How-To Geek

Seek Time

Seek time refers to the amount of time it takes a hard drive to respond to a request for a particular piece of data. In traditional magnetic hard drives, the seek time includes both the electronic communication between the operating system, motherboard, and hard drive itself, as well as the physical movement of the components within the hard drive (such as the actuator arm that moves the read/write head). Typical seek times for mechanical hard drives range from 4ms (for high speed server drives) to 15ms (for slower mobile or low-end consumer drives).

While the term and concept of seek time has been retained in the benchmarking and discussion of modern solid-state drives, there are no mechanical parts in solid-state drives and the seek time is greatly reduced. Seek times in solid-state drives measure the electronic interaction between the computer and the components of the drive; typical solid-state drive seek times are between 0.08-0.16ms.

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