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HDDs: USB 3.0 5400 RPM vs. USB 2.0 7400 RPM

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I'll probably be in the market for another external hard drive and I'm wondering what's better, a USB 3.0 5400 RPM drive, or a USB 2.0 7400 RPM drive?

By "better" I mean in terms of write, read, and access speeds.

-EDIT-
The files I plan on storing on the external are primarily high quality HD videos so playback speed/quality is quite important! Seeking speed also helps but isn't as important as playback speed/quality
Edited by mingqi53 - 3/8/12 at 2:08pm
post #2 of 13

That's weird. Well let's put it this way.

 

Are you going to store small files up to 200mb per file? Seeking time would be more important then pick 7400RPM with USB2.

 

If you are going to transfer and store 1GB+ files... take USB3. It requires little seek time but better transfer rate.

 

What I would do?

 

Grab the USB3 and swap in an SSD.

     
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post #3 of 13
Well it does depend on a couple of factors, basically it mainly boils down to the quality of the external drive itself. I have seen some external USB 2.0 drives have a write speed of around 30MBps (which is amazing), while I have seen many others which have around 10-15MBps.

With that in mind an internal 5400RPM drive will have more than a 30MBps write speed, so your bottleneck would probably be limited to USB 2.0. So I would say go for the USB 3.0 Drive.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by djriful View Post

That's weird. Well let's put it this way.

Are you going to store small files up to 200mb per file? Seeking time would be more important then pick 7400RPM with USB2.

If you are going to transfer and store 1GB+ files... take USB3. It requires little seek time but better transfer rate.

What I would do?

Grab the USB3 and swap in an SSD.

I do have some smaller files, but most files are easily around or over a gig in size.

Heh USB 3 and an SSD would be the ultimate combo, but that would defeat the purpose of having fast and cheap storage tongue.gif
post #5 of 13
well no HDD will satuarate USB 3.0 yet
a 7200RPM HDD would be bottlenecked by USB 2.0 as its speed is upto 60MBps and its likely the drive could satuarte that..
for storage a 5400RPM drive is fine as with network storage for example there is not much difference in 5400 and 7200 drives well in NAS systems.. not sure about how a 5400RPM drive handles streaming 1080p tho but it wont bottle neck USB 2,0 let alone 3.0 smile.gif
Edited by stubass - 3/8/12 at 1:49pm
 
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post #6 of 13
Id grab the USB 3 drive, far more bandwidth.

You can easily hit the max speeds of the usb 3 HDD, but the usb 2 hdd will be limited to ~25-30MB/s in real life use
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post #7 of 13
Go USB 3.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Id grab the USB 3 drive, far more bandwidth.
You can easily hit the max speeds of the usb 3 HDD, but the usb 2 hdd will be limited to ~25-30MB/s in real life use

Would playback of 1080p HD videos suffer from the 5400 RPM? Or would only seeking be affected? (Relative to a 7400 RPM)
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingqi53 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Id grab the USB 3 drive, far more bandwidth.
You can easily hit the max speeds of the usb 3 HDD, but the usb 2 hdd will be limited to ~25-30MB/s in real life use

Would playback of 1080p HD videos suffer from the 5400 RPM? Or would only seeking be affected? (Relative to a 7400 RPM)

I have a few 5400rpm spinpoint f4 2TB drives and they run multiple 1080P steams fine b/w my father and I. Seek speeds on them are only very slightly slower than my F3s.
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post #10 of 13
You'd really need to tell us what the specific drives are.

Without knowing that, I would generally say USB 3.0 given the relatively low bandwidth of USB 2.0. But there are a ton of other things to consider like brand, quality, actual spec's for transfer speeds and seek times.
    
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