I’m on a mission to find the fastest way to copy and delete files on a modern machine. I thought a quick Google search would reveal the answer, but I only found this Stack Overflow post with people’s opinion on the matter (but no proof), a discussion on what the kernel can do to improve performance, and various articles claiming you should tar directories to copy them faster (there’s no chance of that being faster than a properly written parallel cp implementation).
The only way to get an objective answer is by writing benchmarks, so here they are. 😁 The results will be highly dependent on your specific system, so I would recommend simply running those benchmarks yourself if you’re curious. However, I’ll share my findings from running these on my ext4 XPS 17 and an APFS Macbook.