External Hard Drive, 5400 vs 7200 RPM

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jeyges

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I'm looking at two external hard drives:

WD My Passport Ultra, 1TB, 5,400 rpm, 4.33 x 3.21 x 0.62

G-Tech G-Drive slim, 500GB, 7,200 rpm, 5.08 x 3.23 x 0.39

I understand that transfer rate is a function not merely of rotational speed, but of platter density as well, which is affected by platter size as well as capacity. I'd ordinarily assume the platters were the same size in devices in this category, but as the G-Tech is significantly slimmer than the WD, I don't know if this also affects platter density, or if it simply means the housing has less shock-absorbing capability.

Given the differences in specs, will the G-Drive be significantly faster than the WD? I'd be using it for backup and occasional transportation of files. (Also, opinions concerning build quality, reliability of brand, quality of tech support, etc. would be appreciated. I have no experience with G-Tech).

I should also mention that I use a MacBook Pro, but I also run Windows 8.1 in Parallels Desktop, and they share a file system, so I don't really care if I backup from The Windows side or the OS X side.

Thank you.

Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.4
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Enterprise, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4258U CPU @ 2.40GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 69 Stepping 1
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 4095 Mb
Graphics Card: Parallels Display Adapter (WDDM), 512 Mb
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Motherboard: Parallels Software International Inc., Parallels Virtual Platform
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crjdriver

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43,855
If you want build quality, then neither. Go with an external housing using a cooling fan. Install a high end drive like a WD black series. This combo is almost bullet proof. I have been using something like this for approx 6yrs as network storage/file backup. Used everyday; no problems at all.

Just a side note. External drives are NOT designed for continuous duty. They are designed to switch ON and make a backup then OFF. Using an enclosure with a fan allows for extended use of the drive.
Here is an example of an enclosure with a fan. Mate this with a WD black drive and you have something that will outlast your computer;
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182247
As for speed 5400 vs 7200, you will still be limited by the usb interface so I doubt it would matter.
 
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jeyges

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
33
If you want build quality, then neither. Go with an external housing using a cooling fan. Install a high end drive like a WD black series. This combo is almost bullet proof. I have been using something like this for approx 6yrs as network storage/file backup. Used everyday; no problems at all.

Just a side note. External drives are NOT designed for continuous duty. They are designed to switch ON and make a backup then OFF. Using an enclosure with a fan allows for extended use of the drive.
Here is an example of an enclosure with a fan. Mate this with a WD black drive and you have something that will outlast your computer;
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182247
As for speed 5400 vs 7200, you will still be limited by the usb interface so I doubt it would matter.
Thank you, but it isn't for continuous use, I absolutely don't want to go through all of that bother, and the USB interface won't hinder an increase in transfer rate, if the 7,200 rpm drive would in fact be faster. It would be more a function of platter density.
 

crjdriver

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You do not post whether you are using usb 2 or usb 3. I assume usb3. In any case, you are still going to be limited by usb transfer speed NOT plater density. In real world use, usb3 is appox 80~100mb transfer speed; usb2 approx 40mb.
As I said, I would purchase neither example you posted. I would build my own external however that is up to you.
 

Noyb

Jay
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The WD Black series HDDs have a 5 year warranty .. (They're built better ... and always my first choice)
But a 7200 rpm draws more power than a 5200rpm...
and a SSD draws the least power.
It the external enclosure is not externally powered from the line ...
It might require connecting two USB ports to power a 7200 rpm.
This slim external has a Samsung SSD in it ... and only needs one USB connected for the power.
 

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