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RPM speed of notebook drives

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Anonymous
April 23, 2004 12:08:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.

Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...

made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
conventional drives?
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 8:00:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Karl Engel wrote:

> Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
> data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
> aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>
> Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)
>
> http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...
>
> made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
> packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
> speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
> fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
> fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
> conventional drives?

Can the drive handle 3.6 MB/sec sustained writes and reads? If it can, then it's up to the task
for DV, anyway.

If the drive in the new Fujitsu laptop I just bought are any indication, I think they're more than
suitable. The thing practically boots XP in the blink of an eye.
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 2:32:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

"Karl Engel" <karlengel@excite.com> wrote in message
news:e6dc7d48.0404221908.32d03b3e@posting.google.com...
> Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
> data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
> aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>
> Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)
>
>
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...
>
> made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
> packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
> speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
> fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
> fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
> conventional drives?

From my own experience:: the sustained transfer rate does suffer in
comparison to a 7200 rpm drive.
I have a Compal CL50 laptop, which is equipped with a Hitachi 80 gb drive,
running at 4200 rpm, with an 8 meg buffer.
I benchmarked hard disk throughput vs. my desktop systems with 7200 rpm
drives.
The difference in overall transfer rate was almost directly proportional to
the difference in rotational speed.
Like you, I thought it wouldn't make a difference, but it did.

However, I do believe that for general use, 4200 rpm is the best. Idle power
is 0.95 watts vs. 1.85watts for a 7200 rpm drive. Peak power, required to
start the drive, is much less, because a 7200 rpm drive has three times the
angular momentum of a 4200 rpm drive.
Related resources
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 3:37:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

On 22 Apr 2004 20:08:04 -0700, karlengel@excite.com (Karl Engel)
wrote:

>Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
>data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
>aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>
>Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)
>
>http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...
>
>made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
>packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
>speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
>fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
>fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
>conventional drives?

You are right, not only the rpm factor is of importance for speed of
data thruput but data density on the platter as well. As this is not
equal on all drives, a 4200 rpm disk can be faster at data thruput
than a 5400 rpm one.
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 3:42:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

"Karl Engel" <karlengel@excite.com> wrote in message news:e6dc7d48.0404221908.32d03b3e@posting.google.com...
> Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
> data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
> aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>
> Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)
>
> http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...
>
> made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
> packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
> speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
> fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
> fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
> conventional drives?

That's a very good point. A significant part of the improved performance
we've seen in disk drives over the last 20 years has been due to decreasing
the dimensions of the drives. By that logic, notebook drives *should* be
faster. However, what makes a notebood drive a notebook drive is that
it has to operate reliably in the face of vibration, temperature changes, etc.,
beyond what is spec'ed for conventional drives, and there's a requirement
to minimise battery drain. Those factors mitigate the potential performance
advantages of the smaller geometries.
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 4:44:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

It's pretty much a moot point about the drive cos all you have to do is plug
a big external drive into your firewire port.

"Karl Engel" <karlengel@excite.com> wrote in message
news:e6dc7d48.0404221908.32d03b3e@posting.google.com...
: Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
: data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
: aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
:
: Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)
:
:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...
:
: made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
: packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
: speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
: fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
: fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
: conventional drives?
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 4:45:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

"Kevin D. Kissell" wrote:

> <snip> However, what makes a notebood drive a notebook drive is that
> it has to operate reliably in the face of vibration, temperature changes, etc.,
> beyond what is spec'ed for conventional drives, and there's a requirement
> to minimise battery drain. Those factors mitigate the potential performance
> advantages of the smaller geometries.

I work for a company using "notebook" form-factor drives blade servers in Compact PCI systems for use in 24x7
"fine nines" telco environments, where downtime can cost millions of dollars per minute. There's a lot of
pressure on drive makers to increase reliability of the notebook form factor drives, and it's happening. The
playing field has changed a lot in the last couple of years, as witnessed by more notebook drives using fluid
dynamic bearings among other improvements. Sun Microsystems uses notebook drives on their blades, as do some
really big players.
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 5:24:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

On 22 Apr 2004 20:08:04 -0700, karlengel@excite.com (Karl Engel)
wrote:

>Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
>data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
>aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.

>made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
>packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
>speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
>fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller?

In a sense. Actually, the effect of the rotational velocity on media,
especially video, has not been the key issue in a long, long time. I
have nice 7200 RPM drive here, from the late 80s, a CDC Wren V, fast
for its day, but fairly useless for video things. Any old 5400rpm or
4200rpm drive made today would beat the pants of this one, for most
things.

Part of the issue is to know what makes a drive fast. The real answer,
as you seem to intuit, is simple: how many bits are read by the
head(s) per second. You can get more bits per second by making the
platter spin faster, by adding platters that are read in parallel, or
by increasing the density of each platter.

That CDC Wren, a full height 5.25" drive, contains a whole mess of
platters, and can probably sustain about 5MB/s on a good day (that's
about the limit of my Amiga 3000 anyway, the system it's on). Modern
3.5" ATA drives these days sport a single 3.5" platter up to about
40GB or so. That's an amazing increase in bit density. So you can get
maybe 40MB/s out of that drive. Video doesn't really care much about
the drives rotational speed, it cares about the effective streaming
speed.

The one place rotational velocity still kind of matters is audio.
Audio, even at 24-bit and 96kHz, isn't a "high data throughput"
application, by modern standards. Each channel is only 288KB/s, or
0.288MB/s. When you add up 32 or 64 of these, that's still not a huge
challenge to a modern drive -- under 20MB/s throughput.

The issue here, though, isn't the data throughput, but as long as
you're working in mono or stereo tracks in different files, seek time.
You'll find that, with a large number of tracks, the limitation these
days IS the seek time, not the drive's linear throughput. And given
the same platter density, a faster spin will give you faster seeks.

>Is it
>fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
>conventional drives?

Well, I'd compare all the specs. Yes, you can compare RPMs directly,
but you're probably missing some of the issues. On the plus side, as
you mention, a smaller drive implies less distance, so your seeks
might be expected to go faster, given the same technology elsewhere.
But also consider that laptop drives are not optimized for speed, but
for power consumption. So it's quite possible you won't see any
advantage here. If I'm worried about laptop drive throughput, I'll
find out who made my laptop's drive and look up the specific data
sheet on it. That will give you what you really need: average seek
time, maximum seek time, and the range (inner and outer) of the
expected raw throughput (obviously, the drive maker can't tell you the
effect of your particular OS and file system). Or simply run a decent
hard drive benchmark on your home and laptop systems, ideally
something that's minicing what you will really do (eg, many streams
for multitrack audio, one high bitrate stream for video).

Personally, my laptop is more than a match to my recording interface
(Tascam USB-122); as long as it can take in two channels at 24-bit and
48kHz, I'll be happy using it in the field. I really wouldn't think of
doing anything too "studio" on the laptop. I've occasionally done
video editing with it, but that's with an external Firewire drive (for
capacity, not really speed), and of course, faster operations in
editing are nice, but not the critical thing you need for realtime
work.


Dave Haynie | Chief Toady, Frog Pond Media Consulting
dhaynie@jersey.net| Take Back Freedom! Bush no more in 2004!
"Deathbed Vigil" now on DVD! See http://www.frogpondmedia.com
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 5:27:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 11:42:25 +0200, "Kevin D. Kissell"
<deletethisspamtrapKevinK@paralogos.com> wrote:

>"Karl Engel" <karlengel@excite.com> wrote in message news:e6dc7d48.0404221908.32d03b3e@posting.google.com...
>> Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
>> data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
>> aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>>
>> Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)
>>
>> http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...
>>
>> made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
>> packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
>> speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
>> fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
>> fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
>> conventional drives?

>That's a very good point. A significant part of the improved performance
>we've seen in disk drives over the last 20 years has been due to decreasing
>the dimensions of the drives.

Well, some of that, but it really becomes increasing the density of
the platter. The ability to boost density lead to hard drives for
personal computers in the 70s, the move from full height 5.25" to
half-height 5.25" and then 3.5" drives in the 80s, and the move to
single platter 3.5" half-height drives in the 90s. The fact that
density could outpace demand lead to the smaller sizes, not the other
way around.

>By that logic, notebook drives *should* be
>faster. However, what makes a notebood drive a notebook drive is that
>it has to operate reliably in the face of vibration, temperature changes, etc.,
>beyond what is spec'ed for conventional drives, and there's a requirement
>to minimise battery drain. Those factors mitigate the potential performance
>advantages of the smaller geometries.

Yup.

Dave Haynie | Chief Toady, Frog Pond Media Consulting
dhaynie@jersey.net| Take Back Freedom! Bush no more in 2004!
"Deathbed Vigil" now on DVD! See http://www.frogpondmedia.com
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 6:06:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Did notice a 7200rpm laptop drive just cant find the link











On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 13:24:09 GMT, dhaynie@jersey.net (Dave Haynie)
wrote:

>On 22 Apr 2004 20:08:04 -0700, karlengel@excite.com (Karl Engel)
>wrote:
>
>>Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
>>data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
>>aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>
>>made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
>>packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
>>speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
>>fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller?
>
>In a sense. Actually, the effect of the rotational velocity on media,
>especially video, has not been the key issue in a long, long time. I
>have nice 7200 RPM drive here, from the late 80s, a CDC Wren V, fast
>for its day, but fairly useless for video things. Any old 5400rpm or
>4200rpm drive made today would beat the pants of this one, for most
>things.
>
>Part of the issue is to know what makes a drive fast. The real answer,
>as you seem to intuit, is simple: how many bits are read by the
>head(s) per second. You can get more bits per second by making the
>platter spin faster, by adding platters that are read in parallel, or
>by increasing the density of each platter.
>
>That CDC Wren, a full height 5.25" drive, contains a whole mess of
>platters, and can probably sustain about 5MB/s on a good day (that's
>about the limit of my Amiga 3000 anyway, the system it's on). Modern
>3.5" ATA drives these days sport a single 3.5" platter up to about
>40GB or so. That's an amazing increase in bit density. So you can get
>maybe 40MB/s out of that drive. Video doesn't really care much about
>the drives rotational speed, it cares about the effective streaming
>speed.
>
>The one place rotational velocity still kind of matters is audio.
>Audio, even at 24-bit and 96kHz, isn't a "high data throughput"
>application, by modern standards. Each channel is only 288KB/s, or
>0.288MB/s. When you add up 32 or 64 of these, that's still not a huge
>challenge to a modern drive -- under 20MB/s throughput.
>
>The issue here, though, isn't the data throughput, but as long as
>you're working in mono or stereo tracks in different files, seek time.
>You'll find that, with a large number of tracks, the limitation these
>days IS the seek time, not the drive's linear throughput. And given
>the same platter density, a faster spin will give you faster seeks.
>
>>Is it
>>fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
>>conventional drives?
>
>Well, I'd compare all the specs. Yes, you can compare RPMs directly,
>but you're probably missing some of the issues. On the plus side, as
>you mention, a smaller drive implies less distance, so your seeks
>might be expected to go faster, given the same technology elsewhere.
>But also consider that laptop drives are not optimized for speed, but
>for power consumption. So it's quite possible you won't see any
>advantage here. If I'm worried about laptop drive throughput, I'll
>find out who made my laptop's drive and look up the specific data
>sheet on it. That will give you what you really need: average seek
>time, maximum seek time, and the range (inner and outer) of the
>expected raw throughput (obviously, the drive maker can't tell you the
>effect of your particular OS and file system). Or simply run a decent
>hard drive benchmark on your home and laptop systems, ideally
>something that's minicing what you will really do (eg, many streams
>for multitrack audio, one high bitrate stream for video).
>
>Personally, my laptop is more than a match to my recording interface
>(Tascam USB-122); as long as it can take in two channels at 24-bit and
>48kHz, I'll be happy using it in the field. I really wouldn't think of
>doing anything too "studio" on the laptop. I've occasionally done
>video editing with it, but that's with an external Firewire drive (for
>capacity, not really speed), and of course, faster operations in
>editing are nice, but not the critical thing you need for realtime
>work.
>
>
>Dave Haynie | Chief Toady, Frog Pond Media Consulting
>dhaynie@jersey.net| Take Back Freedom! Bush no more in 2004!
>"Deathbed Vigil" now on DVD! See http://www.frogpondmedia.com
Anonymous
April 24, 2004 1:32:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 10:32:40 -0400, "Robert Morein"
<nospamhere@nospam.com> wrote:

>
>"Karl Engel" <karlengel@excite.com> wrote in message
>news:e6dc7d48.0404221908.32d03b3e@posting.google.com...
>> Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
>> data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
>> aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.
>>
>> Reading this (Toshiba's new 100GB notebook drive)

>http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&e=...

>> made me wonder though: if notebook drives are smaller, with data
>> packed closer together, and the read/write head moves at the same
>> speed as in conventional drives, can't the data be accessed just as
>> fast at lower rpms since the distances to travel are smaller? Is it
>> fair to compare the rpm of notebook drives directly with external or
>> conventional drives?

>From my own experience:: the sustained transfer rate does suffer in
>comparison to a 7200 rpm drive.
>I have a Compal CL50 laptop, which is equipped with a Hitachi 80 gb drive,
>running at 4200 rpm, with an 8 meg buffer.
>I benchmarked hard disk throughput vs. my desktop systems with 7200 rpm
>drives.
>The difference in overall transfer rate was almost directly proportional to
>the difference in rotational speed.
>Like you, I thought it wouldn't make a difference, but it did.

Sure it makes a difference -- it's just not the important difference
anymore, unless seek time is critical. You shouldn't expect the
smaller drives to be faster at streaming. Unless it was extremely
expensive, any high density tricks they could employ on the small
drives are employed on the larger drives, so the linear bit density
should be the same, given the same era of technology. Thus, you'd
expect the sustained speed to scale directly with rotational velocity.

My point wasn't that, but rather, that you probably don't care. Any
modern drive is fast enough to do DV and most anything else you're
going to find possible on a laptop.

The smaller size could result in a lower average seek time. That's
precisely what you found, going from 5.25" to 3.5" platters. But the
power savings and small size, being stressed in the laptop drives,
probably eat up any advantage you might otherwise find. Seeks don't
contribute noticably to peak streaming speeds.

>However, I do believe that for general use, 4200 rpm is the best. Idle power
>is 0.95 watts vs. 1.85watts for a 7200 rpm drive. Peak power, required to
>start the drive, is much less, because a 7200 rpm drive has three times the
>angular momentum of a 4200 rpm drive.

As with most things, there are probably some folks building laptops
with 7200 rpm drives. I think was AlienWare awhile back building a
laptop with dual P4s or some-such. Not even remotely practical for a
real laptop that needs battery life, but that's not the only use for
laptops these days. Some people just want the all-in-one form factor,
and don't care much about battery life. I'm at the other end of the
scale -- I have a tiny, very portable laptop with a battery that can
go 6 hours or so. And even this one can handle audio recording or DV
transfers just dandy.
Dave Haynie | Chief Toady, Frog Pond Media Consulting
dhaynie@jersey.net| Take Back Freedom! Bush no more in 2004!
"Deathbed Vigil" now on DVD! See http://www.frogpondmedia.com
Anonymous
April 25, 2004 5:42:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

On 22 Apr 2004 20:08:04 -0700, karlengel@excite.com (Karl Engel)
wrote:

>Conventional wisdom has it that 7200 rpm drives are required for high
>data thruput apps like video & audio, & thus most notebook drives
>aren't up to the task for intensive use being 4200 or 5400 rpm.

Having just installed a 7200 drive in my laptop in place of the 4200
one, I can confirm that it feels like a new machine :-)

Whether this is all due to the increased revs, or other improvements
in disk design, I can't say. It wasn't an old machine.
!