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Laptop HDD speeds - why are 5400rpms being made?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Ozpa, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Ozpa

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    Hello everyone! :toast:

    Well I was checking out laptops today since my gf wants one and I noticed that HDDs come in 5400 and 7200rpm speeds.
    The laptop specs we're looking for are around:

    i3-350M
    4GB DDR3-1333
    320-500GB HDD
    15.6' inch screen
    Dedicated video Nvidia/ATI

    I checked over 20 laptops with such specs by many manufacturers and only HP seem to be offering HDDs with 7200rpm. Now I used to laptops only having 5400rpms and I was wondering why all the manufacturers don't move to 7200-only HDDs? Are there any drawbacks with higher speed drives on laptops? Do faster drives break sooner?

    Here's a few laptops on newegg and all have 5400rpm drives but I don't see many HP laptops there. In the end we decided on HP Pavilion G62-A20SY which has a 7200rpm (if that's ok?).
     
  2. mdbrotha03

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    Less power to spin a drive at 5400 RPM then at 7200 RPM
     
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  3. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Obvious drawbacks include but not limited to extra heat, more expensive, small bonus in the speed department, consumes more power, and generally useless unless you are going to actually benchmark the system.
     
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  4. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    Power is the main reason. Also, until recently 7200RPM drives of 2.5" were not possible. The platters are made of glass on these drives, and it took some engineering for it to work.
     
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  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Came here to say this.

    In laptops, 7200RPM drives are pretty useless, and with modern 5400RPM drives outperforming 7200RPM drives from a generation or two ago, there really isn't an issue.
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  6. Ozpa

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    Hmm I would like to see some 5400 vs 7200rpm tests if there's any (the actual increase in power usage/heat/speed).
     
  7. scaminatrix

    scaminatrix

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    I think there's a few reasons why laptop HDD's are/have been 5400 rpm's (I've only seen 5400 rpm laptop HDD's until recently)
    1. Less power draw (good idea on a laptop)
    2. Less heat I would have thought
    3. Safety (of data). If you stand up and/or move your laptop quickly there may be a higher chance of failure/errors at higher speeds (Just a guess) on older laptop HDD's without 'park'.
    No doubt more; like PVT said; platter size comes/came into play

    Anyone with some laptop expertise give some advice on OP's choice; the HP Pavilion G62-A20SY?
     
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  8. Ozpa

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    I've found a comparison from 2006, not sure how this still holds true but the power consumption is about 8% higher.
     
  9. Ozpa

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    Found another review of 5 500GB laptop drives, 4 5400rpm and 1 7200rpm.

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17010/1

    The performance between 5400/7200 speeds is almost the same, at very best a 7200rpm drive is about 8% faster in some tests.
    Noise is 2-8% lower on 5400rpm drives during seek.

    Power consumption during seek (about 10% lower):

    [​IMG]

    One thing I haven't found in any of the tests is the heat expulsion comparisons. It almost seems to me that the argument should be HDD vs SSD rather than 5400rpm vs 7200rpm :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  10. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on how much you will have to pay for the i3, and what are your general uses. I would pick the i3.
     
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  11. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    Just to add some points:

    1/ Spin-up time is longer and takes a little more power to do so... hence your chart above (post-2) isnt the full picture, esp. for "power managed" devices
    2/ Vibrations on 7200 are known to be quite disturbing. It is one thing to measure sound 1m away on a noise insulating mat. But to have the vibrations rattling on a desk or netbook is different.
    3/ The angular momentum of the 7200 (and hence gyroscopic effect) is much higher... meaning that moving the drive when in use causes much more torque and therefore risk of wear and damage

    If you want to improve the performance of your gf's laptop:
    a/ get a SSD
    b/ create a ramdisk and put all temp files there

    Read these:
    [expert][tip] Using a RAMdisk to speed up your HD...
    move google chrome
     
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  12. digibucc

    digibucc

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    craziness, i didn't realize this. do you ahve any links to some more info? i did a quick google and found nothing saying this...

    too cool :)
     

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