I recently purchased the Lenovo Z510. It has a 1TB 5400rpm HDD, which will probably be my performance bottleneck for most things I'm doing. Eventually, I plan to replace it with a SSD, but in the meantime, I'm planning to short stroke the HDD. I was hoping someone here could answer some of my questions about short stroking, or point me in the right direction. Here's what I'm thinking:
Since the HDD is 1TB, I figure quarter-stroking it with a 250GB partition would give me more than enough room for my OS, applications, and file storage. The larger partition would be slower to access, but I could use it as a file repository and backup. My questions are:
Since there is no other internal hard drive, and I don't have a copy of Windows 8.1 on disc, how would I create the partitions? I do have a 2TB external HDD I could use to create a backup, then wipe, partition, and restore. Would that work, or is there a better way?
How would this compare to a SSD in terms of throughput? Is it comparable, or would it still make sense to invest in one down the road?
One more: when I create a partition, how can I be sure the 250GB partition is on the outermost portion of the plate where the relative linear velocity of the head is fastest? Is the first partition always created from the outer ring inward, or will I need to specify somehow?
Let me start out by saying that I don't think this is worth it in the slightest and I don't think you'll notice any difference. With that out of the way, I'll answer your questions.
Copy all your media off the drive onto your backup and use a gparted live cd to shrink your OS partition right down to whatever you want.
I don't know how to guarantee that it's on the outermost section of the platter, but I'm not sure it'll make that much difference to be honest. With gparted you can move the partition to one end or the other of the drive, you'll just have to benchmark both.
The speeds you'll achieve aren't even remotely comparable. If you're very lucky you'll get a x2 performance increase in iops alone. An SSD would be more like a x100-x200 performance increase.
See here for more info, note however that they are using 10k or 15k drives in RAID 0, your drive will be far, far slower than that.