How can I choose the right hard drive for my laptop?

Benjamin August 16, 2012
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I want to buy a new harddrive for my laptop.
1. What are the things I need to look out for, as in, the criteria that I have to match to be sure it’ll work, when ordering sth. off the internet?
The OEM’s product page (http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/notebook/2011/Acer/TravelMate/TravelMate8172Z/TravelMate8172Zsp2.shtml) actually doesn’t give me a lot of information.
Is it enough for it to be a 2,5″ with SATA and it’ll fit/work? I heard there are different *build heights* etc. to consider…
2. Once I’m sure a given hdd will work in my laptop, what about performance criteria: What about buffer, spin speed, seek time? Is it worth the money going for above average specs, or won’t I even notice the difference?

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  1. GrrGrrr
    August 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    An old article, but still useful
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/25-inch-hdd-charts,1318.html
    Hope it helps

  2. Dalsan
    August 17, 2012 at 1:42 am

    In general, a 2.5 inch SATA laptop drive of any kind should work. The size matters more if you are looking to store lots of media files than general speed if going from 5400 RPM to SSD since the cost and size limits thus far for SSD drives. There's some speed difference from 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm in real use situations in a decent system, possibly more noticeable in lower powered systems. There is an arguable amount of battery life difference, but generally not much difference. SSDs offer best performance, but cost and size is much to be desired, but I would recommend a Samsung 7200 rpm hard drives as their reviews are high in quality and reliability, and the slight performance boost may be noticeable to you. If you can, the higher the buffer size, the better performance you get (16MB versus 4MB buffer size).

    • Dalsan
      August 17, 2012 at 1:45 am

      *storage size matters more...not the case size.