I read a pretty neat comparison of high-capacity hard drives over at Tom's
. The most interesting part to me was the focus on how manufacturers are actually tending toward reducing spindle speed back down to around 5400rpm for storage drives, which leads to higher stability of high-capacity platters (increased shock tolerance due to lower speeds), lower power consumption, and significantly lower surface temps - all at a very minimal trade-off in performance. Oh, less noise, too.
Seagate’s Barracuda LP runs at 5,900 RPM, and the WD Caviar Green and Samsung EcoGreen products at 5,400 RPM. All of them deliver high capacity storage with much increased performance. [. . . T]he performance penalty due to the spindle speed reduction from 7,200 to 5,400 RPM is very acceptable: 3.5” power efficient hard drives still reach 110 MB/s today (as on the Samsung Spinpoint F2 EcoGreen).