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5400 rpms vs. 7200 rpms

Last response: in Storage
March 20, 2009 7:50:31 PM

good day, i;m currently notebook shopping and i have a few questions about hard drive speeds, 5400 rpms vs. 7200 rpms.

1. is the difference in speed really that noticible for the cost?

2. what about battery life? It seems that the faster rpms would suck up more power, but is it really that noticible (less then 10 minutes) unless I'm doing something that uses a lot of hard drive swapping?

thanks for the help!

More about : 5400 rpms 7200 rpms

a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 7:59:55 PM

Speed is noticeable, but not huge. Battery life doesn't really change significantly between the two.
a b G Storage
March 20, 2009 9:08:47 PM

^ +1

The change in HD speed is one of the cheapest and best improvements you can make to a desktop/notebook. If the options you are looking at are more than $150 different just b/c of the hard drive speed, go with the slower drive and replace it yourself (internal or external).
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March 20, 2009 9:46:48 PM

I can tolerate a power cord or charging much easier than I can slow startup times. I would go for the faster drive.
March 22, 2009 2:53:55 AM

thanks for all the responses guys
they're all very appreciated.

I think I'll opt for getting the faster drive, i believe it's 40-80 dollars extra depending on the websight.
a b G Storage
March 22, 2009 4:21:34 AM

If that's the difference, then go for the in store upgrade.

If you REALLY wanted a boost, you could get a velociraptor (10,000 rpm) and put it in an external enclosure. I don't know what size of a drive you are looking at. Below are the 2 different velociraptors. They are expensive. But I thought I would present it as an option.
150GB $160
300GB $200
March 22, 2009 4:46:02 AM

You'd be better off going with an SSD than an external Raptor.
a b G Storage
March 22, 2009 5:18:56 AM

There are still some issues with the SSD's. And nobody knows how reliable they are because they haven't been around long enough
March 22, 2009 6:49:58 AM

Haha, those velociraptors sound awesome. But I'm not that demanding. My budget is low; like 1500. I think getting a 10,000 rpm hard disk would overwhelm and bog down a poor duo core 2.4 ghz processor.

At the time of ordering I'll see what saves me more money, the upgrade or getting it included. I'm looking at about 320gbs right now, and i'd probably get along just fine with a 250. As for the ssd, paying the additional $300 or something crazy like that for getting one with about half the gigs isn't what i need. I'll be entering college next year, so i need one that's cheap, mobile, and versatile.
a b G Storage
March 22, 2009 9:22:03 AM

People have a tedandancy to shoot-for-the moon, so to speak around here sometimes, which is okay if you have really deep pockets and want the absolute best you can buy. However, that does not fit fot the vast majority of us out here.

Yeah, just get a decent 7200rpm drive. That is all you need, and the difference over the 5400rpm drive is noticable. 5400rpm drives are slooooowwww.
March 22, 2009 2:22:54 PM

For speed in a notebook today I'd look at the following:

Processor (some sort of dual-core, the faster the better)
RAM (no less than 3GB (minimizes the operating system's dependence on the hard drive))
Hard drive (7200 rpms or SLC-based SSD)
Screen size and quality (subjective, but LED backlit is the new flavor, but more expensive, you know what size you're looking for))
Battery Life (you know what you need so this is subjective too)

...and if you plan to game graphics is important, along with expansion ports, etc.
March 23, 2009 6:12:40 AM

what i'm looking at now is an hp dv6t.

duo core 2.4 processor
4 gigs ddr2 ram
ATI radeon 4650, 1 gb
and a 320 gb 7200rpm hard drive

plenty fast enough for me gamer needs, nicely mobile, and really awesome looking in white.
March 23, 2009 9:57:00 AM

Dewskerz said:
plenty fast enough for me gamer needs, nicely mobile, and really awesome looking in white.

...perhaps, but white shows dirt...and I'm one to always want my stuff looking I'd never have a light colored laptop with a light colored keyboard. ;) 
March 23, 2009 11:32:02 AM

I would prefer a 320GB @ 7.2K vs 500GB @ 5.4K for the same price or a little bit more. HDD is still the slowest part of a computer.

My office laptop HDD: Fujitsu MHW2100BH 100GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s

I would like it if that HHD could crash!!! It slow man... I would start looking at the SDD like an OCZ Vertex.

One mor thing: I would go at a local store where they do sell laptop and try them where they would be mostly alike but the HHD would be both. You could test booting and starting program and see by yourself.

Good luck!