If I have two different operating systems, such as Windows 8 and Ubuntu, running on the same hardware, will the two operating systems have different read and write speeds?

My guess is that there would be minimal difference between operating systems and read and write speeds to the hard disk since the major limited factor is seeking; however, different operating systems may use different file systems in order to attempt to reduce seek time in the hard disk.

Likewise, I'm sure that modern operating systems will not actually write directly to the hard disk, and instead will just have it in memory and marked with a dirty bit.

Are there any studies that show differences in read and write speeds between OSs? Or would the file system being used by the OS matter more than the OS itself?

closed as not constructive by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Indrek, ChrisF, MaQleod, Dave Oct 1 '12 at 8:15

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  • 4
    While the raw read/write speed is determined by the bit density and rotational rate of the hard drive, there can be substantial differences in how different OSes (or even different drivers for a given OS) optimize access to the drive, in terms of scheduling, bus management, etc. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 30 '12 at 20:04
  • Not sure what the downvote was for. – Ivan Oct 30 '12 at 19:39

There could be some difference depending on the application. In addition to differences in the filesystem design, there are differences in the OS architecture. For example, user/kernel transitions have historically tended to be a little faster in Windows than in Unix-based systems so, e.g., there's less payoff to C runtime buffering to reduce the number of calls to the OS.

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