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Swapping to a faster HDD...

Discussion in 'Notebooks' started by ~misfit~, May 13, 2010.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    A week or two back I mentioned that I routinely replace my laptop HDDs with
    7,200 rpm models and I was asked if it made much of a difference. Alas,
    t'was a huge post and I checked it when I didn't have time to write an
    extensive reply and now it's lost to me...

    Yes, I find it makes a big difference. The machine is far more responsive
    and startup /shutdown times are quicker. I've been working with T60
    ThinkPads recently, most of which come standard with an Hitachi 5,400 rpm
    drive. My replacement drive of preference is a Seagate Momentus 7200.4
    320GB. This T60 is running XP Pro and actually came with a 100GB Hitachi
    7,200 rpm drive. It's a high-spec T60. However swapping to a 7200.4 still
    made a noticable difference. Perhaps the 16MB buffer is part of that? I've
    also noticed that the HDD temps are about on par with each other.

    Anyway, I just swapped another T60 5,400 rpm Hitachi HDD for a Seagate
    7200.4 and, as it's running Windows 7 Ultimate I now have some 'hard data'
    in the form of Microsoft's 'Windows Experience Index' benchmarks that I can
    post.

    With the 60GB (in this case) faultless (according to Hard Disk Sentinel)
    Hitachi 5,400 rpm HDD fitted and a new install of 7 Ult. the WEI HDD score
    was 4.3. I cloned the install onto a 50GB partition on a new 320GB Seagate
    Momentus 7200.4 and re-ran the WEI. This time the HDD score was 5.9.

    So, up from 4.3 to 5.9, quite a big jump, which bears out my experience of
    the improved usability and responsiveness of going to a (Seagate 7200.4 in
    particular) 7,200 rpm HDD.

    The latest gen SSDs are even better (but not as much when it comes to using
    them as the raw data would indicate according to what I've been hearing) but
    at the prices and capacities currently available not a realistic option (at
    least for me). When I can get a nice 15" T60 with a C2D and FlexView IPS
    screen for less than twice what a 128GB SSD would cost me I'd rather buy
    another T60 for spares (as they were the zenith of laptop design and
    functionality IMO) or whatever than buy an SSD.

    Maybe next year, or the year after, when I'm sure my T60s will still be
    running fine and doing all that I ask of them. For now going from a 5,400
    rpm HDD to a 7,200 rpm [mechanical] HDD remains the most cost-effective and
    noticably faster upgrade for a laptop IMO. The 'old' 5,400 rpm units get put
    into external enclosures here (or UltraBay adapters) to be used as data
    drives where their relative slowness isn't such an issue.

    HTH,
    --
    Shaun.

    "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
     
  2. RnR

    RnR Flightless Bird

    On Fri, 14 May 2010 11:10:50 +1200, "~misfit~"
    <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:

    >A week or two back I mentioned that I routinely replace my laptop HDDs with
    >7,200 rpm models and I was asked if it made much of a difference. Alas,
    >t'was a huge post and I checked it when I didn't have time to write an
    >extensive reply and now it's lost to me...
    >
    >Yes, I find it makes a big difference. The machine is far more responsive
    >and startup /shutdown times are quicker. I've been working with T60
    >ThinkPads recently, most of which come standard with an Hitachi 5,400 rpm
    >drive. My replacement drive of preference is a Seagate Momentus 7200.4
    >320GB. This T60 is running XP Pro and actually came with a 100GB Hitachi
    >7,200 rpm drive. It's a high-spec T60. However swapping to a 7200.4 still
    >made a noticable difference. Perhaps the 16MB buffer is part of that? I've
    >also noticed that the HDD temps are about on par with each other.
    >
    >Anyway, I just swapped another T60 5,400 rpm Hitachi HDD for a Seagate
    >7200.4 and, as it's running Windows 7 Ultimate I now have some 'hard data'
    >in the form of Microsoft's 'Windows Experience Index' benchmarks that I can
    >post.
    >
    >With the 60GB (in this case) faultless (according to Hard Disk Sentinel)
    >Hitachi 5,400 rpm HDD fitted and a new install of 7 Ult. the WEI HDD score
    >was 4.3. I cloned the install onto a 50GB partition on a new 320GB Seagate
    >Momentus 7200.4 and re-ran the WEI. This time the HDD score was 5.9.
    >
    >So, up from 4.3 to 5.9, quite a big jump, which bears out my experience of
    >the improved usability and responsiveness of going to a (Seagate 7200.4 in
    >particular) 7,200 rpm HDD.
    >
    >The latest gen SSDs are even better (but not as much when it comes to using
    >them as the raw data would indicate according to what I've been hearing) but
    >at the prices and capacities currently available not a realistic option (at
    >least for me). When I can get a nice 15" T60 with a C2D and FlexView IPS
    >screen for less than twice what a 128GB SSD would cost me I'd rather buy
    >another T60 for spares (as they were the zenith of laptop design and
    >functionality IMO) or whatever than buy an SSD.
    >
    >Maybe next year, or the year after, when I'm sure my T60s will still be
    >running fine and doing all that I ask of them. For now going from a 5,400
    >rpm HDD to a 7,200 rpm [mechanical] HDD remains the most cost-effective and
    >noticably faster upgrade for a laptop IMO. The 'old' 5,400 rpm units get put
    >into external enclosures here (or UltraBay adapters) to be used as data
    >drives where their relative slowness isn't such an issue.
    >
    >HTH,



    I've also bumped up my laptop HD to 7200 but I can't say I noticed as
    big an increase as you but I did notice it. I don't do benchmarks
    because it's like statistics. They can be very misleading or
    deceiving. To be honest, depending on what apps you run will
    determine how noticeable the speed increase is. Of course whether
    noticed or not, the drive will be faster and I agree that the boot up
    time, etc.. will be faster.

    One thing tho you didn't mention is that the 7200's run hotter
    because of the faster speeds so that may or may not need to be
    considered.
     
  3. John Doue

    John Doue Flightless Bird

    On 5/19/2010 3:22 PM, RnR wrote:
    > On Fri, 14 May 2010 11:10:50 +1200, "~misfit~"
    > <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:
    >
    >> A week or two back I mentioned that I routinely replace my laptop HDDs with
    >> 7,200 rpm models and I was asked if it made much of a difference. Alas,
    >> t'was a huge post and I checked it when I didn't have time to write an
    >> extensive reply and now it's lost to me...
    >>
    >> Yes, I find it makes a big difference. The machine is far more responsive
    >> and startup /shutdown times are quicker. I've been working with T60
    >> ThinkPads recently, most of which come standard with an Hitachi 5,400 rpm
    >> drive. My replacement drive of preference is a Seagate Momentus 7200.4
    >> 320GB. This T60 is running XP Pro and actually came with a 100GB Hitachi
    >> 7,200 rpm drive. It's a high-spec T60. However swapping to a 7200.4 still
    >> made a noticable difference. Perhaps the 16MB buffer is part of that? I've
    >> also noticed that the HDD temps are about on par with each other.
    >>
    >> Anyway, I just swapped another T60 5,400 rpm Hitachi HDD for a Seagate
    >> 7200.4 and, as it's running Windows 7 Ultimate I now have some 'hard data'
    >> in the form of Microsoft's 'Windows Experience Index' benchmarks that I can
    >> post.
    >>
    >> With the 60GB (in this case) faultless (according to Hard Disk Sentinel)
    >> Hitachi 5,400 rpm HDD fitted and a new install of 7 Ult. the WEI HDD score
    >> was 4.3. I cloned the install onto a 50GB partition on a new 320GB Seagate
    >> Momentus 7200.4 and re-ran the WEI. This time the HDD score was 5.9.
    >>
    >> So, up from 4.3 to 5.9, quite a big jump, which bears out my experience of
    >> the improved usability and responsiveness of going to a (Seagate 7200.4 in
    >> particular) 7,200 rpm HDD.
    >>
    >> The latest gen SSDs are even better (but not as much when it comes to using
    >> them as the raw data would indicate according to what I've been hearing) but
    >> at the prices and capacities currently available not a realistic option (at
    >> least for me). When I can get a nice 15" T60 with a C2D and FlexView IPS
    >> screen for less than twice what a 128GB SSD would cost me I'd rather buy
    >> another T60 for spares (as they were the zenith of laptop design and
    >> functionality IMO) or whatever than buy an SSD.
    >>
    >> Maybe next year, or the year after, when I'm sure my T60s will still be
    >> running fine and doing all that I ask of them. For now going from a 5,400
    >> rpm HDD to a 7,200 rpm [mechanical] HDD remains the most cost-effective and
    >> noticably faster upgrade for a laptop IMO. The 'old' 5,400 rpm units get put
    >> into external enclosures here (or UltraBay adapters) to be used as data
    >> drives where their relative slowness isn't such an issue.
    >>
    >> HTH,

    >
    >
    > I've also bumped up my laptop HD to 7200 but I can't say I noticed as
    > big an increase as you but I did notice it. I don't do benchmarks
    > because it's like statistics. They can be very misleading or
    > deceiving. To be honest, depending on what apps you run will
    > determine how noticeable the speed increase is. Of course whether
    > noticed or not, the drive will be faster and I agree that the boot up
    > time, etc.. will be faster.
    >
    > One thing tho you didn't mention is that the 7200's run hotter
    > because of the faster speeds so that may or may not need to be
    > considered.


    Although your assertion about heat seems, on the surface (pun intended),
    to be warranted, I am not sure there will be a noticeable difference, if
    one at all.

    One thing I would mention though, is the vibration issue. Depending on
    the drive and the way it is mounted in the laptop, I have found
    vibrations in the wrist rest can be noticed, and that would be, at least
    for me, a no-no.

    Bottom-line: the cost of a new HD being fairly reasonable, I would try
    and see if I like it. The performance difference, I am not sure I would
    notice; it would be there, most probably, but in every day's use, I do
    not think it is important enough to justify, by itself, a purchase.

    --
    John Doue
     
  4. RnR

    RnR Flightless Bird

    On Wed, 19 May 2010 18:00:01 +0300, John Doue <notwobe@yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >On 5/19/2010 3:22 PM, RnR wrote:
    >> On Fri, 14 May 2010 11:10:50 +1200, "~misfit~"
    >> <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:
    >>
    >>> A week or two back I mentioned that I routinely replace my laptop HDDs with
    >>> 7,200 rpm models and I was asked if it made much of a difference. Alas,
    >>> t'was a huge post and I checked it when I didn't have time to write an
    >>> extensive reply and now it's lost to me...
    >>>
    >>> Yes, I find it makes a big difference. The machine is far more responsive
    >>> and startup /shutdown times are quicker. I've been working with T60
    >>> ThinkPads recently, most of which come standard with an Hitachi 5,400 rpm
    >>> drive. My replacement drive of preference is a Seagate Momentus 7200.4
    >>> 320GB. This T60 is running XP Pro and actually came with a 100GB Hitachi
    >>> 7,200 rpm drive. It's a high-spec T60. However swapping to a 7200.4 still
    >>> made a noticable difference. Perhaps the 16MB buffer is part of that? I've
    >>> also noticed that the HDD temps are about on par with each other.
    >>>
    >>> Anyway, I just swapped another T60 5,400 rpm Hitachi HDD for a Seagate
    >>> 7200.4 and, as it's running Windows 7 Ultimate I now have some 'hard data'
    >>> in the form of Microsoft's 'Windows Experience Index' benchmarks that I can
    >>> post.
    >>>
    >>> With the 60GB (in this case) faultless (according to Hard Disk Sentinel)
    >>> Hitachi 5,400 rpm HDD fitted and a new install of 7 Ult. the WEI HDD score
    >>> was 4.3. I cloned the install onto a 50GB partition on a new 320GB Seagate
    >>> Momentus 7200.4 and re-ran the WEI. This time the HDD score was 5.9.
    >>>
    >>> So, up from 4.3 to 5.9, quite a big jump, which bears out my experience of
    >>> the improved usability and responsiveness of going to a (Seagate 7200.4 in
    >>> particular) 7,200 rpm HDD.
    >>>
    >>> The latest gen SSDs are even better (but not as much when it comes to using
    >>> them as the raw data would indicate according to what I've been hearing) but
    >>> at the prices and capacities currently available not a realistic option (at
    >>> least for me). When I can get a nice 15" T60 with a C2D and FlexView IPS
    >>> screen for less than twice what a 128GB SSD would cost me I'd rather buy
    >>> another T60 for spares (as they were the zenith of laptop design and
    >>> functionality IMO) or whatever than buy an SSD.
    >>>
    >>> Maybe next year, or the year after, when I'm sure my T60s will still be
    >>> running fine and doing all that I ask of them. For now going from a 5,400
    >>> rpm HDD to a 7,200 rpm [mechanical] HDD remains the most cost-effective and
    >>> noticably faster upgrade for a laptop IMO. The 'old' 5,400 rpm units get put
    >>> into external enclosures here (or UltraBay adapters) to be used as data
    >>> drives where their relative slowness isn't such an issue.
    >>>
    >>> HTH,

    >>
    >>
    >> I've also bumped up my laptop HD to 7200 but I can't say I noticed as
    >> big an increase as you but I did notice it. I don't do benchmarks
    >> because it's like statistics. They can be very misleading or
    >> deceiving. To be honest, depending on what apps you run will
    >> determine how noticeable the speed increase is. Of course whether
    >> noticed or not, the drive will be faster and I agree that the boot up
    >> time, etc.. will be faster.
    >>
    >> One thing tho you didn't mention is that the 7200's run hotter
    >> because of the faster speeds so that may or may not need to be
    >> considered.

    >
    >Although your assertion about heat seems, on the surface (pun intended),
    >to be warranted, I am not sure there will be a noticeable difference, if
    >one at all.
    >
    >One thing I would mention though, is the vibration issue. Depending on
    >the drive and the way it is mounted in the laptop, I have found
    >vibrations in the wrist rest can be noticed, and that would be, at least
    >for me, a no-no.
    >
    >Bottom-line: the cost of a new HD being fairly reasonable, I would try
    >and see if I like it. The performance difference, I am not sure I would
    >notice; it would be there, most probably, but in every day's use, I do
    >not think it is important enough to justify, by itself, a purchase.



    John, the noticeable difference in heat depends on the laptop, drive
    and I forgot, the person.

    On newegg.com similar drives (5400 vs 7200) differ by $5.00 so
    probably 7200 is worth purchasing nowadays. I expect 5400 is
    becoming a dinosaur. They used to be a much bigger difference in
    price.

    I agree with you on vibration. I guess the specs would tell all tho
    you could dampen it with wrist bands if necessary. For me, it's not
    an issue.
     
  5. Bob Villa

    Bob Villa Flightless Bird

    On May 19, 11:58 am, "RnR" <rnrte...@gmail.com> wrote:

    ....more heat...faster speed. Won't battery run-time take a hit? If
    you run on battery often...I wonder if it's worth it?!

    bob
     
  6. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Flightless Bird

    Bob Villa wrote:
    > On May 19, 11:58 am, "RnR" <rnrte...@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    > ...more heat...faster speed. Won't battery run-time take a hit? If
    > you run on battery often...I wonder if it's worth it?!
    >
    > bob
    >
    >

    Also take into consideration the sometimes irritating whine
    the high-speed disks emit.
    My second harddisk does that, and I put it to sleep after
    20 seconds inactivity.
     
  7. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Sjouke Burry wrote:
    > Bob Villa wrote:
    >> On May 19, 11:58 am, "RnR" <rnrte...@gmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> ...more heat...faster speed. Won't battery run-time take a hit? If
    >> you run on battery often...I wonder if it's worth it?!
    >>
    >> bob
    >>
    >>

    > Also take into consideration the sometimes irritating whine
    > the high-speed disks emit.
    > My second harddisk does that, and I put it to sleep after
    > 20 seconds inactivity.


    It's been my experience that modern drives are more efficient than older
    ones. I'm usually replacing an older drive with a new, faster one. In
    general 7,200rpm drives use they same power that 5,400rpm drives did two or
    three years ago. Therefore they don't run hotter *or* run your battery down
    faster.

    You can google the HDD models to find power consumption. Most manufacturers
    have downloadable PDF spec sheets. The hottest drives I've monitored have
    actually been 4,200rpm and 5,400rpm drives. I reckon it's because their
    bearings and motors aren't as efficient as newer drives.

    (I monitor all my hard drives with Hard Disk Sentinel for temperature as
    well as SMART parameters. I'm *very* particular about temps so do know what
    I'm talking about, within my own experience of upgrading ~12 laptop HDDs.)
    --
    Shaun.

    "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
     
  8. BillW50

    BillW50 Flightless Bird

    In news:ht585f$prb$1@news.eternal-september.org,
    ~misfit~ typed on Fri, 21 May 2010 18:10:50 +1200:
    > Somewhere on teh intarwebs Sjouke Burry wrote:
    >> Bob Villa wrote:
    >>> On May 19, 11:58 am, "RnR" <rnrte...@gmail.com> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> ...more heat...faster speed. Won't battery run-time take a hit? If
    >>> you run on battery often...I wonder if it's worth it?!
    >>>
    >>> bob
    >>>
    >>>

    >> Also take into consideration the sometimes irritating whine
    >> the high-speed disks emit.
    >> My second harddisk does that, and I put it to sleep after
    >> 20 seconds inactivity.

    >
    > It's been my experience that modern drives are more efficient than
    > older ones. I'm usually replacing an older drive with a new, faster
    > one. In general 7,200rpm drives use they same power that 5,400rpm
    > drives did two or three years ago. Therefore they don't run hotter
    > *or* run your battery down faster.
    >
    > You can google the HDD models to find power consumption. Most
    > manufacturers have downloadable PDF spec sheets. The hottest drives
    > I've monitored have actually been 4,200rpm and 5,400rpm drives. I
    > reckon it's because their bearings and motors aren't as efficient as
    > newer drives.
    > (I monitor all my hard drives with Hard Disk Sentinel for temperature
    > as well as SMART parameters. I'm *very* particular about temps so do
    > know what I'm talking about, within my own experience of upgrading
    > ~12 laptop HDDs.)


    I just got a newsletter yesterday from Asus that they are going to
    release a drive that will be:

    - 20% faster than a 600GB 10K-RPM SATA drive
    - 80% faster than a traditional 7200-RPM drive
    - 150% faster than a traditional 5400-RPM drive
    - Boots within 6 seconds of an SSD drive

    I don't know what it is or anything. I guess we will find out.

    On the other hand, I have upgraded slow 4200 RPM drives in laptops with
    5400 RPM drives and I see no big difference. These are all PATA drives
    though, maybe that is why. This laptop is the only one with a SATA
    drive. I never upgraded this one, but this one comes out of hibernation
    twice as fast as my PATA drives do. So Shaun, are you talking SATA or
    PATA drives?

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Windows XP SP3
     
  9. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs BillW50 wrote:
    > In news:ht585f$prb$1@news.eternal-september.org,
    > ~misfit~ typed on Fri, 21 May 2010 18:10:50 +1200:
    >> Somewhere on teh intarwebs Sjouke Burry wrote:
    >>> Bob Villa wrote:
    >>>> On May 19, 11:58 am, "RnR" <rnrte...@gmail.com> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> ...more heat...faster speed. Won't battery run-time take a hit? If you
    >>>> run on battery often...I wonder if it's worth it?!
    >>>>
    >>>> bob
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>> Also take into consideration the sometimes irritating whine
    >>> the high-speed disks emit.
    >>> My second harddisk does that, and I put it to sleep after
    >>> 20 seconds inactivity.

    >>
    >> It's been my experience that modern drives are more efficient than
    >> older ones. I'm usually replacing an older drive with a new, faster
    >> one. In general 7,200rpm drives use they same power that 5,400rpm
    >> drives did two or three years ago. Therefore they don't run hotter
    >> *or* run your battery down faster.
    >>
    >> You can google the HDD models to find power consumption. Most
    >> manufacturers have downloadable PDF spec sheets. The hottest drives
    >> I've monitored have actually been 4,200rpm and 5,400rpm drives. I
    >> reckon it's because their bearings and motors aren't as efficient as
    >> newer drives.
    >> (I monitor all my hard drives with Hard Disk Sentinel for temperature
    >> as well as SMART parameters. I'm *very* particular about temps so do
    >> know what I'm talking about, within my own experience of upgrading
    >> ~12 laptop HDDs.)

    >
    > I just got a newsletter yesterday from Asus that they are going to
    > release a drive that will be:
    >
    > - 20% faster than a 600GB 10K-RPM SATA drive
    > - 80% faster than a traditional 7200-RPM drive
    > - 150% faster than a traditional 5400-RPM drive
    > - Boots within 6 seconds of an SSD drive
    >
    > I don't know what it is or anything. I guess we will find out.


    I'd say that it's a hybrid SSD / mechanical.

    > On the other hand, I have upgraded slow 4200 RPM drives in laptops
    > with 5400 RPM drives and I see no big difference. These are all PATA
    > drives though, maybe that is why. This laptop is the only one with a
    > SATA drive. I never upgraded this one, but this one comes out of
    > hibernation twice as fast as my PATA drives do. So Shaun, are you
    > talking SATA or PATA drives?


    Both actually although I can no longer find a local source of 7,200rpm PATA
    drives. :-( I agree though, the difference is more noticable with a SATA
    interface.
    --
    Shaun.

    "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
     

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