View Full Version : 7200 rpm in notebook?

2004-06-29, 14:08
I'm out to buy a new harddisk for my G3 PowerBook. Since the 'Book itself is quite slow I'm looking for a maximum of performance gain from this upgrade.
My question: Is it worth spending an extra 80 Euros for a 7200 rpm hardrive? I've seen some reviews on barefeats.com and the performance seemed great. But no review I found dealt with topics like noise and heat. Does anybody have any knowledge on this?
My current Toshiba 10 Gig drive is constantly humming, quite noisy by now. So I'm alos looking for a rather quite harddrive, especially for public use.
Thanks a lot,

2004-06-29, 14:30
darkerknight: I would save my money and get a 5400rpm drive. From what I have read in several reviews, the step from 4200 to 5400 is significant, but the step from 5400 to 7200 is negligible. Also, you can get larger drives with 5400 than with 7200.


2004-06-29, 14:34
Normally I'd say go for the fast hard drive, because it's one of the few things these days that makes notebooks slower than desktops. However, since it's an old G3 PowerBook (Pismo? What's the clock speed?), it's probably not worth it. By all means, look into 5400 RPM hard drives, as they are very nice and not that expensive now. And you'll still see a performance boost. But I don't think the 7200 RPM laptop drive is really worth it unless you've got a lot of money and you want the absolute highest performance possible.

By the way, if you get a 5400 RPM drive, don't be drawn to the siren song of the Toshiba 16 MB cache model. It's not bad, but I've heard that it's noisier than the Hitachi 5400 RPM with 2 MB of cache, and actually slightly slower as well. If you want it quiet, make sure you get one with fluid bearings.

2004-06-29, 14:52
Hi, thanks.
My PowerBook is a Lombard, 333 Mhz. I was thinking of getting a newer one (like a TiBook) but I couldn't afford it (I'm a student - University is just too expensive), so I'm trying to give my Lombard another year or two. So basically, what you're saying is that its not worth spending the money. Cool.
I have also heard that the 16 MB toshiba is not that much better, so I'll probably go for the Hitachi 8 MB 40 Gig, which sells for 99 Euros over here. 60 Gigs would be great, but its -again- more expensive...
Thanks for your help!

2004-06-29, 15:00
Hey man, Lombards are perfectly fine! But a 7200 RPM would definitely be overkill. Just make sure you have enough RAM as well. A Lombard should be able to take up to 512 MB, so if you only have something like 256 or 384, maybe it's time to upgrade that as well.

2004-06-29, 15:36
@ Luca:
You're absolutely right - the Lombard is not just fine, its the best computer I've ever had. I just love this workhorse; unfortunatly, I've had some bad experiences in other forums when admitting that I love this machine. There always seems to be some idiot that tells others to buy the latest and greatest - but not everybody can afford to ride Apple's digital Hub wave. Applenova has been nothing but great experiences up to now and I'm really happy to have finally found some people who don't think everybody 'needs' a G5...
I was planning on maxing out the RAM this summer, I currently am running Panther on 320 MB, which is definatly too little. I'll buy an extra 256 MB to have a 512 maximum. That should help. Plus the new harddrive.... that should give this baby some extra speed. I'm not looking for miracles, but I'm trying to get the best out of what I have.
Another question:
Can one watch DVDs from say a ForMac DVD burner (external) without having a DVD Decoder installed in the PowerBook? It was just an idea I had... As soon as I have the new hard drive, I'll aso be using OS 9 again (for some stuff its just faster than Panther - although I try to get as much as possible done in OS X - its just too great!), so even this older book will be fast enough to play DVDs. Just a thought. Upgrading a DVD Drive and Decoder is not worh the money...

2004-06-29, 15:53
You're getting an external DVD burner? Why would you need one of those? It just seems silly to get a DVD burner for such an old machine.

Anyway, there are some pretty tough problems involved with trying to play DVDs on Lombards. Something about a built-in DVD decoder that was only on some models. The Lombards that came with DVD-ROM drives had a DVD decoder on the motherboard, but the decoder can't work with OS X. However, since DVD Player detects a built-in decoder, it won't use the software decoder. I thought this was the stupidest thing ever until I talked to a friend of mine who says that it's actually a really hard problem that Apple can't figure out how to work around, not just a case of laziness. Since yours is a 333 MHz, it probably doesn't have an onboard hardware DVD decoder, meaning that there might be hope. Don't take it from me though, I don't know enough about Lombards. All I'll say is that if you want to get an external DVD drive, just buy a cheap DVD-ROM and a cheap Firewire case, don't buy a pre-assembled DVD burner. They're overpriced.

2004-06-29, 16:37
Well, I understand that it seems silly, but its just one of several considerations. I need a fast backup solution. Since my Lombard is the 333 version without the DVD Decoder, I thought that I might use the external burner to watch DVDs... the prob is: OS9 needs a decoder. don't have that. OS X can't use decoder, but this machine is too slow to play DVDs in OS X.
Well, I guess its a silly idea...
I'll probably buy another 160 GB external drive (7200 rpm) in addition to the new internal drive. That way file exchange with other computers will be easier cause most PCs in firms and all that don't have DVD-Players yet. Thus, an external FireWire/USB 2 drive will do the job.