5400 rpm time machine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rerelease, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. rerelease macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    I'm interested in replacing my 250GB HDD for a 80GB SSD. I want to use the old drive as a USB backup disk for Time Machine, but is 5400 RPM fast enough for this?
  2. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Dec 13, 2007
  3. donuttakedonuts macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2009
    Spindle speed isn't as important as other bits. For example, what kind of drive is this? Does it use SATA 3gb/s? If you want a fast backup drive, a 7200 rpm drive will be better, I upgraded an iBook to 7200 and there was a BIGZ performance difference.
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    That's because running a computer involves a lot of random reads and writes, so the faster seek time of a 7200 RPM drive is a significant factor. On the other hand, making a Time Machine backup involves largely sequential writes, where seek time isn't as important. I would be surprised if there were a significant performance difference with Time Machine between 5400 and 7200 RPM drives on the same interface.

    Besides, Time Machine runs in the background, so it doesn't matter how long it takes to make a backup.

    So, in short: yes, the 5400 RPM drive will work just fine.
  6. tekio macrumors regular

    May 31, 2009
    I've been using a wd passport with time machine for a while without a problem, tbh I haven't noticed much difference over the 7200rpm usb drive I used before.

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