AN!Wiki :: Sector
A sector is the smallest chunk of data storage on a hard drive. Traditionally, sectors were 512 bytes, but recent drives have increased to 4 KiB. To maintain compatibility, however, some drives tell the host machine that it is using 512-byte sectors, called "512e". When a drive uses 4 KiB sectors and reports this to the host machine, it is referred to ass a "4kn" (4 KiB Native) drive.
Most operating systems have file systems that use much larger "blocks" as the minimum storage size. File system block sizes are always an even multiple of sector sizes.
The smaller the sector (or block) size, the more efficiently the space on the disk is used. However, the smaller the sector size, the more independent read or write operations are needed to read or write data. So the benefit of larger sector sizes is more efficient (and thus faster) read/write performance.
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