Check Hard Drive Speed When Upgrading

Question: Does the hard drive speed make a difference when purchasing a newer and larger hard drive for an older computer?

The IT Guy says:

Yes, it can. This tip comes from IT Guy reader Jerry Siders in Iowa. Hard drives are available at different speeds, and while it may sound appealing to purchase and install a faster 7200 rpm hard drive, some older computers can handle only 5400 rpm drives.

Other computers may run a faster 7200 rpm drive, but it will actually run slower than a 5400 rpm drive because of the disk controller that is installed in the system. In this case, unless you purchase a new and more capable disk controller, you are probably wasting your money purchasing a 7200 rpm drive instead of the cheaper 5400 rpm variety.

I recommend finding out what type of drive controller is installed in your computer, and then purchasing a compatible hard drive for it. Also remember not to over-do it; unless students are working with digital video, a 40 GB hard drive probably has plenty of storage capacity for a computer lab or classroom computer. This is especially true if students log into a campus file server and save in shared directories or in their own home directory / home folder.

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