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Toshiba X300 losing performance over time, is that normal?

Last year i got myself a 4TB Toshiba X300 drive, its a bit noisy (unfortunately a characteristic of this model) but its serving me well since then.
While the drive was still empty, i ran CrystalDiskMark to test the speed of the drive, if memory serves me right it was about 200mbps read/180mbps write, really good performance for standard, cheap, spinning rust.
Now, a year or so later, the drive is almost full (it has around 500GBs of free space) and i noticed it was a tad slower to access files, specially smaller ones like pictures and .docx files.
I ran CrystalDiskMark again and it showed me 125mbps read AND write, which is of course still normal for a 7200rpm hard drive, CrystalDiskInfo also shows the drive state as 100% healthy and the operating temperature is normal.
I think its normal due to it being almost full, am i right or i wrong? Should i contact Toshiba and tell them?
The drive itself is filled with all sorts of things, but mainly 4k HDR movies (files usually larger than 25gb each), FLAC albums, older games, pictures and documents.

Yes it’s normal. There are several factors at play.

One factor is simply the geometry of spinning platters. Recall from grade school that the circumference of a circle is 2 \pi r, r being the distance from the center (this distance is the radius of the circle). The read/write heads of a disk are on an actuator that sweeps across the radius of the platters. As the platters spin, the read/write heads trace the circumference of a circle. Toward the center of the platters this circumference is smaller than toward the outside of the platters. That means there is less data accessible per revolution as you move from the outer edge of the platters toward the center. Since disks spin at a fixed RPM, that means the disk cannot access data as quickly at the center of the platters.

Another factor is filesystem fragmentation. As you fill a filesystem, free space is readily accessible in large contiguous chunks. Over time files get modified, moved, deleted. Free space reappears in random places across the disk, modifications that require a file to grow have to get free space from a different area of the disk, and this translates into the heads having to jump to a different part of the disk and wait for data to fly by, which of course takes longer than if all the data were laid out sequentially.

Furthermore, a fuller disk means bigger data structures are required to keep track of all the files, and it just takes longer to find things in the first place. Like trying to find the right page in a textbook with 100 pages vs 1000 pages. The index just takes more work to search through.


That really makes sense, i was wondering if my HDD was having some issues, but then it makes sense as to why it would become slow after getting filled up.
And then again, like you said, the way the files are set up on the drive, deleted or rearranged leave blank spaces here and there on the drive, making the correct paths more difficult to find.
Thanks a lot for the info!

Ok science boi put that thing away

I think i should put some of my games on a separate drive instead of just using that one.
The noise is the most annoying part of playing a game out of it, it feels like there’s this dude inside my case: