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Hard drive comparison - shopping.

I am comparing 2 hard drives from the same manufacturer.  Same seek time, transfer rate and everything.  Differences, drive 1 5400 rpm and $131, drive 2 7200 and $274, both EIDE.  Why the difference in price?
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jnjordan
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jnjordan
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1 Solution
 
jnjordanAuthor Commented:
I need an answer QUICK.  Will increase the points if necessary.
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MrbreezeCommented:
Access time is measured in the number of milliseconds it takes the drive to get to the first piece of information after it has been requested. These are generally in the range of high single digits to the low teens. A 6 to 8 ms access time is considered pretty quick, 9.5 to 10.5 is pretty typical and anything higher than 12 is beginning to be considered a little pokey.

Transfer rate is another significant factor in hard drive performance. This is the amount of data that hard drive can push out. This is measured in megabytes per second. It is important to consider both what your needs are and what your machine is capable of when looking at this number.

One other number that you will often see in marketing brochures is the spin rate or RPM (Revolutions Per Minute). This is simply the number of times that the hard disk in your hard drive spins around in a minute. Generally the faster the spin rate the faster the drive will be able to transfer information. Spin rates of 5400 RPM are pretty typical and rates of 7200 and 10,000 RPM are reserved for higher end drives. The spin rate in itself is not too significant in itself. What the higher spin rates provide for you will show up in the access time and transfer rate.

The only other number that might be of significance is the MTBF or Mean Time Between Failures. Although this number has never effected my decision making for a personal machine, it can come into play if you are purchasing a drive for a server or other high load computers. MTBF is simply the average estimated amount of time in use before a drive fails. This number may be interesting to know but really there is no hard drive that you can purchase today that shouldn't give you years of effective service

If they have "Same seek time, transfer rate and everything" the only difference is the price and the answer is they are playing on our ignorance

How's that?
                              Mrbreeze
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EDStechCommented:
If you have equal stats in access/seek/transfer and one is 5k and one is 7k, get the 5k.  7k puts more wear on the bearings in the hd which will increase the chance of failure.

7k drives also run a LOT hotter (try a 10k drive, it'll cook eggs)so they sometime need a seperat cooling device.  We use a 5" drive bay device which mounts the drive and draws air from the front of the case to keep it cool.
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jnjordanAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I learned something!
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EDStechCommented:
Coolly enough, so did i.  ;)

I always thought that faster rpm's automatically = faster speed, but it makes perfect sense that the seek/transfer times are what makes the difference... thanks mrbreeze.
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MrbreezeCommented:
Glad to help JN and let us know if we can help you again. Most 7200's are going to be faster but in the case cited everything else was the same so this wasn't the case. Guess thats why it is a "good point to always read the fine print" ...LOL...
                              Mrbreeze
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