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Windows 7: Laptop users (including Netbooks) upgrade to 7400 RPM HDD's

12 Nov 2010   #1

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 
Laptop users (including Netbooks) upgrade to 7200 RPM HDD's

Hi all
you can swap the normally small HDD installed in a laptop for a 320GB or 500 GB 7200 RPM drive really easily and cheaply.

Current cost is around 60 USD.

The speed performance improvement you will see in your laptop will amaze you -- 7400 RPM disks obviously not as fast as SSD's but are still SIGNIFICANTLY better than the standard 100/120/160 GB 5400 rpm hdd's installed in most laptops by default.

Changing a laptop HDD is actually normally EXTREMELY EASY-- although make sure you can restore your image to the new laptop disk --use your backups bootable media to restore an image from an external USB HDD --acronis is good here but any proper imaging / backup program should work providing you can boot the recovery software.

Incidentally it's also worth upping the RAM too if you can get at the RAM modules easily enough --2GB laptop RAM modules are also cheap now.


Cheers
jimbo

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12 Nov 2010   #2
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I recently swapped the HDD on a 2007 HP laptop for an Intel 80GB SSD. The speed gain is amazing although my main motivation was a heat problem - and that got fixed too. The laptop runs a lot cooler now.
My wife uses that system and she does not have a lot of data. So the 80GBs work out well.
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12 Nov 2010   #3

 

It takes about one minute to replace a laptop HDD after a few years of practice. I've done it thousands of times. A cheap #1 Phillips screwdriver works for just about anything except a Mac, in which case you need tweezers, a magnifying glass, hands half the size of mine and a #0 Phillips.. but for everyone who has enough sense not to waste their money on a MacBook ..unless you have a laptop with thermal problems, upgrading to a new 7200 rpm HDD will cut the time it takes to start windows and load programs by as much as half, depending on the age and brand of the HDD being replaced, if the rest of the hardware is good. If you have a HP DV3, DV4, DV5 with discrete graphics, any 14 or 15" Toshiba satellite, any Dell studio or Inspiron with discrete graphics (17" excepted), or any other laptop with a bad thermal design, I do NOT recommend installing a 7200 rpm drive.
10000 rpm 2.5" HDDs are also available... and are significantly faster than 7200 rpm HDDs... but also significantly more expensive
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12 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

I upgraded the stock SSD to a faster SSD in my netbook last year as well as upping it to 2GB.
Made a nice improvement.
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12 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yeah, I use a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop at work and these come with 7,200RPM Seagate 160GB drives....and my laptop performance has always been more than satisfactory. And the drive is essentially silent...which I really appreciate.
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12 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Not to throw TOO much cold water on the idea but a 7200 or 10k RPM HD in a laptop DOES cause some issues.

It will shorten battery life, and it will increase heat output. It takes more energy to maintain those rates and ois the main reason why 5200 rpm (or slower) drives are used, to lengthen battery life and reduce heat build up.

Now an SSD will be 10x faster still, use 1/10th the power and puts out 1/10th the heat. So if your serious about giving your laptop a boost, and don't otherwise actually NEED 500gig of space with you at all times, ssd all the way
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12 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I think in theory the SSD saves lots of power and keeps your battery going...but I think in real life scenarios it doesn't actually make that much difference at all.

I know that my Dell lasts over 5 hours on battery...but then again....i have the 9 cell extended battery as well.
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12 Nov 2010   #8

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fseal View Post
Not to throw TOO much cold water on the idea but a 7200 or 10k RPM HD in a laptop DOES cause some issues.

It will shorten battery life, and it will increase heat output. It takes more energy to maintain those rates and ois the main reason why 5200 rpm (or slower) drives are used, to lengthen battery life and reduce heat build up.

Now an SSD will be 10x faster still, use 1/10th the power and puts out 1/10th the heat. So if your serious about giving your laptop a boost, and don't otherwise actually NEED 500gig of space with you at all times, ssd all the way

Hi there
Not Significantly -- especially if you don't run the laptop on battery all the time or don't have continous disk access while working

The Hitachi 7200 drives (I think I said 7400 in the post --typo) run at 5V 800ma
the standard 5400 rpm run at 5V 700 ma.

If you have a decent laptop battery the extra current consumption is not that significant compared with the improvement you get in performance.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2010   #9

 

I use 7200rpm WD scorpios.. 500ma during R/W, 90ma when idle. I get about 5 hours from a 6 cell battery in an ancient dell D620.. and BTW.. SSDs are fast, but they are NOT 10x faster than a 2.5" 7200 RPM HDD in anything other than a benchmark test. At best an OCZ Vertex is maybe twice as fast as the $45 HDD in the machine I'm using right now, and probably slower at multitasking. I know this because I've tried it, pulled the SSD out and went back to a spinning HDD
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12 Nov 2010   #10
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fseal View Post
Not to throw TOO much cold water on the idea but a 7200 or 10k RPM HD in a laptop DOES cause some issues.

It will shorten battery life, and it will increase heat output. It takes more energy to maintain those rates and ois the main reason why 5200 rpm (or slower) drives are used, to lengthen battery life and reduce heat build up.

Now an SSD will be 10x faster still, use 1/10th the power and puts out 1/10th the heat. So if your serious about giving your laptop a boost, and don't otherwise actually NEED 500gig of space with you at all times, ssd all the way
That is my experience too. If you do not have masses of data, an 80GB SSD is the way to go.
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