5400 rpm vs. 7200 rpm?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by umairjaanu, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. umairjaanu macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey guys, I am about to order my MacBook pro and i'm very excited. I never had 7200 Rpm hard drive in the laptop before, do guys think it will make a huge difference if i just stick with 5400 rpm. IF it makes a big difference, then i'll order macbook pro with 7200 rpm.

    what u guys think? Is it worth spending $90 more for that?
     
  2. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    #2
    It's not as much of a performance boost as 4200-->5400, but I'd go for it if I were in your shoes.
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    It probably would be worth it since the system should be able to provide better throughput for UltraATA/100 drives with the dual core processor in constrast to the single G4, which wouldn't be able to support as much.
     
  4. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    #4
    I didn't think that would be an issue with 2.5" drives?
     
  5. superwoman macrumors regular

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    #5
    Since upgrading my powerbook to a 7200rpm HDD myself, I can tell you from personal experience that it makes very noticeable difference.

    Remember that the harddisk is arguably the main bottleneck in system performance. $90 is a small sum to pay to lower this bottleneck.

     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    Throughput is always an issue with ATA drives and having a fast processor is necessary to get the best out of it, no matter the ATA hardware, since the drives are barely intelligent. SCSI drives (as well as FireWire enclosures) are smart and work mostly without the main CPU. Note that ATA drives never even come close their rated maximum.
     
  7. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Yes, spend the extra on the speed. It will help open Finder windows, file searches, and program opening faster. RAM too!
     
  8. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    #8
    here's an interesting comparison of different drives, although these were done on a Mac mini, so the processor will be making a big difference, but in some cases the 5400 outperformed the 7200. Both were a big step up from the stock 4200 drives tho.
     
  9. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #9
    I'd rather have 20GB more and take the 5400rpm drive. It's not that big of a difference.
     
  10. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

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    #10
    Go with the 7200. A friend of mine exchanged his 40GB 5400RPM drive for the Hitachi 60GB 7200RPM HD, and the PB now feels much more responsive.
     
  11. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #11
    I agree wholeheartedly...

    Space is much more important than (the little) increase in speed. Get the 120 GB. :)

    Edit: Or get the standard disk and get a service centre to install a 160GB Momentus 5400... </drool> :D
     
  12. wnameth macrumors 65816

    wnameth

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    #12
    agreed, especially when this is 4x faster then the last powerbook:eek: :rolleyes: you should put the money into storage or opt for the GB of ram.

    thanks,

    -wes
     
  13. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #13
    Wow! :eek:
    Damn I want this thing. 160GB... sweet. My sweet spot for a notebook HD would be 200GB. I'd take a 200GB 7200rpm HD without question. :D :rolleyes:
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    Sure, until anyone sees the battery life, they'll want it. :D The 160 GB drive looks good until the price. I'd just be happy with a 100 GB, 5400 rpm drive right now.
     
  15. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    #15
    Surely a 7200rpm drive is going to drink the juice on your battery far more than a 5400rpm? So what's the point.

    I have a 100GB 5400rpm in my PowerBook and love it. Go with that if you can an spend the rest on ram.
     
  16. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    #16
    After my original drive died I wanted to get a 100 GB 7,200 rpm but ended up going for a Seagate Momentus 120 GB 5,400 rpm.

    The difference from 4,200 to 5,400 was obvious but the extra space will be more useful than an extra 1800rpm. 5400 is plenty fast. Space over speed.
     
  17. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #17
    It's a myth that 7200rpm drives will use a lot more battery than 5400rpm drives.
    They have to spin less therefore using about the same amount of juice. Doesn't make a big difference.
    And yes, 160GB probably costs a bunch. :(
     
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #18
    While it's getting better, it's not a myth--look at the power consumption in watts. Of course, you also have to check the figures for heat dissapation. Of course, the figures for the 4200 rpm drives aren't good enough to make me want to choose one (I have the 60 GB drive in my PB...uggh) over the 5400 rpm drives but I've noticed that some drives are 99 % the same as far as figures, regardless of rotational speed. Why spend more for the same thing?
     
  19. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #19
    I agree with you, it is not really worth buying a 7200rpm drive over a 5400rpm drive. The speed is almost the same. 10,000rpm drives always had a problem with reliability so the next speed I'll buy is 13,000rpm ;)
    But seriously, as long as we aren't close to match the capacity with the storage needs, I'd always go for the storage, especially if the speed difference is almost non-existent
     
  20. superwoman macrumors regular

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    #20
    While it is not exactly a myth, my personal experience in using a 7200rpm drive in my powerbook vs a 5400rpm drive, is that impact on battery life is negligible. And you don't have to take my word for it. Read this:
    http://www.mobilityguru.com/2003/10/31/fast_and_furious/page4.html

    The higher power consumption is compensated by smarter power management, and the fact that when you spin faster, you'll have to spin for less time too when reading the same amount of data.

    Also, with regards to performance, the greatest benefit of a 7200rpm drive is the lower latency and seek times. Using the Seagate Momentus 7200rpm and 5400rpm models as examples:

    7200rpm (Avg latency/seek msec): 10.5/4.2
    5400rpm (Avg latency/seek msec): 12.5/5.6

    That's an improvement of 16% and 25% respectively! So for everyday tasks, your machine will feel significantly snappier. Again, the same article referenced above, gives hard data pointing to positive real world performance benefits.

    I think $90 is a small sum to pay. Every other parts of your new mac is state of the art. Don't let your HD lag behind.
     
  21. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #21
    Depends on how you use your PB.
    If it is a light work, word processing, email, etc. machine, then the 5400 is the choice.
    If you do design, audio, film, etc. then the 7200 would be the choice (of course you would want an external for those uses anyways).

    When i order my MacBookPro when they become 64bit, i will get the 7200rpm b/c i deal with audio processing pretty much all day.

    just my 2¢
     
  22. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    I'm not disputing any of this. However, for $40 more, you can get 1GB of RAM and keep virtual memory further away from the hard drive significantly improving response times. :)
     
  23. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

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    #23
    Wait a tick... I think there are some misconceptions here...

    But FWIW, the HDs are always spinning, no matter what, unless nothing at all is being done at all, or the system is asleep. The HD is almost always being accessed by the OS, for caching, paging etc... So 7200rpm disks would be spinning just as long as 5400rpm... Plus, there would be an extreme amount of wear and tear if the HD had to spin down, then back up again constantly...
     
  24. superwoman macrumors regular

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    #24
    Of course. I'm assuming that the RAM has been taken care of. I thought the issue here is whether to spend _another_ $90 to get the 7200rpm, and not how best to spend $90.

    I believe modern HDs are smarter than this. Check out page 5 of the article I reference above. It says that HDs can have variable speeds, and can rapidly switch between them.
     
  25. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

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    #25
    No, from what I know...when I access files on a HD that has faster rpm, I access my item faster.
     

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