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EASY - definitely DON'T get a 4200RPM drive... WAY too slow.

I'd go for a 7200RPM drive. That's what I'm buying soon, because the speed difference is very noticeable. I just upgraded my RAM to 2GB, and I honestly didn't notice much of an improvement. Now I know that the lack in performance I'm experience lies with the hdd.
 

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I've used both a Seagate Momentus 7200.1 (100GB) and currently a Seagate 5400.2 (160GB). There's only a noticable speed difference processing large files, and it's nominal at that- a few seconds.

The 5400.2 is quiet, cool, and seems to be kind on battery life, which are two considerations that must be accounted for when choosing a laptop drive.
 

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Well between the two I would go with the Hitachi not just from a performance stand point of view but reliability as well.

Personally I think you should take a look at the Samsung or Seagate drives. They are fantastic! I am waiting for the Samsung flashon to come to Canada!
 

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You have to be careful in interpreting the comparison in Barefeats. Their point is that a lower rpm drive that's filled well below capacity can be faster than a higher rpm drive filled to near capacity. I just bought a Seagate 5400.3 80 gb drive to replace the 60 gb 4200 rpm in my PowerBook G4. I have about 35 gb of files. The new Seagate is noticably faster than the old drive, as well as quieter and possibly cooler.
 
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