Just in case this poor horse isn't suitably beaten yet.

1. Create 4 qcow2 files per
qemu-img create -f qcow2 *.qcow2 120g

Each qcow2 starts out 194K (not preallocated).
2. Format each qcow2
mkfs.ext4 <dev>
mkfs.ext4 -i 4096 <dev>
mkfs.xfs <dev>
mkfs.btrfs <dev>

3. mount each fs (mainly to be fair since ext4 does lazy init) and
wait until the qcow2 stops growing.

5.5M -rw-r--r--. 1 qemu qemu 5.9M Sep 19 20:40 bios_btrfs.qcow2
2.1G -rw-r--r--. 1 root root 2.1G Sep 19 20:27 bios_ext4_default.qcow2
7.7G -rw-r--r--. 1 root root 7.7G Sep 19 20:33 bios_ext4_i4096.qcow2
 62M -rw-r--r--. 1 qemu qemu  62M Sep 19 20:40 bios_xfs.qcow2

Btrfs and XFS take seconds to completely initialize. Ext4 defaults
took 6 minutes, and with -i 4096 it took 8 minutes to complete lazy

Chris Murphy
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