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4200 rpm versus 5400 rpm

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Cakes, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Cakes

    Cakes Guest

    Hi, I apologize as I have a feeling this has been argued to death but
    is a 5400 rpm hard drive NOTICEABLY faster than a 4200 rpm hard drive
    (with all other aspects being equal)?

    I am looking to buy a refurbished Dell laptop but 5400 rpm laptops
    seem to be a rarer find in the listings. Will it be worth waiting

    I would like to hear from anyone who has compared startup times for
    Photoshop 6.0 (as Photoshop is the slowest load time I can think of)
    and also bootup times for Windows XP. How many seconds are we talking
    since on my badly outdated, 5-year old computer it takes well over a
    minute for Photoshop to load and well over 5 minutes for Windows 98SE
    to load?

    Any opinions appreciated.

    Cakes, Oct 21, 2003
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  2. Cakes

    Donkey Agony Guest

    Yes. And a 7200 rpm drive is noticeably faster than a 5400 rpm one -- I
    know this because last week I upgraded my Thinkpad from 5400 to 7200

    4200 = slow
    5400 = decent
    7200 = zippy
    I don't know if Dell offers 7200 rpm drives, refurbed or otherwise, but
    it certainly for me be worth it to wait for the fastest drive I could
    afford. Of course, you could always just get the cheapest machine
    available, then buy separately a Hitachi 7200 rpm Travelstar (I paid
    about $270 for mine).
    I have Photoshop 6 as well -- I noticed it loads faster with 7200 rpm
    (over 5400). I've also noticed that XP loads *significantly* faster.
    Donkey Agony, Oct 22, 2003
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  3. Cakes

    SQ Joe Guest

    Does the 7200 rpm drive generate lots of heat. Would that be an issue
    for continuous use?

    SQ Joe, Oct 22, 2003
  4. Cakes

    Donkey Agony Guest

    Subjectively, it doesn't feel any hotter than the 5400 rpm drive I had.
    But I haven't measured it.
    Donkey Agony, Oct 23, 2003
  5. Cakes

    Nemo Guest

    I upgraded this old Armada 7800 from 4200 to one of the first 5400 RPM
    drives (IBM 48G). The difference was *noticeable*. I won't go into the 3
    times I have had to replace these due to crashes. <G>

    5400 is recommended for sure. HD R/W speeds are *the* major bottleneck
    in computer performance and laptops in particular. My next one will be

    Afterthought: another aspect of HD performance is the buffer or cache size
    internal to the HD and its controller. More is better. Not all drives of
    the same speed are equal in this regard.
    Nemo, Oct 24, 2003
  6. Cakes

    Vincent Fox Guest



    Take a look at newegg.com, they have the new Seagate 5400 RPM units
    at like $93 for the 20-gig with 2 meg cache. I just refitted my used
    Thinkpad 240 which had an IBM 6-gig 4200 RPM 512K cache unit of
    Sep 99 vintage and it made a big improvement in operations.
    It's pretty quiet, although the seek head clunks are still
    more noticable than I would like.

    There is supposed to be a Seagate 8-meg variant, but it doesn't
    seem to have reached online sales sites yet.

    The Hitachi 7200 units are still faster, but cost more and suck
    more power which can be a factor if you are mobile a lot.

    Take a look around, I think tomshardware.com had a review with
    graphs and everything, wouldn't that be better than anecdotal
    evidence from a bunch of Usenet goofs like me?
    Vincent Fox, Oct 24, 2003
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