req: fat16 vs fat32 benchmarks

Discussion in 'R4 DS' started by Spotpuff, Jan 23, 2007.

Jan 23, 2007
  1. Spotpuff
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    Newcomer Spotpuff Member

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    I read in a few places that fat16 is faster than fat 32 but does anyone actually have any benchmarks? Or is this just conjecture and no one's bothered to test it?

    I did the search function but it wasn't exactly informative.
     
  2. Katalyst

    Member Katalyst Johnald Everyperson

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    I'm sure it's been proven that FAT is faster than FAT32 as a file system, but I don't think it's been proven (or benchmarked rather) that it runs faster with R4. Mainly because I don't think any speed difference is noticable using either. I formatted mine with FAT32 right off the bat and everything runs perfectly fine so it wouldn't make sense (if trying to prove that FAT is faster than FAT32) to benchmark it against a FAT because it's either gonna be the exact same or lower.
     
  3. BoneMonkey

    Banned BoneMonkey The cheese stash is a lie.

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    fat 16 is faster but it makes no difference really only in castlevania POR for some reason y ou need a super fast card to play that game
     
  4. Spotpuff
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    Newcomer Spotpuff Member

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    OK so it's faster but irrelevant? Or it will let you run Castlevania POR where FAT32 won't?

    I was just looking for like, any sort of metric. File copy times, file read times, etc. All I read off the MS site was that FAT16 was faster but only for partitions 256MB and under, which doesn't apply to a 1gb flash card.
     
  5. dazinith

    Newcomer dazinith Member

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    any difference in speed is most likely totally negligible, but if in theory fat16 is faster then why bother with fat32? just go with fat16 and you can imagine how much faster it is [​IMG]

    according to benchmarks on harddrives (read: much much larger and much slower than memory based drives), FAT16 is up to 2% faster in certain rare instances.

    totally negligible IMO. if you want to imagine there is a difference then go with FAT16.
     
  6. iamwhoiam

    Member iamwhoiam Honorary R4 Fanboy

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    FAT is faster (by a small margin) under 2Gbyte, which is the maximum size the filesystem supports
     
  7. dazinith

    Newcomer dazinith Member

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    here is a site that breaks down why you would go one way or the other.. it suggests FAT32 for anything over 512MB:
    http://www.aximsite.com/articles/link.php?id=250

    basically it boils down to whether you want to save a few KB with a smaller file allocation table but be a tad slower, or whether you want to use a few extra KB and it be a tad faster.. the article above suggests sticking as close to 4KB clusters as possible for the best of both worlds, which would mean using FAT32 for a 1GB card..

    again, i stick by my guns that either way it will be totally negligible.. if you want speed then go FAT16 just incase there is a 1% performance difference..

    however, you can get a disk testing app that can do some benchmarks of your own..

    edit: bah.. now that this has been posted i am going to have to figure out how much space i can save on my 1GB card if i switch to FAT16 instead of using FAT32.. stupid obsessive compulsive disorder.
     
  8. dazinith

    Newcomer dazinith Member

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    found an older breakdown of this discussion (granted it is on USB thumb drives, but its the same idea):
    http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=2549

    according to their tests FAT16 can show a considerable (~10%) speed improvement over FAT32 depending on the size of the read/write.. but some actually worked faster on FAT32 - it depended on the memory maker/quality/etc..

    if anyone wants to grab some software to test their cards out you can use the 'removable storage' tests that are part of this suite:
    http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/

    i plan on running some tests on my card now.. probably won't amount to much, but may at least be worth knowing..
     
  9. tama_mog

    Member tama_mog Kupo

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    This is not true, FAT supports up to 4gigabytes and can support file sizes up to 2 gigabytes.
     
  10. Spotpuff
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    Newcomer Spotpuff Member

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    Good find on that Anandtech article. I look forward to your results! Seems like FAT16 has no advantage with larger file writes, but then again, I really have no clue how the DS is accessing the flash RAM anyways... for reads I'm assuming it reads large chunks of data (>512kb) but for writes it would be around 512.... granted you are reading more than writing though.
     
  11. dazinith

    Newcomer dazinith Member

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    i was thinking that since the .sav files are all 512kb that maybe FAT16 could help out the file saving process by a decent percentage.. animal crossing takes forever to save!
     
  12. dazinith

    Newcomer dazinith Member

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    well, for anyone interested.. i ran some tests..

    [​IMG]

    i had two 1GB cards to test.. i tested both with the same USB/MicroSD adapter provided with the R4.. all of these tests were done at least twice, and were done after a fresh format on an empty card.. i was expecting there to be different 'actual size on disk' amounts between the FAT16 and FAT32 setups, but all 4 showed the same space on disk when i copied all my junk onto the card.. unfortunately the software doesn't seem to break apart between reading and writing, but rather just give an overall score for each file size..

    San Disk [FAT16] - blue
    San Disk [FAT32] - purple
    Kingston [FAT16] - red
    Kingston [FAT32] - green

    you'll note that the San Disk (blue/16, purple/32) was basically the same between FAT16 and FAT32.. the Kingston (red/16, green/32) FAT16 destroyed all the other results, but the same card formated as FAT32 scored low.. i was actually quite shocked.. i tried each of these cards in loading/saving in animal crossing, and they all came out at the same time within a margin of error (i was using an online stopwatch).. in other words any differences in performance were negligible (with the 512kb save files at least)..

    so, depending on your card it may be totally possible to have higher read/write speeds on FAT16 (or FAT32), but whether or not that will translate to anything when in use is a totally different question.. you'll notice both cards in both formats ended up with almost exactly the same stats at 2MB and above, so my guess is that any performance increases will be few and far between, and mostly with tiny files..
     

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