Are Aftershock SMR HDD Drives the reason your computers are so slow?

After the whole fiasco of WD not labelling their HDD as SMR drives, I decided to dig deeper and see if this is the reason why my Aftershockpc laptop HDD is slow painfully slow.

Apparently, the model of the HDD included is Toshiba L200 series found here:

And yes, now they label it as an SMR drive.

To understand why it is important to label SMR drives and why SMR drives are generally only should be used for archival purposes, you can watch the video over here:

  1. SMR HDD functions like an SSD where overlapping sectors have to be rewritten.
  2. Since SMR is still an HDD, having to rewrite data when new data are added is going to make the HDD extremely slow.
  3. This effect is partially offset by a larger cache included in SMR HDD.
  4. However, when your data set is larger than the cache size, that's where you will see the SMR HDD slow to a crawl.

I decided to run some test on my own using CrystalDiskMark. The cache size on my Toshiba L200 SMR HDD is 128MB.

Starting with a 16MB data set:

The results look pretty decent, almost typical of an HDD. However, when I increase the test size to 512MB (larger than the 128MB SMR HDD cache):

Look at that random read speed! 1.37 and 0.79MB/s!

For comparison, I tested my m.2 Samsung SATA drive:

I guess SMR technology will put the final nail to the coffin of HDD for the everyday consumer!


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