4200 rpm HD or 5400 rpm in 15" PB????

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by debo, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. debo macrumors regular

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    Jan 9, 2004
    #1
    I'm looking into buying a 1.25 GHz 15" Powerbook and was wondering if it is worth it to get it with the 5400 rpm hard drive from apple custom, or should I just get the stock one with the 4200 rpm hard drive? How much of a difference does it make? Also, does anyone know where I can get a good comparison of the G4 in the powerbooks and the Pentium M?
     
  2. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

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    Providence, RI
    #2
    It depends how much more the 5400 costs. It is always good to have a faster drive, but I don't know how much it would be worth.
     
  3. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    St Augustine, FL
  4. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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  5. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #5
    I did an Xbench of the HD for you on my PowerBook with the 5400 RPM HD upgrade I got BTO from the Apple store. I figured if someone were to do the same with the standard HD, it'd be more productive for you to compare the two.

    Results 82.74
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.1.3
    System Version 10.3.2 (7D24)
    Physical RAM 512 MB
    Model PowerBook5,2
    Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.25 GHz
    L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    L2 Cache 512K @ 1.25 GHz
    Bus Frequency 167 MHz
    Video Card ATY,RV350M10
    Drive Type Hitachi HTS548080M9AT00
    Disk Test 82.74
    Sequential 97.94
    Uncached Write 101.12 42.73 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 77.65 29.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 135.54 21.46 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 77.43 31.28 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 67.53
    Uncached Write 58.33 0.94 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 65.53 14.78 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 69.95 0.57 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 76.31 15.71 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    edit: Typos
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    I have the 4200, so if you'd tell me how to do an Xbench I could provide a direct comparison. I believe we have the same Powerbook (Al 15" 1.25GHz w/ 1 stick 512MB RAM) except mine has the 60GB 4200rpm drive.

    I will say that I don't think disk access speed is all that big a deal, unless you do a lot of large-scale file writing quite often. But for typical uses I don't know if you're really going to see a difference.
     
  7. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #7
    Download Xbench from Version Tracker and just launch it and uncheck all but the Disk test and let it run, it'll do the bench and from there you can save it as a plain text file and paste it to the post, that's what I did.
     
  8. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #8
    Okay I ran it and discovered a number of things:

    - The numbers can vary significantly from run to run (surprising).
    - Shutting down processes can speed things up. (no surprise)

    Thing is, with everything shut down i got some abysmal numbers for a couple of the benchmarks. The outliers seem easy to spot, but it's kinda odd... Anyway here ya go.

    Run 1 (all my normal daemons, monitors, etc. running)

    Results 66.89
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.1.3
    System Version 10.3.2 (7D24)
    Physical RAM 512 MB
    Model PowerBook5,2
    Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.25 GHz
    L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    L2 Cache 512K @ 1.25 GHz
    Bus Frequency 167 MHz
    Video Card ATY,RV350M10
    Drive Type Hitachi IC25N060ATMR04-0
    Disk Test 66.89
    Sequential 78.29
    Uncached Write 92.91 38.73 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 62.82 25.73 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 117.29 18.57 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 62.95 25.44 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 58.39
    Uncached Write 52.93 0.79 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 56.76 12.80 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 58.91 0.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 66.56 13.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Run 2 - shut down MenuMeters

    Disk Test 67.85
    Sequential 78.24
    Uncached Write 84.17 35.09 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 67.37 27.59 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 119.83 18.97 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 62.28 25.16 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 59.90
    Uncached Write 53.66 0.81 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 63.01 14.21 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 58.68 0.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 65.67 13.51 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Run 3 - shut everything down I could find

    Disk Test 61.59
    Sequential 63.76
    Uncached Write 37.62 15.68 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 74.73 30.60 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 129.97 20.58 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 66.34 26.80 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 59.56
    Uncached Write 56.50 0.85 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 58.30 13.15 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 58.64 0.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 65.54 13.49 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Run 4 - all sorts of things running including Mozilla :)

    Disk Test 67.13
    Sequential 75.96
    Uncached Write 75.99 31.68 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 66.87 27.38 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 119.54 18.92 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 61.81 24.97 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 60.14
    Uncached Write 58.12 0.87 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 58.09 13.10 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 58.77 0.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 66.32 13.65 MB/sec [256K blocks]
     
  9. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    St Augustine, FL
    #9
    Yeah, it does vary if you run it multiple times, I had active programs shut down, but still had a few background apps running such as menu meters since I never thing to turn off any of the apps I have in my menu bar. I just ran it once since even with variations, it generally stays within the same overall specs each time.
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    So overall, the 5400 is 23% faster than the 4200 in bulk writes. Roughly what you'd expect.

    Again I'd point out that it isn't too important unless you're doing a lot of big disk writes on a regular basis. (sour grapes? hehe) If you're using Word, Web browsing, etc. I don't think you'd notice - mainly because I haven't found myself ever going "wow this disk write is taking a long time!" :D

    If, on the other hand, you're running Final Cut Pro on a regular basis...
     
  11. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

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    #11
    I know this is kind of a stupid question.. but what exactly is a faster HD useful for? Does it access files faster? Will it load programs faster?
     
  12. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #12
    It does things faster here and there. Boot times will be slightly faster, writing or transferring files will be faster (which I've actually done a lot of with my new PowerBook and it is insanely fast compared to my G3 PowerBook), I'm not sure but I can imagine virtual memory and swap files will be faster, yielding general speed increases when you are using virtual memory, and just about anything you can think of that would be using the HD, really. It's not going to be as big of a difference as a G4 compared to a G5 or even as much as an extra 512 megs of RAM would be, but for just a hair more than $100, I thought it was a worthwhile upgrade. I wanted a G5 PowerBook instead of a G4, so I just added anything I could to my order to make up for it. :D
     
  13. debo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 9, 2004
    #13
    re:

    Well, I just ordered one. Replacing my 600 mhz P3. I'm "making the switch!" Hope I like it.
     
  14. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

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    #14
    Ok thats basically what I though. Too bad my iBook is only 4200 RPM.:(

    Congratulations on your Powerbook!, debo
     
  15. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #15
    Speaking of going off on a tangent...

    One thing to note is it's best to avoid swapping memory to disk (using "virtual memory") at all if you can help it, because disk access is horribly slow compared to memory access. If you find your computer is regularly making use of virtual memory, you'll see a huge jump in performance by investing in more RAM.

    With 512MB of RAM I rarely run into any swap situations, even with Photoshop. But it's something to keep in mind. The main symptom is having everything freeze up or become unresponsive for several seconds when you open a new program or switch programs. :) But you'd have to have a lot of programs open, or have at least one that's using a LOT of memory in order to have this happen.
     
  16. rtdunham macrumors 6502a

    rtdunham

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    St. Petersburg, FL, Northern KY
    #16
    there's a nifty 7200 rpm now...

    Hitachi's selling a 2.5" low profile 7200 rpm drive that'll fit in the PBs, i believe the price is around $270. Anybdoy provide more data on this, including the benefits?
     
  17. SyndicateX macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2004
    #17
    Personally I just got the 17"PB before christmas and I went ahead and got the 4200 rpm drive so that my battery would last longer. Also the wait time & extra money that the drive ends up costing wasnt worth it to me so I went out and bought a firewire external drive case nfor 50$ and stuck one of my 7200 rpm 200gig drives from my old pc in there and do all my photoshop / HD intensive tasks on there and that external drive FLYS!!!! Ive only used speedtools on it to test it but it averaged about 48mb / sec on almost all the tests... ooh well. :)
     
  18. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #18
    The battery life is almost the same between the two HDs, though, so going for the lower speed HD definitely isn't going to make a difference. But if you are serious about doing rendering and need the muscle, going the external route is definitely the best way to go. They are generally cheaper, a lot faster, hold a lot more space, plus I guarantee you it is easier to plug in a FW cable than it is to take apart your PowerBook to stick a 7200 RPM drive in.
     
  19. SyndicateX macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2004
    #19
    I was just amazed at how cheap the external option was. I kept considering spending 299$ and buying the lacie fw800 drive, but I have about 8 old hd's from my athlon that add up to about 500gb of diskspace and while i was wandering through CompUSA i noticed the cases were only about 50$-80$. Brought it home and plugged in my drive and it has been everything i ever dreamed of!
     
  20. zeebee macrumors newbie

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    Aug 20, 2003
    #20
    Can you provide proof that the battery life of the powerbook is "almost the same" between the 4200 and 5400rpm drives?

    I opted for 4200 because I didn't want a shorter batter life. I figure if I need to render that much that it's probably more practical to plug in an external drive. Considering it's a laptop, if you are rendering/encoding anything that requires such a fast drive, is it reasonable to expect it to complete within 3hrs? If not, then you are probably going to be plugged with ac adapter, so might as well plug in an ext. fw drive.

    Although, if your claim is correct...I might have to make an urgent phone call and change the order I put in on friday for a 15" PB w/ superdrive.

     
  21. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #21
    If you go to Hitachi's website and check out their spec sheets on both the models, you will see that at spin down and energy saving mode, they are identical in power levels and at full access speed, they are separated by a small margin. Real world drain can't be more than a few minutes difference. With my 5400 BTO drive, I still get well over 3 1/2 hours while fiddling around in iTunes, using Word, and doing various things.
     
  22. fradac macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    hello everyone, i am about to by my first powerbook too and had the same question. as evident power consumption is not the problem


    but what about HEAT?


    anyone has experience?
     
  23. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #23
    I don't think there is a problem. I've never had my PowerBook become uncomfortably hot. It can get warm when I play games on it or do a lot of Folding or encoding, but it stays at a comfortable temperature even under load. I think part of the reason for this is the aluminum case since the metal can easily cool off and the way that it allows the heat to spread throughout the entire case to cool more rapidly.
     
  24. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #24
    I'm a switcher, and I've talked to others who have used both Macs and PCs about heat. We've come to a consensus - let's see if anyone disagrees with this.

    My friends and I believe that those Mac users who complain about heat issues - such as with the Rev. A 12" Powerbooks - have never used a PC laptop. What a Mac user thinks of as "hot" pales in comparison with what's considered normal for most non-Centrino PC portables.

    I've got a 15" Al Powerbook, and my friend has a 12" Rev A Powerbook. My previous laptop was a P3-600 Dell Inspiron. I've never seen the 12" PB get as warm as my Dell used to; and the Dell never got so hot that I couldn't keep it on my lap (the Dell generally got hot in one area where the SODIMMS are). Additionally the 15" is much cooler than the 12".
     
  25. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #25
    My suitemates' room is a boiler room. They have a Compaq P4 2.4 GHz desktop, a Dell P4 2.4 GHz laptop, and a Gateway P4 2.2 GHz laptop and it is burning up in there even with their air conditioning on. Not to mention the sound of all of their fans can be heard even from my room. In our room we have my 15" PowerBook and my roommate has a 2 GHz Athlon XP HP laptop, and even though his gets toasty, it is nowhere close to the heat output of those P4s. There is something seriously wrong with those chips, I just don't see how it could be safe to run them with that kind of heat output.
     

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