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Upgrading to a faster hard drive

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November 15, 2004 7:04:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

It's always struck me that one of the bottlenecks for performance on
laptops is the woefully slow disks that they have traditionally come
with. I have a cheapo Compaq Evo n1015v which should be fairly quick
with its Athlon XP2000+ processor and 512Mb DDR, but it's constantly
clunking away at the disk whenever a new app loads. I was thinking of
upgrading with one of the 7200RPM 2.5" drives. Any thoughts? How can I
find out if the BIOS/mobo will support it?

J
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 15, 2004 11:13:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

JK wrote:

> It's always struck me that one of the bottlenecks for performance on
> laptops is the woefully slow disks that they have traditionally come
> with. I have a cheapo Compaq Evo n1015v which should be fairly quick
> with its Athlon XP2000+ processor and 512Mb DDR, but it's constantly
> clunking away at the disk whenever a new app loads. I was thinking of
> upgrading with one of the 7200RPM 2.5" drives. Any thoughts? How can I
> find out if the BIOS/mobo will support it?
>
> J
bios support is not linked to drive speed but to drive size. Then, if
your current drive is larger than 9G, you should not have to worry about
this.

But rotational speed is only one of many factors to consider. Are you
sure your current drive is set to optimal settings (write caching,
driver, dma and windows performance settings)? Before make any decision,
I would try various settings and determine which ones appear to be the
best. This will not be lost time.

Then, when buying a new disk, carefully consider the amount of cache
built-in. Personally, I prefer a slower driver with a bigger cache: less
noise and vibrations, less heat, less wear.

Good luck

--
John Doue
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 16, 2004 11:55:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

It's possible that a faster drive will use more power, therefore
generating more heat and also running the battery down more quickly.

MB


On 11/15/04 11:04 am JK put fingers to keyboard and launched the
following message into cyberspace:

> It's always struck me that one of the bottlenecks for performance on
> laptops is the woefully slow disks that they have traditionally come
> with. I have a cheapo Compaq Evo n1015v which should be fairly quick
> with its Athlon XP2000+ processor and 512Mb DDR, but it's constantly
> clunking away at the disk whenever a new app loads. I was thinking of
> upgrading with one of the 7200RPM 2.5" drives. Any thoughts? How can I
> find out if the BIOS/mobo will support it?
Related resources
November 16, 2004 1:35:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

John Doue wrote:
> JK wrote:
>
>> It's always struck me that one of the bottlenecks for performance on
>> laptops is the woefully slow disks that they have traditionally come
>> with. I have a cheapo Compaq Evo n1015v which should be fairly quick
>> with its Athlon XP2000+ processor and 512Mb DDR, but it's constantly
>> clunking away at the disk whenever a new app loads. I was thinking of
>> upgrading with one of the 7200RPM 2.5" drives. Any thoughts? How can I
>> find out if the BIOS/mobo will support it?
>>
>> J
>
> bios support is not linked to drive speed but to drive size. Then, if
> your current drive is larger than 9G, you should not have to worry about
> this.
>
> But rotational speed is only one of many factors to consider. Are you
> sure your current drive is set to optimal settings (write caching,
> driver, dma and windows performance settings)? Before make any decision,
> I would try various settings and determine which ones appear to be the
> best. This will not be lost time.
>
> Then, when buying a new disk, carefully consider the amount of cache
> built-in. Personally, I prefer a slower driver with a bigger cache: less
> noise and vibrations, less heat, less wear.


Interesting. Where are these things set up, in the BIOS, or using
software by the drive manufacturers?
November 16, 2004 5:18:04 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Minnie Bannister wrote:
> It's possible that a faster drive will use more power, therefore
> generating more heat and also running the battery down more quickly.
>

Oh, the battery lasted all of 8 months. Now it's mains only, sadly.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 17, 2004 2:53:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

>>> It's always struck me that one of the bottlenecks for performance on
>>> laptops is the woefully slow disks that they have traditionally come
>>> with. I have a cheapo Compaq Evo n1015v which should be fairly quick
>>> with its Athlon XP2000+ processor and 512Mb DDR, but it's constantly
>>> clunking away at the disk whenever a new app loads. I was thinking of
>>> upgrading with one of the 7200RPM 2.5" drives. Any thoughts? How can
>>> I find out if the BIOS/mobo will support it?

Any 7200rpm 2.5" HD will work fine. Very fast performance and
you'll definitely notice the performance increase afterwards. Either
that or the latest 5400rpm 100GB 2.5" HDs if you want more space.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/IDE/hitachi_travelstar60GB_7...

As for the BIOS, don't worry. All of the makers have some sort of
disk manager program that will get the largest HDs to work on even
decades old PCs w/o any problems. Your's is a newer laptop and will
work just fine, guessing here, but betting it will since it's so new.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 17, 2004 2:57:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> It's possible that a faster drive will use more power, therefore
> generating more heat and also running the battery down more quickly.

most new 7200rpm HDs are designed to consume about the same power as
the older 4200rpm drives, and the quick drive access actually reduces
overall power consumption in real use since they can go into lower power
idle mode faster after giving the user the data.

---

As for the battery dead after 8 months, most laptops don't have a
charging cutoff / smart circuitry that prevents the BAD problem of
charging up an almost fully topped off battery -- this happens with lots
of users when they plug in their laptops daily, but never run the
batteries down to 0%. As a result, the batteries wear out extremely
fast, and there goes another $150 battery =(

Best bet? Make sure if you've got the unit plugged in all the time,
don't have the battery in. Otherwise, at least discharge it on
batteries only to 0% once a week or so to cycle the battery and prevent
premature death.

Some of the very latest laptops have 'smart' chargers that will
prevent recharging of a barely depleted cell/overcharging when plugged
into the wall, but you'll have to ask and look hard for one.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 19, 2004 3:52:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Minnie Bannister wrote:

> It's possible that a faster drive will use more power, therefore
> generating more heat and also running the battery down more quickly.

It's a given that it will use more power *and* generate more heat. This will
effect battery life, and may cause other problems due to overheating -- system
crashes, etc.

There's a good reason lower RPM drives are used in laptops. The engineers who
design these things know what they're doing.

Matt O.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 19, 2004 9:15:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Matt O'Toole" <matt@deltanet.com> wrote in message
news:305g2kF2sblduU1@uni-berlin.de...
>
> There's a good reason lower RPM drives
> are used in laptops.


And the reason is?

> The engineers who design these things
> know what they're doing.


Absolutely. They also know why they are
doing it: cost cutting.

I have replaced the hard drives on every
laptop or notebook that passed through my
hands with faster one, and the results
have been spectacular.



dk
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 19, 2004 12:56:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Dan Koren wrote:

>
>
> "Matt O'Toole" <matt@deltanet.com> wrote in message
> news:305g2kF2sblduU1@uni-berlin.de...
>>
>> There's a good reason lower RPM drives
>> are used in laptops.
>
>
> And the reason is?
>
>> The engineers who design these things
>> know what they're doing.
>
>
> Absolutely. They also know why they are
> doing it: cost cutting.
>
> I have replaced the hard drives on every
> laptop or notebook that passed through my
> hands with faster one, and the results
> have been spectacular.

I've never found replacing any computer component with another computer
component to do anything that I would describe as "spectacular". "Somewhat
better" is about the best I've seen.

If you instead of taking peoples' opinions actually go to drive
manufacturers' web sites and look at the power consumption of different
drive models, you'll find that the 7200 RPM drives do indeed consume more
power and give off more heat than the 5400s and those more than the 4200s,
contrary to what has been claimed here. Since in many cases battery life
is of more importance than slightly faster load times, and laptop cooling
is usually marginal (remember, fans add weight and consume power) the
decision involves more than "cost cutting".

> dk

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 19, 2004 7:52:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"J. Clarke" <jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
news:cnl1q602av3@news3.newsguy.com...
> Dan Koren wrote:
> >
> > I have replaced the hard drives on every
> > laptop or notebook that passed through my
> > hands with faster one, and the results
> > have been spectacular.
>
> I've never found replacing any computer
> component with another computer component
> to do anything that I would describe as
> "spectacular". "Somewhat better" is
> about the best I've seen.


Then you probably didn't know what things
to replace.


> If you instead of taking peoples' opinions


I'm not taking anyone's opinions. Where did
you get such an idea.


> actually go to drive manufacturers' web
> sites and look at the power consumption


I don't think I need to do that. I work
in the storage industry! ;-)


> of different drive models, you'll find
> that the 7200 RPM drives do indeed consume
> more power and give off more heat than the
> 5400s and those more than the 4200s,


Yes, but that's only part of the picture.
Other factors come into play as well.


> contrary to what has been claimed here.
> Since in many cases battery life is of
> more importance than slightly faster
> load times, and laptop cooling is
> usually marginal (remember, fans add
> weight and consume power) the decision
> involves more than "cost cutting".


You must be living on another planet.
One where 1 + 1 = 1.



dk
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 20, 2004 8:11:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Matt O'Toole" <matt@deltanet.com> wrote:
> Minnie Bannister wrote:
> > It's possible that a faster drive will use more power
> It's a given that it will use more power *and* generate more heat.

Then wouldn't it be inconsistent if people who switch to 7200 RPM
hard drives report both improved battery life and lack of heat
problems. The reviews for 7200 RPM drives point in this
direction. Here is a typical 7200 RPM hard drive review:

--
Brian,11/6/2004 9:47:01 PM

I ordered this drive hoping to improve the performance of my
Toshiba laptop, which came with a 4200RPM drive. This drive
delivered the performance that I was looking for. Windows loads in
half the time and programs launch at desktop speeds. It is also
very quiet. The strange part is my battery life has increased as
well. Overall, I am very satisfied.
--
http://secure.newegg.com/app/CustratingReview.asp?DEPA=...
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 20, 2004 8:24:43 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"J. Clarke" <jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote:
> If you instead of taking peoples' opinions actually go to drive
> manufacturers' web sites and look at the power consumption of different
> drive models, you'll find that the 7200 RPM drives do indeed consume more
> power and give off more heat than the 5400s and those more than the 4200s,

Hitachi's website indiscretely boasts that their 7200 RPM hard drive,
due to its incorporated advanced technology (namely, the femto slider)
has power draw figures essentially identical to those of typical
5400 RPM hard drives:
http://www.hitachigst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/33C...

--
A new technology that has been adopted in Hitachi's 7200 RPM
Travelstar drive that will assist in minimizing power usage is the
femto slider technology. Current hard disk drives employ the pico
slider. The Hitachi 7200 RPM Travelstar drive will be the first mobile
product to adopt this latest technology.

The femto slider reduces linear dimensions of the pico slider by 30%
and mass by 63%. As a result of this new technology, there is reduced
power consumption and improved shock performance.

The improved power consumption as a result of the femto slider and
other improvements translates to power metrics of the 7200 RPM
platform that has power parity to the Travelstar 5400 RPM platform.
This results in no increase in power consumption normally associated
with increases in spindle RPM. The additional benefit of the reduced
femto dimensions and mass is the contribution to higher
non-operational shock by 25%.
--
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 20, 2004 12:00:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

callen@efn.org (Chris Allen) wrote in news:698c89aa.0411200511.a021a08
@posting.google.com:

> "Matt O'Toole" <matt@deltanet.com> wrote:
>> Minnie Bannister wrote:
>> > It's possible that a faster drive will use more power
>> It's a given that it will use more power *and* generate more heat.
>
> Then wouldn't it be inconsistent if people who switch to 7200 RPM
> hard drives report both improved battery life and lack of heat
> problems. The reviews for 7200 RPM drives point in this
> direction. Here is a typical 7200 RPM hard drive review:
>
> --
> Brian,11/6/2004 9:47:01 PM
>
> I ordered this drive hoping to improve the performance of my
> Toshiba laptop, which came with a 4200RPM drive. This drive
> delivered the performance that I was looking for. Windows loads in
> half the time and programs launch at desktop speeds. It is also
> very quiet. The strange part is my battery life has increased as
> well. Overall, I am very satisfied.
> --
> http://secure.newegg.com/app/CustratingReview.asp?DEPA=...
036

My experience is that 7200rpm drive runs 1-4 degrees Celsius hotter than
4200rpm equivalent (same capacity) depending on ambient temperature.
It's opposite to improvement, but I can live with that.

Battery life I don't know of - I typically run on battery for an hour or
so. "Time left" indicator cannot be used for practical purposes. It
shows numbers out-of-the-blue. You need to really run battery down to
measure times. What I do know is that I once noticed that adding a
second memory stick to the older laptop cut its battery life by 1 hour.
HD should not be that bad.

I typically shave off a couple of seconds from boot time with 7200rpm
drive. In your case, probably during an upgrade while
reinstalling/restoring/copying your system you defragmented it. That's
why you are seeing half the time for bootup. Or your old drive is
faulty. Regarding the comparing to desktop speeds, are you kidding?
What kind of desktop drive are you comparing to?

Constantly spinning 7200rpm drive consumes the same (approximately) as
constantly spinning 4200rpm. It does not need much to sustain rotation,
heads do not need much power, electronics... well, larger buffer does
need a bit more power. That's alright when connected to AC. On battery
though, it does periodically spin down/spin up to "conserve" energy. The
problem is that spinning up/down the disk of same size to/from higher
rotation speeds requires more energy and that shows.

I have an external enclosure powered from USB2 (no external power
adapter). While 4200rpm drive operates fine in it, 7200rpm drive cannot
start - not enough power to spin up. Ouch!

Your "perception" of significant improvements given by installing 7200rpm
drive is exaggerated. Stick to reality, please.

Alexei

Alexei
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 20, 2004 10:06:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Alexei Boukirev" <aboukirev@blah.ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:Xns95A75BBA947ABaboukirevblahamerite@216.196.97.131...
>
> Your "perception" of significant improvements given by
> installing 7200rpm drive is exaggerated. Stick to reality,
> please.


I have plenty of actual benchmark results which prove it
beyond any doubt. Of course they are highly workload
dependent. If all you're running is Office, it makes
little if any difference. If on the other hand you're
doing real-time data collection, a 7200rpm drive with
a 16 MB cache makes a big difference.



dk
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 20, 2004 10:45:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Dan Koren" <dankoren@yahoo.com> wrote in news:419fdc12$1@news.meer.net:

> "Alexei Boukirev" <aboukirev@blah.ameritech.net> wrote in message
> news:Xns95A75BBA947ABaboukirevblahamerite@216.196.97.131...
>>
>> Your "perception" of significant improvements given by
>> installing 7200rpm drive is exaggerated. Stick to reality,
>> please.
>
>
> I have plenty of actual benchmark results which prove it
> beyond any doubt. Of course they are highly workload
> dependent. If all you're running is Office, it makes
> little if any difference. If on the other hand you're
> doing real-time data collection, a 7200rpm drive with
> a 16 MB cache makes a big difference.

DV (digital video) here. Running Vegas 5 and AfterEffect 6. For heavy
compositing internal drive is not enough, I switch to external full-size
7200rpm drives through USB2 and Firewire and/or go to desktop computer.
For video capture and light editing, either 4200rpm, 5400rpm, or 7200rpm
internal laptop drives work well.

Probably the only place where I really see the difference is when loading
a level of a heavy game (like Far Cry or Half-Life 2, lol). But then I
prefer running such games on my desktop.

For databases (from 1 to 6 GB in size) I have not noticed much difference
(more RAM does make a real difference). And besides, it's a laptop, not
a production server.

So my verdict is that gamers benefit most from 7200rpm latop drives. Not
a bad thing though. I'm not saying 7200rpm are not good or something.
Just that many would not notice.

Alexei
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 21, 2004 7:53:21 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Matt O'Toole" <matt@deltanet.com> wrote in message
news:305g2kF2sblduU1@uni-berlin.de...
| Minnie Bannister wrote:
|
| > It's possible that a faster drive will use more power, therefore
| > generating more heat and also running the battery down more quickly.
|
| It's a given that it will use more power *and* generate more heat. This
will
| effect battery life, and may cause other problems due to overheating --
system
| crashes, etc.
|
| There's a good reason lower RPM drives are used in laptops. The engineers
who
| design these things know what they're doing.
|

That is not necessarily true at all. Look at the manufacturers data sheets
for the drives. They list power consumption for the drives.
!