Is 5400 rpm HD much better than 4800 rpm?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by DazedNConfusedX, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. DazedNConfusedX macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2004
    East/South Bay Area, CA - USA
    I plan to get a 1.33G 15" PB. I want to upgrade the HD to 5400 rpm 80G. However, if I did, it would entail a lot of additional cost like tax and stuff, so it would be significantly more than if I just got the PB without the upgrade.

    That said - will I miss the extra performance of a 5400 rpm HD much, vs. the 4800 rpm one? I do usually run and work in at least two MS Office applications simultaneously. I often save as I type/work, and might open and close these apps a few times a day.

    In addition to those 2-3 MS Office apps running, I usually have about 2-5 instances of MS Word, maybe 1-2 instance of MS Excel, about 3-8 internet browser sessions, and maybe a movie file playing in the background or ready to be played.

    I hear some people say that the speed difference between the two is not really noticable, but I hear others say that if you do stuff that accesses the hd a lot, you'll notice it.

    Do you think it'll be noticeable, under the typical usage scenario I described above? Thanks.

    (P.S. - If you have any recommendation about 64M vs. 128 M video mem. for the usage scenario I described above, please also share your thoughts - thanks.)
  2. Cordless_Drill macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2004
    Montgomery, Ala., USA
    I have a 15/1.33 with the 5400 drive. I got it for kicks because money wasn't an issue. It makes the boot process go by in half the time. It also cuts the time it takes to load applications.

    Photoshop 7.0 opens in maybe 5 seconds. It's more like 10-12 on my 1 GHz iMac. I think there's a performance difference, but it's hard to say. I'm not a big video guy. I just use mortal applications. I don't really feel it much.

    I doubt you will, either. Your situation sounds like added RAM would be more useful...

    When I bought this box, I was thinking of Tiger. I wanted a box that would flourish under Tiger. So this has 1.5 GB RAM and the 5400 hd ...
    This might help you:

    Bare Feats
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    It makes a huge difference in performance. Based on price:performance ratio, a faster HDD gives you much better performance than adding more than 768MB of RAM. I can't figure out why a drive that spins slightly faster gives such performance boosts, but it does.
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    if you are just running office, you will hardly notice a difference. those are few MB data files afterall.

    OS X may boot up a bit faster on the faster HD, but that's about it.

    and you absolutely do not need a 128 MB vid-card.

    if you are tight on money, get a stock one.
  5. AngeredTree macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I just recieved my 15" 1.33 w/a 5400 RPM drive...everything else stock...runs great...

    Get the ram from Crucial if you can, they do a great job. Don't upgrade your RAM through apple...

    I would get the drive because its such a good deal, and that extra RPM never hurts...
  6. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    I would definitely upgrade to 5400rpm. It is noticeable in loading apps, boot up, and copying files.
    I got the 4200rpm, because like I imagine you are going to do, I went down to Portland and got it. I ended up putting a 5400rpm drive in myself (shh... don't tell apple) and christ, it was a pain in the ass! Long story short, get the 5400.
    And the only thing I think you'd need the extra video ram for is games, so don't bother.
    One way to get a discount, if you aren't already, is to become a student and get the education discount.

    Lee Tom

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