Hard Disk speed

  Sparky3327 11:26 08 May 2003

Is there much difference between 5400 and 7200rpm?
I'm upgrading and am not sure which to go for as there's obviously a price differential.
I'm only using my PC for bog-standard home use, nothing too technical.

  MartinT-B 11:45 08 May 2003

The faster the rpm, the shorter the 'seek' time. In other words the faster your Hard Disk spins the quicker your PC will be able to get the information it needs.

That is only the first part of the equation.

Secondly, how is you HDD connected to your motherboard?
ATA(IDE) 133 is the fastest normally, but a lot of PCs still use ATA 100. SCSI is faster, but expensive. Serial ATA (SATA) is just coming out and is roughly the same speed as ATA 133 at the moment. It will get a lot faster, but you need a special HDD and a SATA controller on your MoBo.

Thirdly, does the HDD have a Cache? Some do - mine has 8MB - this also lowers seek time.

Finally, your swapfile/paging file size also contributes once the program/file has been found.

  Sparky3327 12:14 08 May 2003

I never knew there was so much to it!!
The one I'm considering has a 2MB cache with an average seek time of <12ms and using an IDE connection.
My current one is a couple of years old so I assume it's got similar properties to the one I'm looking at putting in, and it seems adequate.
Would I notice any difference by putting in a faster one?

  _Treb_ 12:19 08 May 2003

I use a Western Digital 80Gig HDD with 8meg cache and it runs at 7200rpm but I am interested in using video and have been told that I needed the faster driver. So I guess thar a 5400rpm is fine for everyday use. I have one of those on my old 650 Athlon and it is fine.

  DieSse 12:23 08 May 2003

In my experience you would notice a distinct difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm - and it's well worth the small extra money.

I have never seen any difference in ATA133 and ATA100 drives - HDs don't transfer data this fast anyway, on a sustained basis. A bigger cache plus ATA133 may make a difference, but I don't have any direct experience.

To use anything above ATA33, you must use an 80-wire cable, and your motherboard must have support for it.

if you are happy with a 650 athlon you'll be happy happy with 5400rpm. we dont all need ferrari's to get to work in the morning but it does pay to buy the best you can afford an extra 20% in financial terms will buy you much more than a 20% increase in capacity , bare in mind also that you're old drive probably has a forty conductor cable and you will need an 80 conductor cable if the new drive is ATA66 or above.
to cut a long story short my advice is to think toward the future not the past, buy the 7200rpm model

  Paranoid Android 12:58 08 May 2003


  MartinT-B 13:11 08 May 2003

I'd get the faster if you can afford it.

As _Teb_ says, he needs a faster one for video editing, and you might want to try that out at some point. A Good HDD should last a few years of normal use.

I have the same HDD as _Treb_, Western Digital Caviar 80GB 7200rpm with 8MB Cache, and during normal use (after booting) my HDD LED barely flashes, so I know that the info is coming off of it preety quickly. It cost me £77.00 + VAT. WD are one of the few manufacturers who make HDD up to 240GB! Two of those and you'd be able to edit Star Wars :)

  Sparky3327 13:27 08 May 2003

Thanks to everybody, 7200 it is then!!

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