Need a new internal Time Machine Drive: Does 5400 vs. 7200 RPM matter?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Astro7x, May 30, 2011.

  1. Astro7x macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2010
    I want to get a new internal hard drive for my Mac Pro to run Time Machine. Basically my plan is to get get a 3TB drive to back up my .5TB, 1TB, and 1.5TB drives currently in the machine. Currently I have the 1.5TB drive backing up my .5TB and 1TB drives, and feel it's time to expand my storage.

    My question is does the drive speed of this new 3TB Time Machine drive matter when considering 5400 RPMs vs. 7200 RPMs? I would think it doesn't matter much, but with the constant writing that Time Machine does, would I see any performance increase by going to 7200 RPMs?

    All my current drives are 7200 RPMs if that matters. I'd just really like to save some money if possible, but not if it means I'm getting lag every time a backup starts or something.
  2. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Performance isn't important for a TimeMachine drive since the backups happen in the background and, being incremental, are fast.
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I'm using 2 TB Seagate 5900 RPM drives to back up 2 Mac Pros (one in each). I didn't expect any slowdown when TM's at work, and I haven't noticed any.

    I doubt that you'd notice anything with a 5400 drive.

    I can see how it might make a difference if you had to do a full restore and were in a hurry. Otherwise, no.
  4. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    Speed is not a big issue for a Time Machine drive, since it happens in the background. I have an external 2TB on my mac pro, connected via USB and it works fine. My spousal unit uses a laptop configured to back up wirelessly to a hard drive attached to the Airport Extreme Base Station and that's fast enough not to produce slowdowns.

    Save the money. Go slow for TM.

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