80GB drive - 4200 vs. 5400

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by rbro, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. rbro macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2003
    I'm buying a 15 inch PB G4 soon and looking at the HD options. Is it worth it to get the 5400 RPM drive vs. the 4200? I won't be using it much for graphics stuff, mostly email, Safari and Filemaker. Thanks.
  2. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2003
    Adelaide, Australia
    This has been posted countless times, but go the 5400, because it has a lower latiency, than the 4200. But it really depends on what you intend to do.
  3. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    The faster speed drive is critical when working with large files, such as video or graphics. Since you said you won't be doing that, I'd put the extra $125 towards something else like extra RAM, purchased from a 3rd party.
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I agree with rower. you won't notice any difference using small files on non-pro applications.
  5. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    I went for the 4200 RPM drive in my AluBook, and I've done high-end Photoshoping and Final Cut Pro work without any problems. I'm sure it would be much faster if I had the 5400 RPM drive, but it still worked better and faster than my Quicksilver tower did at home.
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    There are a couple of situations where the faster hard drive will help.

    1) When you have RAM maxed out and you keep it loaded constantly and the operating system is paging data to/from the hard drive.

    2) You're running database queries on multiple tables, which go to the hard drive constantly.

    Spend your money on RAM, it'll keep down the need for the faster hard drive.
  7. rbro thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2003
    Hmmm..OK, Do you think 1GB of Ram is enough these days? Again, I'm not doing much graphic work, a little bit for web design etc. from time to time. Although I will be using iDVD and the Superdrive to make DVD's, but the main thing for me, 90% of the time is I have Entourage, Safari and Filemaker open and need them to run fast.
  8. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    no one mention swap space on the hard drive. your operating uses part of the hard drive as swap space to swap stuff between memory. faster hard drive will gain in this area. you have to remember your hard drive is your bottle neck between ram and the cpu. making your bottleneck faster will increase your overall perfmance. if you do a lot of video work, 1 gig of ram will do you alot of good, regardless though, your need to use you hard to swap at some point. that is my two cents.


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