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Harddrive speed

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September 11, 2003 3:54:52 PM

Basically I'm wondering, how much does the speed of the harddrive in a laptop affect performance? I was thinking about buying a Fujitsu Amilo D 8830, 2,66GHz model, with a 60GB HD. I can't find the info, if it's 4200rpm or 5400rpm anywhere. Thank you for any help in advance.

And oh yea, sorry for two posts so quickly after each other. I just want to buy a good laptop with the limited money a student has.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by lem0n on 09/11/03 11:56 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : harddrive speed

September 11, 2003 5:32:00 PM

It affects notebook performance very badly. The single most common reason for notebooks to be "under performing" is the HDD. Notebooks should definitely have a large amount of RAM which would make the HDD performance less noticeable.

The thing is, the HDD is really the only 'moving part' in a notebook (other than the CD-ROM - but it hardly counts: It doesn't spin constantly, it doesn't spin fast, it can't be made smaller). A notebook HDD needs to be smaller than a desktop, produce less heat, and still give the same performance. But the only way it can give the same performance is to be either bigger or spin faster (i.e. produce more heat) - because of the reduced surface area on a notebook HDD. So basically, a 5400rpm Notebook HDD won't compare to a 5400rpm Desktop HDD - same for the 7200rpm drives.

Simply getting a 5400rpm over a 4200rpm drive makes your notebook quite noticeably faster in terms of boot-up, loading of applications, games - pretty much everything is snappier. Of course, the 7200rpm is the best option - but if you are on a budget, then it is not really a choice.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 22, 2003 7:51:43 PM

really... ive been seraching for an answer to this question for a while now. the hd on my evo laptop is only 4200rpm... but i cant seem to find any upgrades for it. the compaq site doesnt say what is compatible with this machine. can you point me to where i can find a 7200rpm drive?

Model: compaq evo n610c
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September 22, 2003 8:35:49 PM

Any notebook hard disk drive will work. As long as it is a notebook hard drive (2.5"), then it will work. Hitachi/IBM are the only ones at the moment with a 7200rpm 2.5" HDD though.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 22, 2003 8:46:02 PM

i dont know if ibm makes a 7200rpm laptop hd, i only know hitachi makes one.

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 22, 2003 8:56:55 PM

Hitachi and IBM [hard drives] are the same thing.

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 22, 2003 8:59:32 PM

Hitachi took over IBM HDD corp, but for a while, IBM labeled HDD came out. I just said it for safety's sake. Besides, it is essentially IBM technology anyway.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 22, 2003 9:05:30 PM

how much of the ""performance"" do you really need from the laptop? is a split second "word" loading on 7200 is worth of yer precious battery life? i don't really notice (or just care enough) the difference between the laptop and the desktop once they are up and running and everything cached

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September 22, 2003 11:39:06 PM

im going by what rapture said way up there ^^^^
September 23, 2003 5:42:22 PM

well, if you did not know until now about the stuff that raPTUre said ""way up there"" (which is: "Faster is Better"), then i am passing on saying anything "way up here", even tho as i said, faster is not always better

""... ive been seraching for an answer to this question for a while now"" - i am wordering where you were searching that it took you so long to find the answer ""way up there"", hehehe

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 23, 2003 5:51:32 PM

Well I for one would not be able to live with a 4200rpm drive. I used to have one. It was painfully slow. Even the 5400rpm in my notebook now is no speed demon, but it is adequate. I would love to have a 7200rpm drive. They hardly use more power at all - maybe take 10minutes off your battery life, and they don't produce much more heat. The pros outweigh the cons in this case, I'm afraid.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 23, 2003 11:42:35 PM

well, i for one would not be able to live with 7200rpm drive. i can't stand the high pitch noise they produce. i care less about the battery life, caz me is using 110AC most of the time, even in the car with inverter, but the pitchy sound, yak, hate that, and i as many others prefer less heat, noise and more power to tiny (very tiny) increase in "performance". i do lots of typing (data, memos) and just browsing and have no time for playing games on the road, for games there are many other more "performing" things than the laptop. as far as i see, laptop, how powerful it could be, will not match desktop for gaming any time soon, but that is just my point of observation on the subject.

and as i have said before, i will say again, once you are in the system, and everything is "cached" the "perfarmance" difference is a mith.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 24, 2003 12:17:11 AM

Quote:
as far as i see, laptop, how powerful it could be, will not match desktop for gaming any time soon

As to match a desktop exactly, i would say almost. Why almost, because the only thing that a notebook doesnt have that a desktop does is the latest graphics card. everything else is available on a laptop (ie. p4 3.2ghz, ddr400, 7200rpm hd...). But dont get me wrong about the graphics card either, cuz its almost there. The radeon 9600 pro with 128mb and agp8x and directx9 compatible makes a great card for gaming and graphics intensive programs. You might notice a bit of a difference between a radeon 9800 pro and a mobile radeon 9600 pro when you get to play say ... Doom III but if you play other games, you wouldnt notice a difference. This is an example, but say you radeon 9800 pro runs unreal at 70 fps, and my mobile radeon 9600 pro runs it at 60 fps, the human eye couldnt catch the difference. So a laptop isnt EQUAL to a desktop, but certainly ALMOST, which the only limiting factor is the graphics card.

Quote:
once you are in the system, and everything is "cached" the "perfarmance" difference is a mith.

not true, first, hd laptops dont have much cache, if any. second, it requires you to open all programs in order to have them in cache. but who knows what programs are you gonna use, until you use them, and it would be hassle and silly to open all programs and documents that you might run just so you have them i cache. second, if you got enuff ram, a lot of the stuff will be cached there. third, if you think that the extra rpm's wont bring extra performance, and that caching is what delivers performance, then why everybody wont just use a 4200rpm and increase space used in hd for virtual memory and have greater caching space. plus, caching still needs the hd to rotate, and caching will be faster in a 7200 rpm hd than a 4200 rpm hd or a 5400 rpm hd.
cache is way to complicated to be explained here, but thats how it kinda works.

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 24, 2003 3:24:38 AM

lol, you guys start getting angry here, hehehehehe.

anyway, you think i am so stupid and know nothing about the stuf that you are trying to puke through your angry emotions? dude, relax, i can explain this stuff better and in more technical wayz than you can (i certainly hope so, but i might be wrong ;) 

i don't say that the faster rpmz will not give you snappier opening of the applications, all i am saying is that if i run certain applications (which most of "normal" pplz do on the laptop) there is no difference once the program was open once, period (try to open word, excel, ie, access, vb, firewall, p2p, some other stupid stuff) close them and open again, compare this with desktop, then we can talk. plus if i have Pentium and you have AMD chip, i will win any task, but some games (which as you have pointed out human eye will not see). UT, which i play, loads 40% slower on my 4.2krpm P3 laptop than the 7.2krpm AMD XP desktop, the game play is crappier, but that has nothing to do with HD once the game is up and running, it is all cached in memory, not HD, which has nothing to do with how well program performs, it has only part in loading, which takes about 30% longer on the laptop than the PC, no matter what HD you have in lappy, it still will take longer, period. it is just the way it is. PC HDs are more powerful than lappy's, even they are the same rpms (just in case you did not know that;)


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September 24, 2003 12:09:29 PM

haha no one is getting mad man, especially at your argument, look you are comparing apples to pears because the comparison you are makin is unfair.
example... i cant say that ddr333 is faster just cuz i used it along with a p43.2ghz in a comparison against an AMD XP 2000 with ddr400 (assuming this comparison is possible). why not compare the 7200rpm and the 4200rpm drives with same hardware configs?

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 24, 2003 3:28:22 PM

gg, you are making me sick (in a funny way;), i am not comparing anything, just giving you an example, but if you want me to compare same hardware, there is no need for it, even tho i had p3:833 PC and P3:1.13 lappy and PC was still faster in any way you turn it when loading was involved, but after there was no difference that i could see. but at the same time, i tried WD and IBM drives with same 7.2krpms and IMB was very noticeably "snappier" on the same PC (same hardware, same rpms, different MFrer), so as i said, same rpms does not mean same performance, especially with PC's and Portable's HDs. does that answer yer question?

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 24, 2003 6:14:22 PM

Easy lads.

Firstly, notebook HDDs generally have a LOT more cache than desktop drives. Typically 16MB.

Secondly, have you ever had a 7200rpm notebook drive? They make no more noise than all notebook hdds, if anything they 'tick' a slight bit louder, but I don't hear the whine that is typical to 3.5" 7200rpm drives.

Once stuff is 'cached' the performance of the HDD still makes a huge difference, which is more and more noticable the less RAM you have. This combined with Windows terrible handling of memory and virtual memory means that HDD performance is really key. Plus it is the time taken to actually cache the stuff - i.e. open microsoft powerpoint or whatever - that the slower HDDs get annoying.

As for notebooks performing 'equally' Grassapa sumed it up just fine.

<<<plus if i have Pentium and you have AMD chip, i will win any task, but some games.>>>

I honestly have not heard that much rubbish in one sentence in a long, long time. What on earth are you talking about!? That statement is utterly laughable.

<<<UT, which i play, loads 40% slower on my 4.2krpm P3 laptop than the 7.2krpm AMD XP desktop, the game play is crappier, but that has nothing to do with HD once the game is up and running, it is all cached in memory, not HD, which has nothing to do with how well program performs, it has only part in loading, which takes about 30% longer on the laptop than the PC,>>>

And that ^^ is exactly why most people (including myself) would like a faster HDD.

<<<no matter what HD you have in lappy, it still will take longer, period. it is just the way it is.>>>

Not so
a) if you use an external drive (firewire/usb2.0)
b) if you are using a 7200rpm drive on the notebook and a 5400rpm drive on the desktop - they will perform more or less the same, depending on size (i.e. density etc.)

<<<PC HDs are more powerful than lappy's, even they are the same rpms (just in case you did not know that;)>>>

That is due to greater surface area at the same revolutions per second (in case anyone didn't know).

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 24, 2003 6:59:00 PM

Quote:
Once stuff is 'cached' the performance of the HDD still makes a huge difference, which is more and more noticable the less RAM you have. This combined with Windows terrible handling of memory and virtual memory means that HDD performance is really key. Plus it is the time taken to actually cache the stuff - i.e. open microsoft powerpoint or whatever - that the slower HDDs get annoying

very true, i couldnt have explained it better. i was trying to say that in my argument but it didnt come out as clear. Also notice that if you are one of those who dont turn off completely your computer often and instead like to stand by or hibernate, then all the cache that you are accumulating will take a good ammount of space. So sometimes is necessary to turn the whole computer off and have a fresh start. So its not all about cache, but its always about rpm. And as i said before, whether you cache or not, rpm will be involved at all times, so a higher rpm hd will benefit you at least a bit.

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 24, 2003 8:47:56 PM

lol, finally some wizdom came into our blahbbering, hehe

the original post was

""Basically I'm wondering, how much does the speed of the harddrive in a laptop affect performance? ""

all i was saying that it is not worth the extra money and power loss to go from 4200 to 5400 if it is working fine. i was not saying anything about 7200 (even tho it would not worth it for me as well). the performance of 5400 over 4200 is very, very hard to see, especially if i have IBM 4200 drive and some one else has any 5400 non IBM.

""<<<plus if i have Pentium and you have AMD chip, i will win any task, but some games.>>>

I honestly have not heard that much rubbish in one sentence in a long, long time. What on earth are you talking about!? That statement is utterly laughable.""

- sorry, i did not make myself clear, i was talking about Intel's ability to handle IDE much better than anything out there, it has nothing to do with the chip itself, but the chipset accompanying it. i hope that would not make you laugh too loud ;) 

""<<<no matter what HD you have in lappy, it still will take longer, period. it is just the way it is.>>>

Not so
a) if you use an external drive (firewire/usb2.0)
b) if you are using a 7200rpm drive on the notebook and a 5400rpm drive on the desktop - they will perform more or less the same, depending on size (i.e. density etc.)""

- well, here you are confuzing a little.

a) i was not talking about anything "external", i said "in.."
b) you are once more approving my words about same rpms don't mean same performance.

""PC HDs are more powerful than lappy's...That is due to greater surface area at the same revolutions per second (in case anyone didn't know).""

- that is what i am getting across here: NO LAPTOP WILL MATCH THE PC EVEN WITH THE SAME CONFIGURATION (at least for some while ;) 




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September 24, 2003 8:52:09 PM

""if you are using a 7200rpm drive on the notebook and a 5400rpm drive on the desktop - they will perform more or less the same, depending on size (i.e. density etc.)""

here you go again, you have said it earlier, not i, that laptop can be configured and run as fast as PC, but here you are overturning yer own arguments by saying ""they will perform more or less the same"" even HD on PC has slower rpms, so where is the logic?


..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 24, 2003 11:25:41 PM

<<<the performance of 5400 over 4200 is very, very hard to see, especially if i have IBM 4200 drive and some one else has any 5400 non IBM>>>

What difference does it make whether or not it is IBM. I have benchmarked a Toshiba 4200rpm 30GB against my old IBM Travelstar 4200rpm 30GB and fount the difference highly minimal.

<<<- sorry, i did not make myself clear, i was talking about Intel's ability to handle IDE much better than anything out there, it has nothing to do with the chip itself, but the chipset accompanying it. i hope that would not make you laugh too loud ;) >>>

Not too loud, more of an incredulous giggle. The thing is, the apparant 'performance increase' of Intel CPUs being able to handle IDE better than AMD (even whether or not this is true is debatable), the difference is extremely, extremely slight. Furthermore, unless the HDD is transfering from cache at its peak of 100MB/s (or 133), the difference of several milliseconds is not possibly noticable.

<<<- that is what i am getting across here: NO LAPTOP WILL MATCH THE PC EVEN WITH THE SAME CONFIGURATION (at least for some while ;) >>>

let's refine that and say 'in all areas'. But as I've said, using a FireWire or such HDD will negate this difference.

<<<here you go again, you have said it earlier, not i, that laptop can be configured and run as fast as PC, but here you are overturning yer own arguments by saying ""they will perform more or less the same"" even HD on PC has slower rpms, so where is the logic?>>>

If you actually bothered reading my posts in that thread to their entirety, you would discover that I did, in fact, mention that in the thread. However, as has been mentioned thrice above, equiping a notebook with an external drive is still an acceptable option giving the notebook the same performance as a desktop pc. Thus my arguements in previous threads remain valid.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by RaPTuRe on 09/24/03 09:35 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 25, 2003 12:32:30 AM

what it boils down to is the eternal question, what do you use your machine for? If you need long battery life go with a 4200rpm drive with a single stick of ram, (more sticks take more power) a notebook is for the road if you want performance IMO put it in your desktop, an ultra low voltage centrino system with a 4200rpm hdd performs just fine for my needs. We are coming to a point where gaming on notebooks looks more and more possible but you must remember, if you have an ultra fast notebook that weighs a ton you can enjoy only about 2 hours of games. For my money, slower machines that run longer is the only way to go.

Join the TomsHardware IRC channel <A HREF="http://skulls.sytes.net/tom/ " target="_new">http://skulls.sytes.net/tom/ </A>
September 25, 2003 3:02:58 AM

you took my words out of my "keyboard" :smile:

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September 25, 2003 2:02:22 PM

blah, papasmurf did nothing other than counter your argument.

This is a quote from papasmurf in "Alienware or Apple" post
Quote:
I would recomend the 7200rpm hdd you will see a significant increase in speed over the 5400 and 4200rpm drives. Dell makes great desktop replacements that you can actually pick up without breaking your back and they have good battery life as well

Therefore, this is what I can conclude from what papasmurf said:
Point #1 - indeed, 7200rpm hd will have a greater performance than 4200rpm hds

Point #2 - Desktop replacement means high performance parts. 7200rpm is a high performance part. Dell can make good desktop performance laptops without being heavy and that have a good battery life. Sure, 1 stick of ram and a 4200rpm hd will give you a little more battery power, but it has to be balance of both. If not, you might as well buy a pda if all you want is email checking, word processing and music listening. But notice that this another whole different argument, and i want to stick to the original question by lem0n which was "how much does the speed of a hardrive in a laptop will affect performance?"

yes it does and will affect it significantly, papasmurf knows that, rapture knows that and i know that.

maybe if you want to keep arguing your other point about desktops and laptops, etc... (honestly i forgot how many points you made) then maybe you should start another post, the question on this post has been correctly answered.

:) 

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 25, 2003 5:52:05 PM

Indeed, The single most prominent cause of notebook 'slow-down' is the bottleneck created by the until-now-inadequate hard disk drives.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
September 26, 2003 12:55:33 AM

pplz, please, the question was "how much..." - all i said was: "not much" (even there is, but not worth of special budget to fork out if you have already 4200 chackling along), but pplz started bashing my comment as inadequate, unethical and parazitic, which i refuze to accept on any ground, hehehe ;) 

PS: i agree on all points about faster componant will give you faster performance, heck, even my 6 years old kid knows that, so there is nothing to argue about :smile:

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 26, 2003 5:07:10 PM

Quote:
i agree on all points about faster componant will give you faster performance, heck, even my 6 years old kid knows that, so there is nothing to argue about

LOL, so the final score is grassapa - 1 , blah - 0.
haha just kidding, nah man, it is true, and although you tried to stand your "thick-headed" ground, at least you recognized what was true at the end. cant blame ya for that, we┬┤ve done it a few times too.

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 28, 2003 9:28:54 AM

lol, there is no "end", i know the stuff before i speak about it, i am just "playing around" here, can't you guess?

""even my 6 years old kid knows that"" - whom do you think he gets it from?


read closer ^^^^^^^^^^ up there...

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 28, 2003 9:30:07 AM

hehe, but on the other hand, you might be "playing" here as well :smile:

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 28, 2003 1:50:43 PM

nah

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 28, 2003 1:52:38 PM

i only play in the "Other" forum

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 28, 2003 4:13:52 PM

can i get a hint?

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 28, 2003 10:51:15 PM

err.... i dont know?
can you?

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My computer is so fast it proves the theory of relativity wrong... :eek: 
September 30, 2003 7:14:33 AM

yeah, only if you'l let me ;) 

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
!