opinions please: 7200 vs 5400rpm in C2D 1.83 Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TheNorthWaves, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. TheNorthWaves macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    w/leopard and 2 gigs ram. I am looking to up the storage space (to 250 or 320ish), but I was wondering if there is a noticeable difference between the 5400 and 7200 rpm drives in the mini? It is my daily computer - playing music, watching movies, mild photo editing, internet, etc... I am not trying to run CS3 on it. Yes, I know I can run off an external drive cheaply, but the goal is to use time machine/etc, so I have to get an internal drive. Opinions? Thanks
     
  2. nep61 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    #2
    The answer is very simple...

    Do you ever thing there will be a time when you'll say... "Darn, I should have bought that 5400rpm drive, this 7200 just goes too fast" ?

    I figure it this way... for a few $$ more, I'd ALWAYS go with the faster rpm drive.... and since you mentioned nothing in your post about a difference in price, and /or any budgetary restraints, the answer is very simple. Get the 7200rpm drive....

    Heck, I have (2) 73GB SCSI drives at home (10,000rpm), sitting there unused... waiting for a way to put them into a Firewire800 case, so I can use them with Final Cut Pro. Faster is better, imo, when it comes to hard drives. :)
     
  3. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 13, 2007
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    USA
    #3
    I agree with your principle, however...

    I probably should have phrased it differently. I am a medical student and thus the $50 USD difference is meaningful. I was thinking more along the lines of "does the FSB speed/other factors more or less annul the hdd speed difference"?

    Or in other terms, will everything be snappier or measurably faster in this particular computer? Or will I really not notice it? FWIW, I do plan to use this as a media computer and will likely upgrade to 10.6 when it becomes available... hope this clarifies
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    For your uses, a larger 5400 is more suitable than a smaller 7200 drive.
     
  5. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    we've got one for the high, one for the low.
    Who wants to be a tie breaker? heheh

    I'll be going for something as large as possible with 16mb cache regardless - speed was the only real question.
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    Your uses are principally sustained read/write. A 320 gig 5400 drive will outperform a 200 gig 7200 rpm drive for those tasks. Samsung's 320/5400/8 drive (which I have in my MBP) is only $100. Is there a reason you need 16 mb cache?
     
  7. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I was under the impression that it would perform better - I was told about it but I'm now drawing a blank on why...
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    They can be advantageous if you need a lot of random access, but for what you want (movies, image editing, music) 8 mb is plenty.
     
  9. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #9
    Drive rpm is NOT a good predictor of sustained read/write performance;
    many 7200 rpm notebook drives have lower transfer rates than the latest
    5400 rpm drives that use perpendicular recording technology.

    OTOH, "sustained" transfer rates are only important for large contiguous files
    (tens of MB, and up). For smaller files, HDD performance is mainly a function
    of random access time -- and higher rpm is always a winner in that respect.

    Suggest you check the 2.5" hard drive charts on tomshardware.com for actual
    performance measurements on specific products:

    Average [sustained] Read Transfer Performance

    Price/Performance Index

    And then check newegg.com for prices. With a little research, you can get very
    good performance at an excellent price.

    ...happy huntin'

    LK
     
  10. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #10
    I have a 1.83 C2D mini.

    The day I got it, I pulled out the 1 GB of RAM and 80GB 5400rpm HDD and replaced them with the stock parts from my MPB: 2GB and 120GB 5400.

    I felt the setup above was perfect until I got a Tritton See2 Xtreme, and have been trying to run two 1920*1200 displays off my mini.

    I am going to pull the current parts out of my MPB again and upgrade from a 200GB 7200rpm to 320GB 7200rpm drive. The 200GB 7200 and 4GB of RAM is going in the Mini, and I expect a large increase in performance for a few specific tasks (faking a second video card).

    For daily stuff, if you are not running the computer HARD, I would say go for size over speed. I can do a ton on my mini before I feel like I am getting limited by HDD, and RAM may be a bigger performance booster for the money.
     
  11. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #11
    gotzero - care to share any impressions of using the Tritton See2 Xtreme with your mini?
     
  12. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 13, 2007
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    USA
    #12
    yes but i thought that only 3GB ram will be recognized in 32-bit, so I went with 2 normally priced gigs instead of 4 overpriced gigs that I couldn't even use.

    Thank you all for the suggestions by the way!
     
  13. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

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