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Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
#2305755 07/23/14 05:04 AM
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Hi there! I finally did it, I bought a new laptop with a 64 bit I5 processor (my older one was a 2008 32 bit Pentium M). Of course it works far better in every sense than the older one, including virtual pianos. But the older one has a 7200 RPM disk while the new one has 5400 RPM. I'm generally happy with the performance of my I5 but Vintage-D is a bit heavy sometimes.

Would I benefit from changing the disk to a 7200 RPM one? Or, in order to avoid opening my machine and invalidating the warranty, could a USB 7200 external disk could do a better job?

Thank you very much for sharing your toughs and experience.

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305759 07/23/14 05:38 AM
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I'm pretty sure changing out a hard disk wouldn't void the warranty, that would be daft! while the new drive may not be covered by the warranty the machine as a whole should still be fine as you are not "Opening it up" it's like opening the memory bay and adding more RAM.

I would however being an IT Technician myself recommend getting a 7200RPM drive with an I5 processor as you will otherwise be bottle-necking your system quite considerably.

Now that you have an I5 in there and the fact that the ram would most definitely be DDR3 the weakest point would be your hard disk now... while it may not be a huge difference it will definitely help in the long run smile I have a WD Scorpio Black 750GB and its done me fine for years.

Last edited by UKIkarus; 07/23/14 05:42 AM.

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Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305765 07/23/14 06:18 AM
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There's a reason laptops don't normally come with 7200 rpm drives, which is that they kill the battery life. If you don't have any actual problems with what you're doing, then it's probably not worth the effort upgrading. If you do find things are running slower than you want, you'd be better getting an SSD, which will be much faster. More expensive, but they're getting more affordable all the time.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian, Bluethner / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305767 07/23/14 06:43 AM
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If your budget allows, I would also strongly recommend an SSD drive, they make a huge difference.
I had an old Intel MacBook Pro from 2008 or 2009 that I put an SSD in and it was basically like getting a new machine.
Now I put SSD drives in all computers I buy, the performance increase when working with disk dependent software is simply too great to pass up on.
For laptops you get the extra bonus with extended battery life.

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305771 07/23/14 06:56 AM
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Thanks so much for the responses.

Would you use an external USB SSD drive? (I still prefer not to open my computer). How about reliability? Do they compare well in terms of endurance with traditional hard drives?

Last edited by CarloPiano; 07/23/14 06:58 AM. Reason: Adding questions
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305774 07/23/14 07:11 AM
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Then again you'd be bottlenecking if you use USB 2.


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Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
Cmin #2305777 07/23/14 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Cmin
Then again you'd be bottlenecking if you use USB 2.


Oh, shite frown

Thanks. And how about using USB 3.0?

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305779 07/23/14 07:33 AM
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USB3 gives 625 MB/s bandwidth, compared to 35 MB/s for USB2. The latest SSDs have sequential read speeds of 500-550 MB/s, so there shouldn't be any problem using a USB3 enclosure.

I would go internal though if I were you. On most laptops you undo one small screw and the HD just slides out. You don't have to open it up. Swapping the operating system over to the SSD will be a little bit of work but there are guides online which you can look up.

Google "HDD vs SSD" and you will see comparisons on durability etc.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian, Bluethner / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305783 07/23/14 07:42 AM
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As stated internal would always be ideal and yes SSD is another option though I didn't mention it as I wasn't sure of your budget.

USB3 should be relatively fast still.

Having no moving parts they of course are great for on the go (though typical hard disks are fine once de-powered) they will of course use less power and outperform any HDD in day to day tasks, but it's a case of do you "Need" to have SSD or not? and can you afford it?

Last edited by UKIkarus; 07/23/14 07:42 AM.

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Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305826 07/23/14 09:40 AM
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Don't worry about battery usage between a 5400 and 7200.

You may notice a noise difference as the 7200 does spin quite a bit faster.

Once you jump fron 5400 to 7200 you won't want to go back.

Once you go to SSD though, you won't settle for anything else from that point on either.

Physical Installation should be easy. Of course you will need to take a backup image of your current drive and put on the new. Unless you plan on doing a fresh install. Acronis or other backup software should work great here. I know sometimes when you purchase a hard drive they will come with free backup software too.

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305839 07/23/14 10:00 AM
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Does laptop battery life matter here? If you tied to a piano or keyboard, it will be line powered. So just do likewise with the laptop.

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305885 07/23/14 11:09 AM
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I don't know about these piano programs but logic would tell me that they preload everything into ram. While a faster hard drive may help with application startup. More ram is inexpensive and you would think would help with all these samples. Just to be safe I'd install 8GB of ram. Easily less than 100usd for 2x4GB sticks.

Last edited by bnolsen; 07/23/14 11:09 AM.
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305906 07/23/14 11:55 AM
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Load everything in RAM? That's unusual!

Kontakt let's you adjust the preload size for each sample or note. But with the default setting, most of my pianos will preload around 200 MB each. I ran fine years ago on an XP laptop with just 2 GB of RAM.

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
bnolsen #2305915 07/23/14 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bnolsen
I don't know about these piano programs but logic would tell me that they preload everything into ram.

From what I've heard, they just load the first second or two of each sample, then stream from disk as necessary. CD quality audio is about 1 MB every 6 seconds, and HDDs typically have sequential read speeds of 50-100 MB/s, which would indicate a maximum polyphony of 300-600 notes. This is actually quite an overestimation because read speeds will be slower when trying to read multiple samples at a time. But it shows that at more normal polyphony levels disk speed probably won't be a limiting factor.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian, Bluethner / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2305938 07/23/14 12:47 PM
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few month ago M.2 SSD became available that's about 30% faster than the current SSD. Check if your new laptop have internal port that support it. There are also external SSD for laptop that fits into your PCI express slot ( which is faster than usb) that you may consider if you are worry about replacing internal drive void the warranty.
such as
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...xpress_laptop_ssd-_-20-161-554-_-Product

But I think ram upgrade would give you more performance result than the ssd though particularly if you are running DAW along with your vst.

Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
theoak #2305967 07/23/14 01:33 PM
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Quote
Unless you plan on doing a fresh install.

OT, sorry, but I can't resist getting advice on something that bothers me more and more every time I buy a new work computer, i.e. humungous and more humongous amounts of adware.

How much effort is it to reformat the HD, do a fresh re-install of OS and productivity software, and transfer 30GB to 40 GB worth of files? I am not really a power user, although I know my way around computers.

Is it 1 day worth of work? Or 10 days?

I'll open a new thread if this is deemed disruptive.


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
doremi #2306160 07/23/14 08:22 PM
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doremi, if you do not wish to reinstall Windows, but would like to remove the bloat installed on a new PC, you may wish to take a look at this:

http://pcdecrapifier.com/

As for me, a lot of the software I use is available as a 'Portable App', allowing it to run on a fresh Windows setup without needing to be reinstalled.

These days, the only apps I reinstall are the Office and Adobe suite.

Cheers,
James
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2306170 07/23/14 08:49 PM
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Doremi, I'd say it shouldn't take more than a day. Depending on how scattered your user files are though, if you only have your files in the Documents, Pictures, and Videos folders, 30-40 Gb of copying to an external hard disk takes one to two hours, if the disk speed is reasonable.

Don't remember how long a fresh setup of Windows takes (assuming a PC) though I installed Windows 7 for someone a few months back, at least 2 - 3 hours.

Then two jobs are still left, installing all your user software back, and copying your user files back to your computer. Although a great deal of all this work is waiting, for files to be copied, Windows to be set up, restarting a few times and so on.

Regarding adware, preventive measures are best. When installing free software, always check installed programs in the control panel, because distributors of freeware are very prone to sneak in browser add-ons and all sorts of junk. Not to mention the importance of a good antivirus, antimalware software.

Last edited by TheodorN; 07/23/14 08:52 PM.

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Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2306186 07/23/14 09:35 PM
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Somewhat off-topic, but anyone preparing a Windows-based system for use with VIs may be interested to learn that the developer of the nLite/vLite software will shortly be releasing a brand new tool for Windows 7/8 systems.

/offtopic


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Is it worth upgrading to a 7200 RPM hard disk?
CarloPiano #2306231 07/23/14 11:40 PM
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Thanks for the comments, guys! It got me reading 'remove junkware' articles such as http://www.pcworld.com/article/2141881/beat-it-bloatware-how-to-clean-the-crap-off-your-pc.html for existing comps. Also thinking about spending extra $ for the next new PC purchase without junkware in the first place http://www.microsoftstore.com/store...=MicrosoftSignature&ThemeID=33363200

Back to regular programming...


I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
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