TR Forum Tidings: Laptop hard drive speeds

Despite the increase in the popularity of notebooks with solid-state drives we've seen over the past few months, mechanical hard drives are still very much the standard. However, when picking out new laptops, users are often faced with the choice of drives with 4,200RPM, 5,400RPM, and 7,200RPM spindle speeds. That's the case with TR forum gerbil Hockster, who posted in our Storage forum yesterday morning to ask for a hand in selecting a hard drive for a Dell XPS M1530.

The first responses are predictable, with other gerbils pointing out that higher speeds lead to greater performance but also shorter battery life. That said, Hockster seems to more curious about whether the jump in performance from going to 7200RPM is worth the reduced mobility, and whether the performance increase and battery life decrease are significant at all. To answer that question, Spyder22446688 quotes fellow gerbil Usacomp2k3 as saying the drop in battery life from the speedier drive is only a few minutes per hour. Of course, questions about the 7,200RPM drives' lower capacity and higher cost also come into play.

What's your take on all this? Do you favor larger, slower drives or do you think making the jump to 7,200RPM is worth it? Feel free to contribute to the thread with your input. As always, you'll want to register a forum account first.

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