Will huge files on HFS+ affect my system's performance

Posted on 2008-11-05
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
So basically I have a MacBookPro with a 320GB hardrive running MacOSX 10.5.5. On this drive I also a 100GB file. Will having this huge file sitting there affect my system performance significantly in terms of reading/writing on this HFS+ partition type? What sort of problems could I encounter in the short/long run because of this? Any information that can help me answer this question will be appreciated.
Question by:NewtonianB
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Are you opening this file on boot?  Is it just sitting there on the drive?  If it is just storage then it is not harming anything or taking much in the way of resources except space.  Now, if you already had 150 gigsw of space used then copied the file to the drive you may indeed have extended fragmentation.  That can be an issue in the long run.   But if you were relatively low on disk utilization (say 50-70 gigs used) then copying the 100 gig file will more than likely yield a contiguous file, or maybe 1 or 2 fragmentations, not a big deal.  

    That said, if you need to open this file, it will take significant resources unless the program is sophisticated enough to allow you to dictate how much memory can be used.  Some programs such as video editing will take as much memory as it can get, sometimes crippling the O/S as things come to a halt.  If you can tell me the nature and use of the file I can be more helpful, if you need more info.


    Author Comment

    Hey thanks for the info! The file is a container that I can mount and actually store files in. When I created it I only had a couple programs installed as I just got this new machine. I was just trying to understand what will happen now if I install further programs and if their performance will be affected if the drive constantly has to jump between OS data and program data which would reside on opposite ends of that 100 GB file? Usually I create a different partition to store this file in however I wanted to install bootcamp and I don't beleive bootcamp allows for other partitions.

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