Seagate talked about its expectations for the mobile hard drive market, one of the things the company revealed is that it believes that 7200RPM HDDs will be in about half of all notebook/netbook systems in 2011. Currently, few notebook makers opt for 7200RPM HDDs because of the higher price and higher energy consumption compared to 5400RPM models, but this is expected due to competition from solid state disks and increasing energy efficiency of 7200RPM drives.
Things are about to change. Challenged by the near-instantaneous boot times of SSDs, many OEMs are starting to offer more 7200 RPM HDD options at lower price points. Some are even using 7200 RPM drives by default, especially in desktop replacement and workstation notebooks.
The performance difference can be quite large. 7200 RPM drives have a theoretical 33% performance advantage over their 5400 RPM peers. However, the performance delta can be even greater if the 7200 RPM drive has more cache and higher areal density, which enables the spindle heads to read more data.