120GB 5400rpm Vs. 160GB 7200rpm

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Stetwin, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. Stetwin macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2007
    England - Co-Durham
    Is paying the extra £150 to go from a 120BG 5400rpm HDD to a 160GB 7200rpm HDD worth it? How much faster is it? And is the difference greatly notable? And what part of the performance will I notice the effect in the most?

    The reason I ask is because I do Photography and will have thousands if not tens of thousands of photos stored on my Macbook, will I notice the HDD speed difference and is it justifiable paying that £150 extra for it or would I be better just looking for an external HDD?

    Also is it worth taking the 200GB 4200rpm drive in to consideration due to the larger capacity?
  2. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I'm not sure about the difference in speed in terms of photo editing (I'm sure some photographers will post shortly), but I can't imagine the 7200 RPM drive being worth the extra expense.

    For the difference in price you could get a (big) 7200 RPM external drive, with FW400 (maybe even FW800, though only the Macbook Pro can use that connection), that you could use as a photoshop scratch disk, which I suspect would be a much better use of the £150.
  3. CPPhoto macrumors member

    May 23, 2007
    id go with the faster drive or one of those perpendicular? write ones...

    the faster the better in our business.

    One major thing to take under consideration though, is the fact that a faster drive will burn your battery quicker
  4. DealMinded macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2007
    Stay above 5400 rpm and I'm guessing you won't notice a difference. The photo software you'll be using will be so bloated on a laptop (iPhoto with more than 1000 photos, Aperture for sure, Photoshop, and to a lesser extent lightroom ), it's own weight will be your bottleneck. If you were on a nice 4/8 processor Mac Pro with lots of RAM, then this would be less of a concern. But, because the software is so fast, the read time will then be negligible. The real question here is, is that 40 gigs worth 150$ bucks. What resolution photos will you be keeping? Are you shooting JPG or RAW?

    Personally, I don't think it's worth it, as you can get a nice 500 gb external drive for about $100 dollars if you wait a week or so for a deal. If you're doing photography (stuff you don't want to lose), you might even want to get two external drives for the $150 bucks, and mirror the drives on a regular basis (preferably at different physical locations). So, keep photos you're working on on the laptop, back that up to External1. Keep Archived photos that you don't need constant, portable access to on External1 as well. Mirror both (or just the archives) to External2. Use rsync for incremental backups.

    So, save your money, buy external drives and more RAM (this is what you should be worrying about as photo software loves memory).

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