Posts: 11
Member Since: ‎12-31-2010
Message 1 of 5 (3,284 Views)
Accepted Solution

7200 RPM v 5200 RPM

Hello - I'm debating whether to buy an Envy 17 with an I7 quad processor or a DV7 with an I5 processor. My quandry is this - the Envy seems to have everything I want except that it has a 5200 RPM hard drive whereas the DV7 has a 7200 RPM hard drive. The prices are comparable but the Envy has more memory and a bigger hard drive. I don't know if the extra speed of the 7200 is worth passing on the Envy and buying the DV7 instead. I use a notebook mainly for entertainment and also business-relateed software (Microsoft Office). Can someone please give me their ideas...Googled this question and got mixed answers. Thanks!

Posts: 19
Member Since: ‎02-16-2011
Message 2 of 5 (3,258 Views)

Re: 7200 RPM v 5200 RPM

It pretty much depends on the hard drive model fitted on that Envy. For instance, there are single-platter 5400rpm hard drives that are faster than some double-platter 7200rpm hard drives.


As a rule of thumb, usually 5400rpm have the better ratio of performance/noise/power consumption/heat produced.

7200rpm are usually (marginally) faster than the 5400rpm versions, but at the cost of added noise, vibration, heat and power consumption.


In the end I will pitch you this perspective: A hard drive is a very easy to replace component and it is usually pretty cheap if you look around for the right places. You can change a hard drive any time you want... but replacing a CPU is not that easy, often times it's not even possible and it usually involves taking way too many risks to do it.


That’s why if I had your dilemma I would go for the better CPU. It’s not likely you are going to be bothered by the 5400rpm drive, but if you are you can always upgrade. Who knows, maybe SSD will some time become cheaper (and you would have the perfect excuse then :smileywink: )

Posts: 11
Member Since: ‎12-31-2010
Message 3 of 5 (3,250 Views)

Re: 7200 RPM v 5200 RPM

Thanks for the quick AND detailed reply...your opinion pretty much matches the way I was leaning. Thanks again!

Posts: 21,259
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 4 of 5 (3,051 Views)

Re: 7200 RPM v 5200 RPM



The above answer on 5400 RPM hard drive verses 7200 hard drives is not technically qualified.


If the arial density (bits per square cm) are the same then the 7200 RPM drive will always be faster. Why?  Rotational delays are less with the 7200 RPM hard drive. And, if the arial density is the same then a multiple platter hard drive whether verses a single platter will be faster as there is reduced seek times due to not having to move the armature (read write heads) as often.  Multi-track read and write commands don't require an armature movement for data contained with the same cylinder (a set of tracks associated vertically) on multi-platter hard drives giving the mutli-platter hard drive another advantage.


In modern data centers you will not find many 5400 RPM hard drives because they are too slow. Most of the hard drives are 10,000 or 15,000 RPM hard drives. Even then these fast hard drives are supported by very intelligent disk caching controllers.


Data caching if another way of eliminating access time associated with hard drives and for that matter with accessing data in the processor. Processors today use multiple caches to reduce data and instruction fetch times. Similarly, disk controller and hard drives use cache to reduce hard drive data access times. Some of the newer SATA III 7200 RPM hard drives have a 64mb cache.


Windows will attempt to cache a lot of data but programs requiring large amounts of data will often exceed caching limits requiring access to the hard drive.


If you are using video software that renders to disk then consider the 7200 RPM hard drive.


Clustering highly referenced data in an inverted V group on the hard drive with the most frequent referenced data in the middle and working outward in each direction will minimize armature movement.  Reorganizing data on hard drives and disk defragmentation are also helpful with reducing hard drive data access times.

HP DV9700, t9300, Nvidia 8600, 4GB, Crucial C300 128GB SSD
HP Photosmart Premium C309G, HP Photosmart 6520
HP Touchpad, HP Chromebook 11
Custom i7-4770k,Z-87, 8GB, Vertex 3 SSD, Samsung EVO SSD, Corsair HX650,GTX 760
Custom i7-4790k,Z-97, 16GB, Vertex 3 SSD, Plextor M.2 SSD, Samsung EVO SSD, Corsair HX650, GTX 660TI
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Posts: 262
Member Since: ‎12-25-2008
Message 5 of 5 (2,554 Views)

Re: 7200 RPM v 5200 RPM

Big_Dave wrote:

If you are using video software that renders to disk then consider the 7200 RPM hard drive.


That is relevant to me; I make movies (hobby).

Like the OP I am looking at two machines.  One is configured with i7 and a (very large!) 1.5TB 5400rpm drive.  The other is i5 and a 1TB 7200rpm drive. 

I use several Adobe products which, I understand, would utilize the hyperthreading capabilities of an i7.  But I am confused, and especially after reading your comment above Big_Dave.  Why HP would pair the i7 with a 5400rpm drive?  Is there something else not being considered here?


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