I am going to get a 1TB hard disk.

I will be storing 1080p or 720p movies, high-bitrate music and pictures in it. I use my PC 90% of the time only to play/listen/see those.

I am running out of space in my current HD so I am getting another one.

My specs are 2.7GHz Dual Core, 512MB GeForce 9400GT, 2GB DDR2 RAM and all the proper matroska codecs/players. I guess that is enough to play 1080p movies withough a glitch, given an ideal hard disk.

I've read about proper partitioning giving performance improvement etc.. I don't want my hard disk to be the bottleneck.

Can someone tell me whether I should partition my 1TB hard disk into many drives? If I should, what is the ideal size of each partition?

Smooth playing of movies is very important to me. Once I start filling up the disk, there is no turning back. So I want to get it right before I start.


  • Unless you're organizing your media files, I don't see why you would need to divide the drive into partitions.
    – Isxek
    May 2, 2010 at 7:42
  • I want to +1 all the answers but I got no rep. Thanks for all the explanations ya'll. I will, when I get a high enough rep :)
    – Senthil
    May 2, 2010 at 12:27
  • You might want to research how RAIDs work. It might be that you're confusing partitioning your disks with RAIDing them. RAIDs are multiple disks that act as one disk, used to increase performance or reliability.
    – stib
    May 2, 2010 at 13:16
  • No, I understand what RAID is. Im computer science major :D But theory aside, when it comes down to practical speeds and configurations, I tend to be a little outdated.
    – Senthil
    May 2, 2010 at 14:30

3 Answers 3


There will be no benefit from partitioning that drive. On the contrary, I would definitely want to keep it one partition to store huge files such as high-def movies to avoid having them scattered around.

  • 1
    Agreed: Also, what you heard is false : partitioning won't improve performance. For some specific operations that aren't pertinent to your case, multiple hard disks will give improvement.
    – harrymc
    May 2, 2010 at 7:58

Nope. As your collection scales up, you'll end up buying more drives. You might end up even putting them together in some sort of RAID or something.

Just use folders for genres.


In fact, harddisks have zones of different speed. In certain usage cases it might be useful to partition the disks to get improved performance. Media streaming is not one of those usage cases.

Partitioning according to zones does not improve the performance of the disk. It just assigns the various speeds to various tasks. In your case, that would mean using only the fastest part of the disks, and not use the rest.

For mass storage of data the disadvantages of partioning outweigh the possibility of better performance, which is only a few percent in the first place.

Basically every disk should be fast enough: 1080p streams use about 50MB/s, which all but the cheapest disks do easily on all zones.

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