I currently have a slow 5400 rpm drive in my laptop and I am looking at installing a 7200rpm drive.

The new drive is reported to be 100 times faster than the old drive. The traditional advice would say that a 7200rpm drive, drain laptop batteries faster, however if you compare the specifications this appears not to be the case is this correct? For example:

My current 5400rpm drive:

  • spin up power: 4.5w
  • seek power: 2.2w
  • read/write: 1.9w

Replacement 7200rpm drive:

  • seek power: 2.3w
  • read/write: 2.1w
  • spin up power: 5.5w

If I read this correctly, does this mean switching to a 7200rpm drive will have a negligible power drain impact? For those interested, I am comparing the following two drives:

migrated from serverfault.com Dec 4 '10 at 22:33

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

  • Note regarding which stackexchange site is best, this site seems to have hardware related stuff, ie serverfault.com/questions/13839/… – Jacob Rhoden Dec 4 '10 at 22:05
  • Hardly 100 times faster, possibly 50% faster on a good day but probably closer to 25% on average. Superuser.com is where this belongs BTW. – Helvick Dec 4 '10 at 22:11
  • @Jacob - SF is "...for system administrators and IT professionals, people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity." (from the FAQ). Questions like yours are typically better handled over on SU. It'll get migrated there shortly, no need to re-post. – EEAA Dec 4 '10 at 22:14

I think you will find that those 'small' differences will have a significant impact on battery life. It's not going to halve it but it will be noticable.

  • 2
    Anecdotally, I can say that when I moved from a 5400 RPM drive to a 7200 RPM drive in my old laptop, I did not notice any change in battery life, while I did notice an increase in performance. – nhinkle Dec 4 '10 at 22:41

Better materials will reduce the friction in the spindle once it has spun up, leading to lowered power use while spinning. Do note the difference in the spin-up power of the drives though; the drive that spins faster needs more power to get spun up.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy