Vibration Is Killing Hard Drive SpeedsS

I can't be the only one who's wondered—even stabilized by several screws in metal mounts—how can hard drives sift through so much minuscule data amidst minuscule vibrations? A new study suggests what we've long suspected: They can't.

...well, not all the time, at least.

In a study conducted Julian Turner, traditional hard drive racks were replaced with the prototype carbon fiber AVR-1000. It's engineered to reduce vibration across a slew of frequencies. And as the vibrations were thwarted, random read and write times for 2.5-inch drives saw major improvements.

Performance improvements for random reads ranged from 56% to 246% while improvements for random writes ranged from 34% to 88% for a defined set of industry benchmarks. Streaming sequential reads and writes had a much smaller performance improvement...

Now, the scope of this study is geared toward the industrial server market rather than your home PC. Still, it's not hard to imagine the trickle down effect taking place in the performance PC market. Now whether or not vibration will matter as much in a system with one or two hard drives as it does for massive servers, well, that's going to require another round of study. [Presentation (PDF) via ZDNet via Slashdot]