page size, which makes disk operations very efficient.

    Windows will auto-suggest a given cluster size, based solely on the disk's total capacity with larger disks getting larger clusters. It has no idea what files you will be keeping. Copying between two disks with different cluster sizes can be less efficient since one of them will have to wait for the other.
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  7. Posts : 1,337
    Windows 10
       #7

    There is quite a bit of math to this tbh and some people in here have mentioned some of it but tbh you kind of need to know what you are wanting to achieve while knowing what cluster/allocation size is about.

    I would say go with default as its safe and will net you a neutral bias. if you wanted to define a cluster size then you would have to sit down and do some math, defining the wrong cluster size vs the data you will be storing can have an opposing effect.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Files get allocated a cluster one file per cluster.

    Basically 8kb or default allocation for the drive will net you a solid between storing small and big files while not taking up to much space to do so. The down side is that larger files will be allocated or fragmented over multiple clusters.

    This is also leads into what defragging and trimming is about its about lining up those clusters so they are next to each other.

    On the flip side say you have heaps of text files or small files and you allocated a larger cluster size to the disk then that would mean that those files will be stored in cluster that are exponentially to big for those files which then that becomes an space economical issue.

    This is overly generalized and only the surface of it but is a basis.
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  8. Posts : 153
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 20H1 (Os Build 19043.1165)
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Malneb said:
    There is quite a bit of math to this tbh and some people in here have mentioned some of it but tbh you kind of need to know what you are wanting to achieve while knowing what cluster/allocation size is about.

    I would say go with default as its safe and will net you a neutral bias. if you wanted to define a cluster size then you would have to sit down and do some math, defining the wrong cluster size vs the data you will be storing can have an opposing effect.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Files get allocated a cluster one file per cluster.

    Basically 8kb or default allocation for the drive will net you a solid between storing small and big files while not taking up to much space to do so. The down side is that larger files will be allocated or fragmented over multiple clusters.

    This is also leads into what defragging and trimming is about its about lining up those clusters so they are next to each other.

    On the flip side say you have heaps of text files or small files and you allocated a larger cluster size to the disk then that would mean that those files will be stored in cluster that are exponentially to big for those files which then that becomes an space economical issue.

    This is overly generalized and only the surface of it but is a basis.
    Thank you everyone for explaining this. But to be honest I formatted the hard drive via Windows 10 itself and did not use any software like stated above. In fact I used the default allocation size for it.
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  9. Posts : 1,810
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    kufr said:
    Thank you everyone for explaining this. But to be honest I formatted the hard drive via Windows 10 itself and did not use any software like stated above. In fact I used the default allocation size for it.
    The right thing to do. Otherwise, who knows what complications you create for yourself. Papa knows best.
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  10. Posts : 1,204
    11 Home
       #10

    On an 18TB HDD usually you will find that choosing 64K or 32K for the cluster size (instead of choosing 8K or 16K) gives better average sustained read/write speeds. You can experiment and compare with HD Tune Pro (paid) if you want, and also you can simply measure the time it takes for FastCopy (free version for personal use) to copy a very large amount of data. Also keep in mind that choosing a smaller cluster size can (depending how you use it) result in having to defragment a HDD more frequently to keep it from becoming slower, but if your plan is to shuck the drive (removing the HDD from the external enclosure to turn it into an internal one) you can buy and install DymaxIO (paid) that will noticeably up the performance of all your internal HDDs if the type of workload you have is highly read/write intensive (typically that would involve heavy workstation/server kind of work scenarios and tasks).
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