Travelstar 60 in a Pismo – Fast and Quiet

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Date: Friday, March 15th, 2002, 11:26
Category: Archive

After unsuccessfully attempting to take advantage of Dell’s 25% discount (mentioned on this site in early January), I finally purchased a Travelstar 60 from Googlegear.com. I paid US$420.99, it was in stock, and I received it this week.

I also bought a 2.5″ firewire drive housing from OWC, which I received a few days prior to getting the Travelstar. I took the 18 GB drive out of my G3/500 ‘Pismo’, and put it in the OWC case; I then got the Pismo running off the external FW drive with no internal drive installed! (it does make the Pismo lighter, but not by much.) Read more…


After unsuccessfully attempting to take advantage of Dell’s 25% discount (mentioned on this site in early January), I finally purchased a Travelstar 60 from Googlegear.com. I paid US$420.99, it was in stock, and I received it this week.

I also bought a 2.5″ firewire drive housing from OWC, which I received a few days prior to getting the Travelstar. I took the 18 GB drive out of my G3/500 ‘Pismo’, and put it in the OWC case; I then got the Pismo running off the external FW drive with no internal drive installed! (it does make the Pismo lighter, but not by much.)

Once this had been done, it was a snap (a couple of days later) to install the new Travelstar 60 in the Pismo, format it, copy the files over from the 18 GB drive, and then synchronize various volumes and folders, to make sure all the invisible files were transferred.

I used 7 partitions: OS9 (2 GB), OSX (2 GB), VM Swap (2 GB), Data (4 GB), Apps (8 GB), Project (37 GB), and CD Scratch (700 MB). Note that I keep my A/V files in the Project volume (not in Data), so that my Data volume is faster to backup. I usually keep a copy of the OS9 system on the CD Scratch volume and on the Project volume, as a backups.

Everything is working great, and I am really surprised at both the speed of the disk and its quietness. The 5400 RPM speed (up from 4500 RPM in prior 2.5″ disks) results in a noticeably faster ‘feel’ on the desktop, starting-up applications, opening documents, and surfing the web. While I’m sure upgrading to a 667 MHz G4 Titanium would also make a difference, it’s incredible how much faster my G3/500 feels with this drive.

In my office, I cannot hear the disk at all (with the fans of several desktop machines in the background. In a very quiet room, I can hear the ‘clucking’ (lower frequency, not ‘clicking’) of the drive as it accesses data, and I can just barely hear the drive rotation. It’s MUCH quieter than the Travelstar 18 that came with the Pismo.

I also found there is a relatively easy way to have a completely silent Powerbook (e.g., for people who insist on using the computer in bed, next to a sleeping partner) – take out the internal drive, and use a 15-foot firewire cable to connect the external 2.5″ firewire drive. However, with such a quiet internal drive (and having better things to do in bed), I doubt whether I will ever need to go to this extreme.

In any case, it was a very easy upgrade, and very well worth the investment. An excellent reference for installing a new Pismo drive was provided here. The only tool necessary is a Number 8 Torx driver (and a Philips for installing the old drive in the OWC case).

How incredible to have 60 GB of storage on your desktop in a portable machine (just using the internal drive)!

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