I have a situation where I have 2 (old) 80 GB harddrives (yep, PATA 133 MB/sec) on an older VIA mini-ITX board. I am running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. The system is installed on the first drive, using ext4. I am planing to use the second drive for data (a total of exact 68.2 GB research data distrubuted on 370 individual files). I need fast reading access to this data, but once the data is there, I will never need to change it.
I am no expert in the implementation of file-systems and drivers for them, but my basic assumption is that there might be something to gain (in efficiency) by using a file-system (as basic as possible) that only give me the most fundamental reading capabilities of the disk, but as fast as possible. In my scenario, creating the file-system itself, would require access to an original source to copy it from (another mounted volume).
Importantly, I do NOT need compression, since my files are already compressed (zip). I could try SquashFS and I probably will, but are there other options?
Or have I again made things complicated and we are just talking ext2/ext3/ext4 with read-only privileges?