Originally Posted by auxReturn
For those concerned about the 5400rpm drives shipping with the Mac Mini, please note that spindle speed alone is not a deal breaker due to the large size...
They are 1TB drives, and a 5400rpm 1TB drive is probably going to perform around the same as a 500GB 7200rpm drive, for example.
The reason is that the areal density is increased on the 1TB drive and so the head on the slower drive is actually reading more info, despite the spindle speed being lower.
(Of course, a 1TB 7200rpm drive will be better than a 1TB 5400rpm drive).
I've always wondered if this is a myth, but there are a lot of factors in play here. In theory, a 2.5 inch HDD would be faster than a 3.5 inch HDD (assuming same capacity) because the density is higher and the heads don't have to move as far. But in reality, the voice coil in the smaller drive needs to be more accurate, and is actually slower. Ergo, you'd think the same thing about capacity... higher density drives need to be more accurate and are therefore slower.
But the number of platters, quality of the drive, and sequential Vs random reads/writes all come into play. And all of this, while fascinating, is moot to the original question. Recording audio on the primary OS HDD, isn't great practice.