Laptop hard drive: upgrading 5400 RPM vs 7200 RPM

Discussion in 'Reviews and Articles' started by MSP, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Good grief, why I did I wait so long to upgrade? These are the numbers for the factory installed WD Scorpio Blue (250 GB, 1.5 Gb/s, 8 MB Cache, 5400 RPM) versus the Seagate Momentus (320 GB, 3Gb/s, 16MB Cache, 7200RPM) that I just installed. Simply brutal, and the power usage is about the same...

    [​IMG][​IMG]
  2. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    Yeah, it was like night and day when I went from a 80 GB 5400 RPM to a 200 GB 7200 RPM drive on my Macbook.
  3. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    I remember doing that upgrade from 5400 to 7200, in like 1999
  4. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

  5. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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  6. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    Seems like you dipped into those savings.

    Why the sudden change of heart?
  7. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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  8. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    I read an article comparing the power usage of both and found that there was virtually no battery life penalty for getting better performance. I had been mistaken. And when I decided to install Vista 64 I discovered the price of the 320GB laptop drives had dropped to under 100 bucks. Still not sure why it's funny, but whatever floats your boat.
  9. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    I find it funny and/or ironic that you posted to extol the benefits of 7200RPM HDDs, admitting there's a noticeable difference between them and 5400RPM drives, after downplaying the former in the past when making a recommendation to somebody else.
  10. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Well, I did some more reading since the original thread and at least in the case of this particular laptop hard drive was mistaken. That was kinda the point of me posting this... :-k
  11. Zenjiro

    Zenjiro New Member

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    I replaced the 4200rpm drive in my 12" 1.5ghz powerbook with a 7200rpm drive and the performance increase was amazing, that and even with close monitoring I can't tell a difference in the battery life, although there are times I think the battery life is a little better (the 7200rpm drive is allot newer and I suspect perhaps a little more efficient)

    Right now I am just building up to finding a way to replace the drive in my MBP with an SSD with out voiding the warranty, about the only thing I can come up with is there is an authorized service near here that does hard drive replacements, I might be able to convince them to use my hardware for a decent price. Damn apple and their beautiful case designs that make HDDs nonuser replaceable (honestly they are easy to do, but they don't want us to)
  12. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    It's easy to do in the Macbook.
  13. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    It's even easier to do in my computer that I built.
  14. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    Can you take the computer you built out of your house :D
  15. Zenjiro

    Zenjiro New Member

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    I don't know about Hans, but it is quite easy for me to transport my desktop Take a look here

    And yes, hdd swaps on make laptops are easy, I garuntee the 12" powerbook I did is far more difficult than my macbook pro, however I will not do the MBP simply because apple _will_ void your warranty if you do. Hence my decision to either wait, or find a service center willing to do it for me.
    You are welcome to correct me on this, but I have done my research on this, up to and including calling apple care to ask, they will simply tell you something like this: The hard drives in these lines of laptops are not user replaceable and service must be performed by apple or an apple certified repair technician.
    Simply put, I have 30months left on my warranty that I would rather like to keep.

    For those of you that don't have apple laptops, grab your screw driver and go to town, 7200rpm drives can be had cheap and do wonders for performance. Also, if you pick up a usb->hdd adapter you can clone the drive wil little effort.
  16. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    I was talking about regular Macbooks, not the Pros. You can do it on a Macbook w/o voiding the warranty. You will void it on a Pro though.
  17. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    Yes. Granted it is taller than a small child.
  18. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Well yeah, on the desktop side of things I've been running 7200RPM drives for quite some time. I swear that until very recently there was a much larger power penalty using them in laptops. I was very surprised to read how close it had become.
  19. MovingTarget

    MovingTarget New Member

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    I've always wanted to get one of those little mini boxes....

    Dan (Lazareds) used to have one...he used it for a while then upgraded it to a mini tower...I think...
  20. Zenjiro

    Zenjiro New Member

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    This is my third xpc, and there are ups and downs to it. with out meaning to thread jack here is what you get: Other than maybe the video card I have never upgraded anything after it was built (this one is a q6600, 8800gtx, with 4g of ram), unlike a normal desktop which i would continually upgrade parts (something every 2-3 months), I instead replace the entire machine every 2-3 years. Honestly, after crunching the numbers its a bit cheaper, my last one lasted me 3 years and cost 1200 to build (400/yr). This one I think was closer to 1500-1600, but still I could easily spend 500/yr on random parts.
    They are not the fastest, even the newest model will lag behind desktops a bit, they run hot (though surprisingly better than you would think) this is the first one I have had that was loud (I blame the video card)
    The good, I can pack it, my two monitors, a UPS, and all my peripherals into a Rubbermaid storage tote and take it anywhere I want. It looks damn nice, and really isn't much more than you would spend on a mobo, case, psu, and a HSF (included with shuttle boxes)
    If I weren't in school and really into gaming again I would snag a lian-li midtower again and start doing rolling upgrades. But for WoW and the occasional FPS this seems to work quite well for me.

    Back to topic:
    Up until the last 2 years there was a larger difference between 7200 and 5400rpm drives, but there has been allot of progress made in reducing the power requirements. part of it is a greater data density (fewer and lighter platters) and just faster transfer times means the drive is active for less time.
    I won't buy another laptop with a 5400rpm drive, if I can prevent it (my MBP was a screw up on my part, mostly due to a Tax holiday and wanting to buy it at the apple store).
  21. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Yeah, I probably spend about $300-500 per year for my home PC. But that includes keeping the rest of the family up to date too. So last year's PC goes to the wife, her PC goes to the teenager, the teenager's PC goes to my 5 year old, her PC goes to grandma. So at no time do I have a PC older than 5 years old. Plus I always have the latest shit. :D