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Disk I/O Tuning

Chapter 3: ATA Tuning in LINUX

  • Currently supported values include 0 to disable 32-bit I/O support (sets it to 16 bit), 1 to enable 32-bit data transfers, and 3 to enable 32-bit data transfers with a special sync sequence required by many chipsets.  The value 3 works with nearly all 32-bit IDE chipsets, but incurs slightly more overhead.  Note that "32-bit" refers to data transfers across a PCI or VLB bus to the interface card only; all (E)IDE drives still have a 16-bit connection over the ribbon cable from the interface card.
     

  • -d

    - Disable/enable the "using_dma" flag for this drive.  This option now works with most combinations of drives and PCI interfaces, which support DMA and which are known to the IDE driver.  It is also a good idea to use the appropriate -X option in combination with -d1 to ensure the drive itself is programmed for the correct DMA mode, although most BIOSs should do this for you at boot time.  Using DMA nearly always gives the best performance, with fast I/O throughput and low CPU usage.  But there are at least a few configurations of chipsets and drives for which DMA does not make much of a difference, or may even slow things down (on really messed up hardware!).  Your mileage may vary.
     
  • -f

    - Sync and flush the buffer cache for the device on exit.  This operation is also performed as part of the -t and -T timings.
     
  • -g

    - Display the drive geometry (cylinders, heads, sectors), the size (in sectors) of the device, and the starting offset (in sectors) of the device from the beginning of the drive.


The above text is an excerpt from:

Oracle Disk I/O Tuning
Disk IO Performance & Optimization for Oracle Databases

ISBN

0-9745993-4-4 

by Mike Ault
 


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