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Hard Drive Replacement

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by j723n91, Nov 25, 2011.

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  1. j723n91

    j723n91 Thread Starter

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    I wanted to get a ASUS G53SX series or ASUS A53SV series laptop. All the specs looked real good but the hard drive only runs at 5400rpm.
    I was wondering if ASUS laptops could have the hard drive easily replaced so I can grab a 7200rpm hard drive at a cheap price and replace it.
    If so, what "numbers" for the new hard drive do I needa concentrate on besides the RPM and the GB.
     
  2. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    "Cheap" hard drives are pretty much a contradiction in terms right now, but you might want to look at these drives, just as a sample. The things to think about before you get into this project are whether the slight gain in performance is worth some reduced battery life, and Number 2, the big one, do you have everything you would need to either clone the drive, or do a clean installation of Windows and any software you need. If your budget can handle it, you would be much ahead to buy a SSD. You would get even better performance and lower power consumption.

    Performance issues you might want to consider in HDDs are cache size, latency, and read/write performance, but you aren't going to find much variance in a given price range.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    With OEM systems, you can't be guaranteed that the OS will even work or activate on a new drive, especially if it is a different size. Better check with Asus about what drivers will work unless you have a retail copy of Windows instead.
     
  4. j723n91

    j723n91 Thread Starter

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    so does the 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm not make a difference?
    cause spending about 100 bucks is okay with me but i saw solid state drives cost quite a bit, especially with their lower amount of space
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Speed of revolution alone does not make a drive faster. Seek times and other specs of the drive are more important.

    SSD's are much faster, but another drive, internal or external, is really needed because of their small size.
     
  6. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    The difference in spindle speed does make a difference, and in fact most of the other performance indicators for hard drives are linked to it. With the exception of cache memory on the drive, read/write performance and latency are mostly functions of rotational speed.

    My personal view is that moving from a 5400 rpm drive to a 7200 rpm drive isn't really going to rock your world, and may be more hassle than it is worth. But that depends in part on the apps you run. For a lot of basic stuff, it really won't matter much. And, there's that reduced battery life issue.

    SSDs are very expensive, but worth it. The lower capacity can be an issue, but you also need to ask yourself "how much capacity do I need for programs and files, and how much of my videos, music, or whatever can I keep on an external drive?" In other words, just because an internal HDD may have more capacity than an SSD, doesn't mean you need it. Since you should have some kind of backup plan, it just makes sense to keep seldom used data on the backup drive to begin with.

    I guess if I attempted to prioritize your budget (without know what hardware you have) I would get an external hard drive for backup before anything else, then shoot for a SSD, and just give the 7200 rpm drives a pass.
     
  7. j723n91

    j723n91 Thread Starter

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    oh okay. so when does the rpm matter significantly? for example, when i run more programs? or bigger programs? or something else?
     
  8. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    Faster drive performance is going to matter in terms of how long a program takes to load, and how long it takes to load data files, primarily. If you're talking about MS Word, for instance, the differential to load the program might only be a second or two between HDDs. The difference in time loading a typical word processing file would be negligible for most drives.
     
  9. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    RPM is the dominant factor in how long the drive has to wait before beginning to load a file. The head moves to the desired track, then has to wait for the desired data to come under it as the platter spins. A 7200 RPM drive will, on the average, wait 1/3 less time than a 5400 RPM drive will wait.

    This becomes a significant issue when you have an application that is constantly accessing data which is not and cannot be sequential on the drive, or when you are loading a file or program that is substantially fragmented.

    The average latency of a 5400 RPM drive will be 5.6 ms. For a 7200 RPM drive, it is 4.2 ms. For a 10000 RPM drive it is 3 ms, and for a 15000 RPM drive it is 2 ms.
     
  10. j723n91

    j723n91 Thread Starter

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    ohhh are there any common apps that constantly accesses data that I would know of or probably use?
     
  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    IMO you are WAY over thinking this AND there are some other things to consider;
    1 Unless you have asus install the drive [which they probably will not do] you void your warranty on the laptop
    2 Those laptops run pretty warm to begin with AND if you have a drive generating more heat, it only makes matters worse.
    3 Decreased battery life has already been mentioned
    4 Unless you clone the existing drive to the new drive, you will need to clean install the os. Since it most likely does not ship with restore DVDs, you may need to purchase a new copy of windows.

    In short unless the higher rpm drive is an option from asus, leave it alone OR buy a laptop that meets your expectations.
     
  12. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    For myself, I certainly would not bother replacing a 5400 RPM drive in a laptop with a 7200 RPM drive just to get the lower latency. Waaaayyyy too much hassle for only a slight improvement in performance.

    However, the comments about the faster drive requiring more power with consequent negative implications seem overstated. I will point, for instance, to the Seagate Momentus line which is available in both 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM versions. A careful read of the power specifications show that the 7200 RPM model consumes roughly 0.5-0.6 watts more than the 5400 RPM model when actively seeking, reading, and writing, and about 0.15 W more when idle. Overall power requirements are maximized when seeking and are shown as 2.5 W for the 7200 RPM version and 1.9 W for the 5400 RPM version. These are not big numbers, particularly compared to new drives of just a few years ago.

    Given these kinds of numbers, I for one would not consider relative power consumption at all when considering a new drive, unless my power limitations were unusually demanding.
     
  13. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    I would agree that the power difference isn't huge, but neither is the performance difference between 5400 and 7200 rpm drives. Though I'm pretty certain that we can all agree that a SSD is really the only significant upgrade in drive performance.
     
  14. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

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    crjdriver makes a significant point. Frequently, improvements in performance aren't noticeable at the user level. And it's important to keep that in mind. A faster drive might save a few seconds a day, but replacing the stock drive is likely to take hours and cost more than what most users would expect. One of the lessons I've learned from nearly 30 years of computer ownership, it that most performance improvements are over-hyped. Still, if you can afford a SSD, and you are aware of the migration hassles and can deal with them, I'd do it. Otherwise, moving from a 5400 rpm drive to a 7200 isn't worth the hassle.
     
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