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5400RPM vs 7200RPM

Is the speed difference between a 5400 and 7200 speed drive really make a difference? I don't do any video editing. I am not that concerned with boot times as I leave my computer in sleep mode the majority of the time.

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As you alluded to, it makes a difference if you use the machine for functions which benefit from it. I do digital audio recording, for example, and having a faster drive allows for more tracks to be recorded at once. While it's not a night and day difference, it will make the computer slightly quicker all around, so it's never a bad thing to have a faster drive, but you must weigh the ability to have a huge slower drive vs a smaller faster one. If you have, for example, a 300GB iTunes library that you want to carry around, and, like you said, you don't do any video editing or other similar media production, then a larger 5400RPM drive might be a better choice.

Another side note -- assuming you have a Core 2 Duo, don't overlook the performance increase that you will get by upgrading to 4GB of RAM if you haven't already. It's cheap and easy to do, and in most cases gives a nice speed bump. I've seen lots of people with high-end Pros running PhotoShop who only have 2GB RAM, which is silly because they are overlooking a great way to get better performance.

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We upgraded my wife's hard drive. We had already maxed out the RAM on her MacBook so I got her a new hard drive and she noticed right away that her programs were loading faster. The main reason we did the upgrade was for space but the speed upgrade was really nice. I'd say go for it and do both a speed and a space upgrade.

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Thank you. I really appreciate the quick response and advice.

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I upgraded a Macbook from the stock 4200 rpm drive to a 7200 rpm drive and the speed bump felt very real and very nice. I wasn't doing video editing, either. But I did have a big iPhoto library that seemed to be more manageable after the upgrade.

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Same experience after a 7200 rpm HD swap in a MacBook Pro 2.26Ghz unibody. You can notice a speed increase but also a temperature increase.

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