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Laptop: 5200RPM or 7200RPM hard drive

post #1 of 12
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Ok, so I am getting a new laptop for my sister.

http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668217.php

and It says it has a 320GB 5200RPM Hard Disk Drive. Should I put a 7200RPM to increase the speed. Cause my dad has a Toshiba and its pretty strong but the 5200RPM i think is what kills the speed in Vista.

Would a 7200RPM create more heat?
    
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post #2 of 12
the 7200's help immensely versus the 5400's, but it will decrease battery life and increase heat marginally

Is she doing anything really intensive or are you just looking for better boot times?

EDIT: a 17" behemoth like that and you probably aren't going for battery life
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post #3 of 12
You definitely want a 7200RPM drive. The speed change when I upgraded my comp from a 5400ROM drive to a 7200RPM drive was amazing.
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post #4 of 12
Is the drive option one that you make in a pre-configuration option from Toshiba, or is it something you'll do yourself after purchasing?

I have to say--I have a 5400 rpm HDD in my laptop, and it feels SO sluggish compared to regular 7200rpm drives--if I could find an IDE 2.5" 7200rpm drive for my laptop, I'd swap it out in a heartbeat. But alas, they've gone the way of dinosaurs and pentium-d's...

I say do it. The heat probably won't be an issue at all, and battery life might suffer a bit, but that's what extra batteries are for!
    
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post #5 of 12
The cost of 7200 320GB from NewEgg is $90-$100 so cost wise not expensive.

You cannot just talk rotational speed to judge performance. I can think of 4 major factors that go into this equation.
1)Usage, what applications are you doing? Is the HDD even the bottleneck?
2)Yes rotational speed is a factor
3)Areal density is a significant factor just as rotational speed is.
4)The firmware the manufacturer designs to control the hardware in the HDD is a factor some are better than others.

Heat and power savings 5400 vs 7200 on current HDD's is of such minimal difference that in my opinion of no consequence. Let me explain my thoughts. In the idle state they are the same. So now we go to usage? Well if a 7200 is faster than 5400 even if it uses more power and produces more heat it will do so for a shorter time with the same task. That would offset the length of time 7200 is using more power. To simplify if the difference is 1mw. If the 7200 did faster the power consumption would be offset and could even be equal. Heat is similar.

Everyone understands rotational speed but areal density some do not know. Areal density for our purposes is the amount of bits that are in any given space say per sq inch or cm. 320GB HDDS have 2 160GB platters in mobiles. If a 200GB 7200 has 2 100GB platters even though it would be rotating faster than a 320GB 5400. 7200 is 33% faster than 5400 correct? Well the 320GB packs 60% more bits in the same space? So which is faster? In this example a 320GB 5400 is faster than a 200GB 7200 with sustained read/writes.

I think that is important. I think if one only talks rotational speed they are missing an important part of the equation and as such can arrive at the incorrect answer. Of course two mobile 320GB one 5400 the other 7200, the 7200 clearly wins.

So don't just talk rotational. Recently mobile 500GB 2 platter 5400 are being sold. That is 250GB per plater. It has about the same advantage over 320GB 7200 as 320GB 5400 has over 200GB 7200.

7200 always has a random access advantage over 5400 so depending on what you are doing can effect which performs better. I personally fell a few ms is of little to no real world consequence. But there are instances where yes I would say it does.

Firmware? Well I would stick with the major 3 Hitachi, Seagate and WD (OK I have nothing against Fujitsu). I forget which one claims the lead at the moment. I would also say that current generation regardless of brand tend to have advantage over past generations more so the further you go back.

Now that my areal density rant is over.

To OP I would see how the notebook performs before I started changing. Then again 320GB 7200 for $90? Sure if you wanted to not like any reason not to. But understand what the HDD does. This is a gamer system. HDD has no effect, zero on game play. It simply is not fast enough. If your system ever had to hit the HDD (usually not enough RAM) HDD would not matter. Your RAM bandwidth is likely about 5500MB/s vs HDD's 50 to 60MB/s. The HDD affects load times (getting into RAM).

Non-gaming. You load Word? Yea the first time since start up faster HDD will load into memory faster so it will open faster. But remember all 7200 are not faster than all 5400? Once it is open, OK you open a file. What are those 100KB's? OK does a 13ms vs 16ms RA matter? Even a 4200 is going to have a 30MB/s bandwidth so 100KB/s would not even stress so certainly not a 320GB 5400. Even if you close Word unless it gets kicked out of RAM HDD will play no factor in opening it speed wise. As it will be retrieved from RAM.

On that 17" gamer heat and power draw of HDD is such a small % it is comparable to splitting atoms in my humble opinion.

Thank god I am done.

Good luck.
    
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I decided to go with the 7200RPM. The reason for this is because I think that over-time she will be using a lot more intensive applications.

Thanks all, this really helped, + rep to all you guys.
    
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post #7 of 12
holy crap thats a lot to read..

anyways.. I ALWAYS prefer faster, so yeah, you made a good choice
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asus Mobile View Post
Heat and power savings 5400 vs 7200 on current HDD's is of such minimal difference that in my opinion of no consequence. Let me explain my thoughts. In the idle state they are the same. So now we go to usage? Well if a 7200 is faster than 5400 even if it uses more power and produces more heat it will do so for a shorter time with the same task. That would offset the length of time 7200 is using more power. To simplify if the difference is 1mw. If the 7200 did faster the power consumption would be offset and could even be equal. Heat is similar.
That can't be right... A 7200RPM HDD is ALWAYS spinning at that speed, even at idle, right? So it's constantly running faster (and therefore consuming more power) than a 5400.

My friend got a 7200RPM HDD. It's much faster than my 5400RPM, but he gets a bit lower battery life (maybe 10-15% lower).

I personally prefer the battery life over the 10 second wait for bootup.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hundred Gunner View Post
That can't be right... A 7200RPM HDD is ALWAYS spinning at that speed, even at idle, right? So it's constantly running faster (and therefore consuming more power) than a 5400.

My friend got a 7200RPM HDD. It's much faster than my 5400RPM, but he gets a bit lower battery life (maybe 10-15% lower).

I personally prefer the battery life over the 10 second wait for bootup.
Really? I can't stand a slow hard drive lol
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post #10 of 12
OK I just took a quick look I believe a 1.9w vs a 1.8w Hitachi. Also 7200 uses less power. If it seems strange to you maybe you need to rethink as things are as they are. Your failure to comprehend is not their shortcomming only yours.

On a side note. Why do you think it takes so much more power to spin at 7200 vs 5400? That is your first flaw in thinking.

Good luck.

Edit: And thinking HDD 7200 vs 5400 could even make up a 10% to 15% difference in batt life is insane. If we even assumed for arguments sake HDD took 1/2 the power draw, to assume 7200 vs 5400 has that kind of differential is pure fantasy. The CPU and LCD take the most load. You and your friend need to quit smoking the ganja when running these tests.

Have a look see at HDD MFG sites for power draw before you say silly stuff bud?
Edited by Asus Mobile - 12/21/08 at 7:59pm
    
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