ReFS vs NTFS Benchmark

ReFS (Resilient File System, originally codenamed Protogon) is a new file system initially intended for file servers that improves on NTFS in Windows Server 2012. The project originally started out as Monolithic NTFS (MNTFS) and then ended up codenamed Protogon before the final ReFS naming was chosen.

Microsoft claims ReFS has been built from the ground up, to meet the demands of the storage requirements needed by Windows users. It offers the ability to handle large storage volumes (maximum volume size of 1 Yobibyte), shared storage pools across multiple machines and enhanced resiliency to corruption.

Surendra Verma, the development manager for the Storage and File System team wrote:

“ReFS inherits the features and semantics from NTFS including BitLocker encryption, access-control lists for security, USN journal, change notifications, symbolic links, junction points, mount points, reparse points, volume snapshots, file IDs, and oplocks.”

Windows 8 client will be able to access and read ReFS volumes until it’s fully supported in client operating systems in the future, but now:

  • You can not convert data between NTFS and ReFS
  • You can not boot from ReFS in Windows Server 8
  • ReFS can not be used on removable media or drives
  • The NTFS features not supported in ReFS are: named streams, object IDs, short names, compression, file level encryption (EFS), user data transactions, sparse, hard-links, extended attributes, and quotas.

To learn more about ReFS file system, click here.

ReFS vs NTFS Benchmark

Test System:

CPU: Intel Corel 2 Duo E8400 @ 4.1GHz
Memory: 4GB Dual DDR2 PC2-9600 1200MHz
HDD 1: Samsung HD753LJ 750GB
HDD 2: Western Digital WD2500BEVS-60UST0 250GB
Operating System: Windows 8 Release Preview (build 8400) 64-bit

Windows 8 ReFS Activation

Microsoft’s new file system will only be officially available in Windows Server 2012, but now you can activate it and use in Windows 8 Consumer Preview (build 8250) and Release Preview (build 8400) 64-bit.

The author is not responsible for any damages this mod may cause to your system and for any data loss due to using the ReFS file system.

ReFS Activator for Windows 8 (new): click here!

Manual Activation (old):

  1. Run System Information and check your Windows 8 version
  2. Use this mod only for Windows 8 build 9200, 8400 or 8250
  3. Download ReFS Driver for Windows 8 RTM (build 9200)
    Download ReFS Driver for Windows 8 RP (build 8400)
    Download ReFS Driver for Windows 8 CP (build 8250)
  4. Unpack, or archive
  5. Copy uReFS.dll to C:\Windows\System32\uReFS.dll
  6. Copy refs.sys to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\refs.sys
  7. Import (double-click) the attached registry file ReFS.reg
  8. Restart your computer

Please register on my website and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Author: Marcin Grygiel aka Marcin-prv

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15 Responses to ReFS vs NTFS Benchmark

  1. John says:

    Is ReFS “done” as it is, or will there be done more work on it until the release? I consider building a file server based on windows server 2012 Release preview (reinstall when it’s officially released) and drives with ReFS with windows storage spaces.

  2. There’s still more work to be done. I’m sure in future you will be able to create a boot disk for an ReFS partition.

  3. MAXtoriX says:

    ReFS.reg in 8400 zip package has ‘6.2.8250’ values – is this by mistake or what?


  4. alapst says:

    Are there drivers for the RTM 9200?

  5. Usman says:

    Can we convert an existing NTFS drive to ReFS without losing data?

  6. testman says:

    NTFS is one of the best valuable asset from MS. Replacing NTFS with an unproven FS is risky. If performance are not showing a big improvement gap, there is little chance people will deploy this as enterprise are usualy very conservative you know.

    I also don’t understand why they have dropped so much NTFS feature. Extended attributes for instance is used in Antivirus and archiving software to tag files. I anticipate big impact on those domains.

    • Evan Richardson says:

      you know that you can still format/use NTFS, nobody is saying you have to use ReFS, it’s just a third format option, so relax.

  7. Kwyjibo says:

    I doubt that ReFS can be faster than NTFS because ReFS uses ECC, which requires additional processing and data overhead. Of course this feature makes the storage solution more stable, because most of the data corruption can be corrected.

    The volume and file size limit of ReFS is not really an advantage, because the NTFS architechture also supports filesizes of up to 1 Exabyte and volume sizes of 1 Yottabyte, only the current implementation is limited to a volume size of 256 TB, but I think it would be easy to extent this limit in a new NTFS version.

  8. AmigaUSer says:

    So we are back to the future as around 30 years ago AmigaOS OFS floppy and hard drive format provided checksum correction and recovery. Later it was removed as devices got more robust and space was needed. Funny to see all the new stuff being just and old song rewritten

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  10. Gabriel says:

    It would be nice to know the CPU/RAM usage, I wonder if it went down or way up. If ReFS is good for a small Atom CPU would be interesting. That would put a few extra parts i have laying around to use 🙂

  11. Terrence Koeman says:

    Did you test this with file integrity (checksumming) on or off?

    It looks like it’s off, and if you’re not going to use integrity then you’d be better off just using NTFS.

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