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Faster FAT32 write speed using new formatter?
  • I just heard about this utility that formats FAT32 devices (like memory cards) with a better alignment - it's supposed increase write speed: I have no time to test this now, maybe someone wants to check it out.

    People are reporting write increases of ~20%, but this is tested on a PC and maybe that won't translate to cameras. Worth comparing with their in-built formatting though, might help with marginal card/hack combinations.

  • 9 Replies sorted by
  • If you search, as I remember we had discussion aboiut same thing. Just spend some time on it.

  • I see nothing about 'RMPrepUSB', or 'FAT32' + 'alignment'. But if it has been discussed, by all means kill this thread.

  • There's this old thread on allocation size:

    But the new tool does something else, it aligns various areas (eg. data to 1MB).

  • As I said, not the same thing. Maybe you should actually read the link V.

  • It is really almost same thing, with same result.

    In fact all free topics must be merged.

  • Well, the theory has some points... (quoted from the link the OP provided)

    For anyone new to this discussion, here is the theory. When writing to a USB Flash drive, the flash drive contoller circuitry must do a read/erase/write cycle on a whole page as individual sectors cannot be erased in flash memory. Let us assume a 16k erase page size for this example. Files consist of groups of clusters - e.g. 4k clusters. Now consider a filesystem that accesses a disk in clusters (CL). What if the clusters are arranged like this:

    [Erase page block 1][Erase page block 2][Erase page block 3]


    Notice that CL3 overlaps an erase page boundary. So when the OS writes to cluster 3, the flash controller has to perform a read/erase/write cycle on Erase page block 1, and then another read/erase/write cycle on Erase page block 2 for the 2nd half of the cluster. The same is true of CL7. Thus we have caused two extra time-consuming read/erase/write cycles.

    Now what if we ensure that a cluster ends on a page boundary - we get:"

    [Erase page block 1][Erase page block 2][Erase page block 3]


    If each cluster is written separately we get 8 r/e/w cycles instead of 10.

    To be honest I was expecting only a marginal (if any) improvement in file write times (especially as the above case is greatly simplified and exaggerated!), but when I measured the difference under Windows in practise, it was quite significant!

    I'm guessing it would provide an advantage over a frequent read/write/delete scenario and it could possibly replace occasional full formats but what I'm wondering here is if there is going to be any advantage in RAW SPEED over a fully formatted card.

    Or did I miss the point completely and this writing on Erase Page Blocks also happens in first write (after full format) scenarios too?

  • I tried using RMPrepUSB to partition and format a couple of my SanDisk cards. It made no difference to the write speed in my PC. The GH2 didn't like the way the card was formatted and prompted me to reformat the card in the camera. It made no difference to the reliability of spanning in the GH2.

  • I tried doing reformats on SankDisk Extreme 45mb/s cards with windows formatting tools- trying to get larger cluster sizes and the GH2 just stated the card had to be reformatted. Must be some read off the card as to the maximum cluster size that can be used. Stinks- I think that would maybe help performance on these cards!

    Ah, well.