Laptop Hard Drive Dilemma


Junior Member
May 7, 2010

I just bought an Acer Aspire 3820TG today, because I'm going to need it for university.

I am going to format the drive and re-install Windows 7 on it, but I have a little dilemma on the hard drive.

The thing that kills this computer's performance seems to be the hard drive, because it's a 320GB 5400 rpm Western Digital Scorpio BLUE drive that came with the PC.

I have a spare 160 GB 7200 rpm Western Digital Scorpio BLACK in my drawer.

Do you think it's better to have the 7200 rpm model in the laptop, or the 5400 rpm, knowing that performance is more important.

My dilemma comes from the size of the HDDs.
The 5400 rpm one has 320 GB, but the 7200 rpm has 160 GB.

That means that the 7200 will get to the inner parts of the platters faster than the 320 GB, thus resulting in performance loss.

Another thing that annoys me is the cache size. The 5400 rpm has "only" 8 MB, while the 7200 rpm has 16 MB.

I know it's a laptop, but 8 just seems too low to me.

Anyway, electricity consumption is NO issue. I don't care if battery life falls, as long as I can have performance out of the drive.

I would greatly appreciate if someone can share some of their knowledge on this matter.



Dec 12, 2002
Put the 7200 RPM in there, I went from a 5400rpm to a 7200rpm in one of my older laptops a few years ago, helped a 'ton'. I did not bench mark anything though.


Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2001
I swapped to a 200g, 7200rpm from a 160g, 5400 in my netbook and it was much snappier but still a netbook.:| I don't think the diameter / density of the platter will make that big a difference to be noticeable.


Junior Member
May 7, 2010
Ok then, 7200 rpm it will be. I don't need the storage place anyway, so I'll deal with 160 GB.

I don't even know why retailers use 5400 rpm on these laptops. I would prefer to spend an extra 30$ and have a 7200 rpm stock on the device.
Anyways, that's their problem.
I've solved mine

Thanks again