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Oct 08 2008
By: Hotpocketdeath Uncharted Territory 2139 posts
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7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

233 replies 46160 views Edited Oct 8, 2008
Well. I purchased one of these drives and decided to test it inside the PS3 because there were to many flaws with all the other tests I have read. Like this one. Whoever the person was that did the test showed a complete lack of knowledge with testing the drive. He tested how fast data can be transfered to the HDD from the BD drive. Well, the BD drive interface doesn't run as fast as the HDD's can, so it was the bottleneck. No surprise he didn't find any differences. Then he checked transfers of a CF card. Well, most CF cards can't transfer data more then 20MB/s. Tho some can, but they are few and far between and they were not available at the time of the article. So same result. He tested the HDD with a bottleneck restricting the results.

I approached this a little differently and came up with a few contradictory results.


UPDATE: Warranty: I spoke with Sony support about this and the representative told me the whole point of the PS3 having an upgradeable HDD is so that users can use bigger and better Hard drives. She told me without any hesitations that this does not break Warranty.


First, This is the drive I went with. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145181 to replace the 60gig 5400rpm drive that came with the PS3. The drive I got showed the best bang for the buck @ only $1 per gig. Lowest of all the 7200rpm drive I have seen. And capacity is not a concern to me since I have a machine with 2TB of storage space already.

First the Tempature Test. This one has been WAY overhyped.

I attached a temperature probe to both drives while they were inside the PS3. Now I did the test in Faherenheit. These temps were the highest temps noted w/ room temp of 78.

5400rpm - 111 degrees / 43.9c
7200rpm - 116 degrees / 46.6c

Yep, only a 5 degree difference between the two. I can safely say there is no risk of using a 7200rpm from the heat. Maybe some of the older 7200's got hotter. But the newer ones don't seem to produce enough heat for this to be a concern.


Update: I changed over and ran some more tests to check exhaust temps. I played different games and even ran F@H just to check on some things and here's what I got.
5400rpm - 129 degrees or 53.9c
7200rpm - 131 degrees or 55.0c

Now these temps are the highest I could hit before the fan kicked in to high. Once that happened, the temps dropped back down. So I don't think the 7200 drive really made much of an impact on temps. There might be some games out there that do a better job at stressing out the PS3, but I don't have any of those.

note: Others may get different results depending on location, air flow, and room temps. For my temps, I tried to maintain a room temp of 78, my PS3 is vertical, and it sits about 3 feet from a cold air duct.


Moving along to actual performance. I did this the most acurate way I could. I recorded the PS3 using a tuner card so that I can compare timestamps in the video to get a clear timeframe. I will post all the videos I used at the end of this thread.

First. Install times. I used 4 games for this. And it tested how fast to install the game after downloading it from PSN. I went min:sec.ms.

Note: they were not donloaded in order so their arrangement on the drive was unknown. Yes, this can play a factor in the final numbers. Also dealing with such large files. The cache of the HDD doesn't play as big a part as one would think.

GT-HD
5400rpm - 1:42.636
7200rpm - 1:32.993
Almost 10 seconds off the install time. About 10% increase in speed.

Jericho demo
5400rpm - 2:08.629
7200rpm - 1:58.685
Again, about 10 seconds off install time. And about 8% increase in speed.

Tony Hawk demo
5400rpm - 4:11.184
7200rpm - 3:32.045
Almost 40 seconds off it's install time. Coming in at a nice 16% increase in speed.

DiRT demo
5400rpm - 1:29.289
7200rpm - 1:25.385
This one had 4 seconds shaved off. Not as good, but still about 5% increase in speed.

All said. The installs averaged about a 9 - 10% increase in speed. Not bad really.

Now let's look at a file transfer. Although it still has the USB bottleneck of 480Mb/s and I am aware of this bottleneck. The results were different. I tested this with an external 7200rpm HDD.

188MB file transfer
5400rpm - 16.316
7200rpm - 14.882
That was 1.5 seconds off the transfer rate. Coming in at about 9% increase in speed. Again. This is not a bad increase in speed.


Moving along to game loading times. I used 2 Demos and 1 full game for this part.

Jericho level load
5400rpm - 17.417
7200rpm - 16.650
Shaved off almost a second. With almost 5% increase in speed.

Tony Hawk startup load
5400rpm - 18.285
7200rpm - 17.351
Same, almost one second off load time and about 5% increase in speed.

Now this last test I used Oblivion since it keeps a large amount of data on the HDD. This is a good way of seeing how games might act if future games incorporate the same abilities. I did 3 loading tests on this one.

Oblivion
Initial load
5400rpm - 21.355
7200rpm - 19.253
Just over 2 seconds off loading time. Close to 10% increase.

2nd load (map change)
5400rpm - 10.244
7200rpm - 09.543
Almost a second off load time. But a 7% increase in speed.

3rd load (another map change)
5400rpm - 12.479
7200rpm - 10.110
That one was nice at almost 2.5 seconds off. And a wopping 19% increase in speed.


Note: A key thing to look at is the percentage times rather then the actual time. 1 second out of 100 is nothing, but 1 second out of 10 becomes more profound. When dealing with operations that take very little time to complete, it becomes increasingly difficult to gain performance. Even small gains in performance. That is the reason I do not blow off even a 1 second increase in performance.


Conclusion:

Honestly, from my findings, a 7200rpm does show an increase in performance. Some only a little, some a lot. But every single test the 7200rpm drive beat out the 5400rpm in speed.

From this, I would say that a 7200rpm drive is safe and effective inside a PS3. Though being more expensive, the cost difference isn't really a whole hell of a lot. And if you are like me and you want speed more then capacity. By all means. Get a 7200rpm drive. If you want capacity at a lower cost, then stick with a 5400rpm.


And here are the Videos I used to gather the data I used. All are in Divx format btw. Quality was a low priority.

Edit: I have taken down the videos from the server after doing some file cleaning.  I felt they were no longer needed after being up for year.

Message Edited by hotpocketdeath on 10-08-2008 08:13 AM
"I am immortal till the day I die."

My 7200rpm vs 5400rpm writeup
My PS3 HDD vs SSD writeup
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Hekseville Citizen
Registered: 10/01/2007
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
I do not see 1 second being worth the hassle. It's not noticeable at all when you are talking 15 second load times. 14 seconds will seem just as long as 15 seconds. Test a 10k RPM harddrive. Or a 15K.
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Uncharted Territory
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
To each there own.  But if games start coming along that have longer load times the differences may become more apparent if they use the HDD.

And they don't make any 10k or 15k HDD's that would work inside the PS3.  If you wanted to maxamize your PS3 in every way.  A 7200rpm would be the way to do it.


Message Edited by hotpocketdeath on 10-01-2007 09:25 PM
"I am immortal till the day I die."

My 7200rpm vs 5400rpm writeup
My PS3 HDD vs SSD writeup
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
nice post. thanks for the info, because i'm looking into upgrading the hdd, and wasn't sure on the 7200rpm compatibility.


Message Edited by thatPSguy22 on 10-01-2007 09:27 PM
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Treasure Hunter
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
you need to change your font colour a bit, because on the blue light skin, (blue and white) your white font doesn't show unless highlighted.

btw you could upload your videos to stage6.divx.com at any resolution you would like.


Message Edited by anubisosirishades on 10-01-2007 09:32 PM

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Wastelander
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
Cool thanks for the info

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007


anubisosirishades wrote:
you need to change your font colour a bit, because on the blue light skin, (blue and white) your white font doesn't show unless highlighted.

btw you could upload your videos to stage6.divx.com at any resolution you would like.


Message Edited by anubisosirishades on 10-01-2007 09:32 PM

Hope that fixes it for you.  I don't know how the fonts got screwed up like that.  Not much else I can do without making the fonts to dark for others to read.  This is one reason I hate the forum software they are using.  vBulletin is much better.

And I don't need stage6.  The server the video's are on is a remote personal server only accessable by my family and is connected to the internet via an OC3 155Mb/s connection.  I just chose divx as the codec because it's the easiest and fastest codec I have.


Message Edited by hotpocketdeath on 10-01-2007 09:42 PM
"I am immortal till the day I die."

My 7200rpm vs 5400rpm writeup
My PS3 HDD vs SSD writeup
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Sackboy
Registered: 04/27/2007
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
Good info, thanks for the work.
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Lombax Warrior
Registered: 02/20/2007
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
wow, thanks for this info.  I was thinking about doing the same exact thing.  installing from the downloaded demos. crazy.  a 10% increase is quite nice.  people will hate on you cause they already upgraded to 5400rpm and they are jealous. well look at it this way... if you play for 50 minutes you save 5 minutes MORE GAME TIME!  ok that last sentence, i know is if the data is constantly streamed.  here come the haters


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Sackboy
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Re: 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD for the PS3

Oct 2, 2007
Thanks for the info. I never really thought that temperature would be a problem either. Wonder what a faster HDD would be like though instead of a 7200rpm. Anyone want to test that.
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