what's the difference between a 5400-RPM hard drive and a flash dtorage?

I'm pretty much debating on what 15 inch macbook pro to get. Also is the retina display worth it?

2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    A hard-drive contains disks coated with magnetic particles which spin at high speed. A very tiny sensor hovers over the disks and moves back and forth reading and writing data to the disk. The technology is mature, and fairly inexpensive. 5400 RPM is considered the slow end of the rotational speed, with 7200 RPM being noticeably faster and speeds of 10,000 RPM or faster are considered "high-end" drives.

    Flash storage is like USB (thumb) drives, except the flash storage inside the computer has more capacity than typical thumb drives, and is way faster because it is right there next to the processor.

    The difference is that, right now, flash storage gets more expensive very quickly as you increase the storage capacity. On the other hand, the less expensive hard drives are comparatively slow, and more susceptible to damage from bumps and dings.

    The Retina display IS impressive. There are articles online showing qualitative comparisons, but seeing is believing -- I suggest a visit to your local Apple Store or reseller.

    • Answered by Bret G from Topeka
    • Jun 14, 2012
  • There are a few differences, but the biggest one is speed. The flash storage option will dramatically reduce the time it takes to boot your computer and launch applications. It is usually more expensive, though.

    As for the retina display: it's got more pixels than any other laptop display on the market. So for now Apple is charging a premium price for it. Whether or not it's worth it depends on how much you value a high quality screen.

    If you can, try finding an Apple store which has the new MacBook in stock - the only way to really answer the question is to see it with your own eyes.

    I hope that helps!

    - Liam

    • Answered by Liam H
    • Jun 14, 2012