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5400 vs 7200 rpm hard drives, which ones last longer?


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I'm thinking of buying a small hard drive, and I'm wondering based on your experience, which lasts longer? I will be putting it in an external enclosure and it may possibly be handled roughly -- I know all about SSDs but for the moment it costs more than I can afford, so I'm thinking of buying a hard drive. So guys, based on experience, which lasts longer? A 5400 rpm HD or a 7200 rpm HD?

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I don't even know the last time I had a 5400 rpm HD. I have had 7200 rpm for close to 10 years. (I have 1 drive that is 10 years old now.)

 

Do not buy a 5400 rpm HD. You will be very very disappointed with the speed.

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I already am using a 5400 rpm hard drive, and I'd rather have a reliable hard drive than a fast drive. I'm deciding to buy a new one, however I've had two hard drives fail on me without informing me and they were 7200 rpms I think that maybe I was just unlucky with those two brands *samsung* *cough*. Hence I'd like to know people's experiences on hard drive reliability.

 

I like fast access times but when storing data, I definitely don't want a hard drive to suddenly die on me. This is particularly important for archives of my data.

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Go for a 7200 RPM drive. I have a Samsung HDD with 7200 rpm since last 7 years and it is still going strong. I had a bad experience with Seagate drive though, it crashed due to power failure. As far as I remember that drive was a 5400 RPM drive.

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I agree that you should go for a 7200 rpm drive, I always use them. I can't see no reason why it would be less reliable than a 5400 rpm. If you are thinking that it is because it has to spin and therefore work harder, I don't think that it makes a difference. There are so many other factors such as how the drive is accessed, read/write times etc.

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  • 2 months later...

There are a lot of variables involved, it may not always be possible to do a "apples to apples" comparisons.

 

What you should look at is the "MTTF" (Mean Time To Failure) that manufacturer lists in their specs. Your data patterns typical read/writes will have an effect on wear and tear. Ultimately disks at some point will fail. So always back up your data.

 

The old saying is always true:

 

If your data does not exist in three places, it doesn't exist at all.

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Yeah, there are a numerous of variables involved as __Darknite stated. For example, a 5400 RPM disk is obviously running much slower, thus using less electricity and generating less heat. The lifespan of a laptop battery would therefore not suffer as much from a 5400 RPM disk, as from a 7200 RPM disk. However, there are disks spinning at 10,000 and 15,000 RPM which are KNOWN to survive longer then a 5400 RPM disk. The specific disk design does make a huge impact, the RPM is not the only thing that matters. With that said, it's very much like an "apple to apple" comparison as __Darknite said.

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Just go for the 7200 RPM, I doubt the life will be different. I've never seen any discrepancy in the lifetime usage of the two kinds, plus the speed sort of outweighs any difference that there may be.

 

At least in my opinion....

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm thinking of buying a small hard drive, and I'm wondering based on your experience, which lasts longer? I will be putting it in an external enclosure and it may possibly be handled roughly -- I know all about SSDs but for the moment it costs more than I can afford, so I'm thinking of buying a hard drive. So guys, based on experience, which lasts longer? A 5400 rpm HD or a 7200 rpm HD?

 

Are you in a hurry? If not, then just take it easy for another couple of months. SSDs should be dropping in price soon. It's really much, much faster than a mechanical hard drive.

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5400RPM hard drives don't generate as much heat and last much longer. However, the speed decrease is quite significant.

 

Is that true as a fact? I never knew that (the fact that 5400RPM last much longer) but I guess it could make sense since the 7200RPM HDDs are spinning faster.

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In my entire 14 years of computer using, I have never seen a hard drive fail. I don't think you should consider the life span of hard drive as one important factor in picking a hard drive, as it doesn't matter. Capcitiy and speed are always what you should be lookinig for when buying a hard drive. If a hard drive fails, it's just bad luck on the quality issue, not the designed life span issue.

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In my entire 14 years of computer using, I have never seen a hard drive fail. I don't think you should consider the life span of hard drive as one important factor in picking a hard drive, as it doesn't matter. Capcitiy and speed are always what you should be lookinig for when buying a hard drive. If a hard drive fails, it's just bad luck on the quality issue, not the designed life span issue.

 

I also agree with this. Out of all the hardware problems I encountered in my years of computering, none of them were permanent hard drive failures. (Sometimes the hard drive would have corrupt files so I had to reinstall windows, etc.)

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To be quite honest unless your unlucky, most harddrives you will end up buying a new one due to wanting to upgrade before they die on you these days. And the performance difference between the 2 is quite high.

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I am not sure that 5400 and 7400 can be compared so easily. For example, someone said that 5400 will use less elctricity. Will it? Surely the 7400 are more effeicient and therefore use less electricity. Although hard drives can last a very long time, people should get into a habbit of backing up their data with the anticipation of failure. This is one time that pessimism is good!

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Honestly, the brand makes more of a difference than the speed when longevity is the issue. Sure, in theory, the 5400RPM is going to last longer, but I've got a collection of various hard drives with various connection types and speeds dating back to a couple Compaq laptops still running Windows 95,and I've never had a hard drive permanently fail. I will say that Seagate drives have been the most problematic - the enclosures on two external Seagate drives (a 2.5" and 3.5") broke and the drives had to be moved into off-brand enclosures. The 5400RPM Seagate in my last laptop also has a bunch of bad sectors that can't be fixed.

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7200 or SSD :D

 

SSD..... Forget the longevity, gimme the speed any day of the week :) However the advantage of lack of moving parts is there too which would give you not only a longer lasting drive (in theory) but a silent one :)

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