View Single Post

Member Since: Jul 14, 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 589
Geeky1 is a jewel in the roughGeeky1 is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: See Sig...

Geeky1 is offline
Originally Posted by amrk47 View Post
size and capacity are the same thing
the speed difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is barely noticeable
I strongly disagree. My Dell XPS came with a Hitachi 7k60 (7.2k 60GB) drive; I upgraded to a Seagate 160GB 5.4K drive with perpendicular recording, figuring that the dramatic increase in areal density would offset the lower rotational speed's impact on sustained transfer rates and seek times.

Hoooo boy was I wrong. The 5.4k is noticeably slower after downgrading from a 7.2k. Given the OP's situation-with a 4.2k drive-he'd notice a decent increase in performance either way. But honestly, I cannot recommend that anybody get anything other than a 7.2k drive at this point unless they have an older notebook and all they want to do is make it run.

Originally Posted by bobtomay
A 500GB drive attached as an external will meet or beat the speed of one of those smaller drives installed as an internal drive on your MacBook
I'm not sure I agree with that assessment either. Firewire 400 has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 50MB/s. Firewire is much better at coming close to its theoretical maximum than USB 2.0 is, but you still can't expect anything more than 50MB/s out of it, and realistically it'll probably be closer to 45 tops. The 7k60 was one of the first 7.2k laptop drives and even it was hitting about 45MB/s sustained in HDTach and ATTO. The newer drives with larger buffers, SATA, perpendicular recording and more than 3x the areal density aren't going to be slower. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a modern 7k laptop drive benchmark faster than a desktop drive handicapped by a firewire 400 interface.

There's also the portability issue of a firewire drive... It's basically a non-starter.

The OP stated he wants speed. If he wants speed, the 7.2k is the only realistic choice.

Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA
QUOTE Thanks