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a laptop configuration question
Old 11-10-2005, 02:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm looking at buying a laptop, and wonder if anyone can tell me from first-hand knowledge, if they can tell the difference between a 4200rpm and 5400rpm hard drive. I pretty much know what else I want, but I have heard that for opening large files and burning CDs & DVDs, accessing the drive quickly is important (makes sense) and that you can really tell the difference between the two, assumimg a decent amount of RAM.

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Andy Pearlman
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Re: a laptop configuration question
Old 11-10-2005, 02:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say yes...I don't have experience with any 4200 drives, but most of the drives I hve are 7200rpm and they are definetly faster than the 5200 ones. I say get as fast a drive as you can.
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Re: a laptop configuration question
Old 11-10-2005, 03:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've used both on different laptops. There is about a 10 to 15% difference in access speed and a little less difference for sustained transfer of data. In general I've found most laptop hard drives to be a bit slow compared to a full size drive at 7200 on a desktop. Naturally the faster and larger the hard drive the more battery power it takes to drive it. So its a trade off to have the slower hard drive, but longer battery life.

I have a 2 year old HP laptop with 60gb drive at 4200. It is quite slow when working with files in Photoshop. But since I use the laptop mainly for copying CF cards of photos onto the laptop for temporary storage, and/or for showing the model some quick results of a shoot, I don't find speed a major issue.

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rfs
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Re: a laptop configuration question
Old 11-10-2005, 03:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Try to go for a 7200 rpm hd. That's what I have on my desktop (I just need a processor that can handle it - I have a P3 at 500mhz.) The benefit of having a faster hard drive with regards of rpm's is that it searches faster and opens the files faster. Just make sure that your processor can handle it, but if your comp is at least 1 ghz, you'll actually get the benifits.

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I have those on my desktops....
Old 11-10-2005, 04:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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...but I don't they make 7200rpm drives for laptops, at least not for consumer priced machines. 5400 is the fastest I've seen.

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Andy Pearlman
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that\'s what I\'m doing
Old 11-10-2005, 04:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]

I have a 2 year old HP laptop with 60gb drive at 4200. It is quite slow when working with files in Photoshop. But since I use the laptop mainly for copying CF cards of photos onto the laptop for temporary storage, and/or for showing the model some quick results of a shoot, I don't find speed a major issue.

cheers,
rfs


[/ QUOTE ]

That's mainly what I'm doing - copying from CF cards, copying from/to external drives, and burning to DVDs. Also the occaisional image check, and also some workflow stuff like re-sizing, renaming, rearranging folders, thumbnails, etc. I'm not even planning on putting PS on that machine (I've used up my two licenses), since I'll use ThumbsPlus for all of the above. The question is, with only 4200rpm, will I be tearing my hair out waiting for these operations? Any idea how long it takes to copy a 1gb CF card, or burn a full CD on a 4200rpm machine?

(BTW, I've been looking at an HP w/ 80gb 5400rpm, and 1gb RAM, with a 1.86 Centrino processor. Seems like overkill for housekeeping I think, but I tend to be impatient).

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Andy Pearlman
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Re: a laptop configuration question
Old 11-10-2005, 04:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My experience with 4200 rpm drives is on older slower laptops to begin with, but upon upgrading to 5400 rpm drives, I noticed a BIG difference in speed in everything that was very much disk related.

In reading the rest of your posts, it seems like if you're going to be burning cds and dvds that you'd do better to have a speedier system foundation - faster drive, faster proc (and system bus), more ram...I can't tell you average burn speeds on Windows systems off hand, but it seems like in order to have fewer "coasters" due to buffer underruns, it's better to have a little more than necesary rather than just barely enough...
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Re: a laptop configuration question
Old 11-10-2005, 07:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I will have to say in todays market faster is better. When purchasing new equipment, even if its for "housekeeping", why would you sacrafice future speed needs? Since its a laptop your ability to upgrade hardware in the future is limited and costly. To save a few bucks now, may cost your alot of performance in the future. 4200rpm's is really slow and kind of dated even 5200rpms is slow compared to todays 10000rpm SATA drives on desktops.

Drive speed is a huge factor and can be the bottleneck on a machine, next would be bus speed, then memory. I would suggest putting the extra money down on the faster drive speed thereby giving your laptop a longer and more useful life. If a couple hundred dollars stood between me buying a used Camry and a newer model Lexus, I believe I would spend the extra dough just to ensure a better future return. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Just my experienced .02
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Re: that\'s what I\'m doing
Old 11-10-2005, 08:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Photogs with your talent should not be wasting time on waiting for a hard drive to read or write. Get the fastest you can find and afford. The size of images continues to grow and you will be thankful 18-24 months from now.

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Re: what I\'m doing
Old 11-10-2005, 09:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Andy,
It will be about 15% faster for seek times and 10% for write times depending on a lot of other factors. Think that 10 sec job now takes 8 seconds. That four minute transfer now takes three and a half minutes. And lots of other factors can form bottlenecks, like USB thru-put. With windows and its virtual memory system, a faster harddrive can improve the entire system's apparent speed. and 10% is 10% would you like a 10% raise? The differences are kind of subjective.

Get the fastest you can afford, time(and agravation) is money.

ddc

 
 
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