Tuesday, February 23, 2010

7200 RPM Laptop/Notebook Hard Drives

Over the past few years 2.5" hard drives for laptop/notebook computers have greatly improved, to the point where they are now comparable in performance to most 3.5" desktop hard drives while still being quiet, cool and thrifty on power.

That improvement has been made possible by (a) increases in recording density (the amount of data squeezed on a disk platter) that translate into corresponding increases in transfer performance; (b) increased performance of the SATA interface, now 3 Gb/s; and (c) faster 7200 RPM drives that increase transfer performance and reduce latency (delays) over slower rotation drives.

Each generation is faster than the last. It's important to get the latest generation, and since each generation is offered in a variety of capacities, it can be hard to figure out which generation is which. 160 GB 7200 RPM, for example, is available from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in 3rd (Travelstar 7K200), 4th (Travelstar 7K320), and 5th (Travelstar 7K500) generation versions, identified only by model number.

In addition to generation, similar drives from different manufacturers have significant differences in performance due to differences in technology, including architecture and on-board control firmware. Different brands are not the same!

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See Also SSD or 7200 RPM Hard Drive?

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