Review of Travelstar 80Gb 7200 rpm HD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yippy, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    My Powerbook hard drive recently bit the dust so I decided to upgrade to 7200 rpms. The instillation process was nerve racking but I had a few things go wrong. You can read about that here.

    Drive was installed in a 1.5Ghz 15" Pb using instructions from pbfixit.com.

    The first thing I noticed about the drive was that it was a bit noisier than the stock Toshiba drive. You can hear the heads a little bit more than before. Not to bad but not a silent drive either, probably the second loudest part of the computer. The only thing louder being the CD drive when it is reading a disk.

    The second thing I noticed is that, now my fans seem to be running all the time now. Granted Powerbook fans are QUIET and make about the same kind of noise as the white noise producers installed at my work. So the noise is not an issue, the concern is that this probably means that the drive runs hotter or that I messed up the temp sensors when I opened my PowerBook. Unfortunately I never monitored my temperatures so I can't compare them to what they were before.

    That said it is noticeable faster than even my 5400rpm drive. I only have two programs that are at all hard drive intensive. X-plane there was a significant shortening of load time and the game played smoother than it had before.

    The biggest test I did was with Myst IV. If you don't know the game it is all pre-rendered graphics and you move from essentially one Quicktime VR (at least that is the basics, probably its own engine) scene to the next to get around. The load time from scene to scene cut in half from 2-3 seconds to 1-1.5. Makes the game much more enjoyable as often you are only in them for a second or two. Also since all of this is loaded from the hard drive it does a lot of work while playing that game. Despite the above heat concerns my laptop took 3 hours of the game easily and didn't get any hotter to the touch than I had remembered it getting before. The only difference being the fans were on more than before.

    Also, as I write this the fans are still running even though there is almost no disk activity. This is making me start to believe that the fan issue may be something I did when I was inside the comp :(. Better than having the fans not run when they should though. So if you have any ideas for what might cause it I would appreciate it.

    Sorry for the long post. Hope this is helpful, don't mean to scare anyone away from the drive, I love it:) .
     
  2. dubbz macrumors 68020

    dubbz

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Alta, Norway
    #2
    Interesting....

    My Powerbook drive is pretty much dead too (SMART, Failing, etc), and warranty just expired :rolleyes:

    "Noticable faster" than a 5400rpm sounds good. Always-On Fans not so much. Hopefully caused by a mistake you did (that sounds mean, doesn't it? :p) and not something unavoidable. I think I'd prefer Quiet to Speed, especially since my PB is on more or less 24/7 (well, used to be at least :rolleyes: )
     
  3. yippy thread starter macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    Sorry to hear about your hard drive dubbz. Hopefully you can get it replaced on the cheap.

    Upon further inspection, reseting the pram and having left my computer asleep all night, the sound I am hearing I do not believe to be the fans but the hard drive. So that means it probably doesn't run hotter than the old one. However, that means it is noisier than I thought.

    One thing about the noise though, my hard drive is not fully anchored. Because I had to drill out a screw, that screw hole was ruined and so there isn't a screw there. I hope it won't be a problem but it means that there is some added leeway for the hard drive to transfer noise through the case.

    Well, I am working on testing the battery life now, which I am sure people are interested in. I should be able to give that report in about 4 hours.
     
  4. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #4
    I never noticed noise on my Travelstars. You might want to put a rubber grommet in place of where the screw was in order to contain vibration and preserve HD life.
     
  5. yippy thread starter macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    Thanks for the advise, although I don't know where I could put one. The screw that is missing is not directly screwed into the hard drive. There is a metal bar to the right of the hard drive that clamps down the grommeted hd screws and it is one of the screws holding this bar down that is missing now.

    My guess is that it is making the whooshing noise because it is 7200rpm. However, if you have had a quiet 7200rpm Travelstar then maybe I just got unlucky and got a noisy one.
     
  6. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #6
    Nice review. I've just put in a 5,400 rpm Seagate momentus. I wanted a 7,200 but they had none in stock. The jump from 4,200 to 5,400 was unmistakable, the higher the better. I wouldn't worry about bat. life etc, just get as fast as you can get.

    The seagate drive is SO quiet compared to the Toshiba drive that used to be in. It's pretty much inaudible.
     
  7. dubbz macrumors 68020

    dubbz

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Alta, Norway
    #7
    Maybe some kind of vibration that's causing the noise then? That can happen rather easily, and it can be very noisy.

    I'll be awaiting your results :)

    You whouldn't happen to know someone with a Powerbook with a 5400rpm Hitachi drive? :p I'm curious if there's any difference in noise between it and the Seagate. I could hear the Hitachi drive in my Powerbook... not loud, but there was a noticable sound (when the fans weren't spinning).
     
  8. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    #8
    I have a WallStreet PB which is now running dual 60 gig TravelStar 7200s (the second drive being in the l.h. expansion bay). I've got a G4/500 daughtercard upgrade and I'd have to say I got as much of a speed boost from the hard drives as from the processor upgrade. And that was after having already upgraded to a Toshiba 18GB 5400 RPM drive.

    (The original, a huge noisy 8 gig IBM, was even slower, I think it was a 4200)

    OS X is a constant user of swap files. Its virtual memory system rocks. But that means a slow drive is a constant brake on your performance.

    Meanwhile, you get such a visceral sense of a computer being fast or slow depending on how fast apps launch, how quickly drive-based searches take place, how fast the OS boots — even if you can crunch some complex formulas pretty darn fast, your computer's going to seem sludgy if you can't invoke apps quickly, and swap from one process to another w/o appreciable delay, and so on. And if you're a Photoshopper or FCP user or otherwise use apps that natively page stuff out to disk (in my case, Filemaker Pro), that's another place you'll notice or miss performance.

    I credit my 7200 RPM drives for keeping this old beast nimble enough to be useful in the modern world, and when I replace it (very soon) with a G4 17" PB, I'm definitely getting the 7200 RPM 100gig drive option.
     
  9. yippy thread starter macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    Well, just got 3 hours from a full charge to forced sleep.

    This was with processor set to reduced, screen brightness at half, using a bluetooth mouse, Airport on but was actually using ethernet for the net and just doing basic surfing, email, music. Not bad, about the same as before I think.
     

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