Ok, my thoughts: I initially purchased the aforementioned Hitachi 7200RPM hard drive, but returned it, opting for the substantially lower priced (1/2 the price of the 7200RPM Hitachi) 5400RPM 60GB Samsung model MP0603H instead. The Samsung MP0603H is working out great for me. Here's why, and of which was so well presented & explained by "the Wolf", on a recent "Tyros2.Net" messageboard forum posting:
"The faster drive is fine, if you have the extra cash, and don't mind the higher noise. Will it make your Tyros2 perform faster in any way? Not a chance. Let me explain for the last time why, and hopefully prevent others from doing the same mistake.
2.5" hard drives today spin at either 4200, 5400 or 7200 revolutions per minute (rpm). The faster the discs spin, the faster a drive's "seek time" will be. The seek time is the (average) time it takes for the read/write heads of the drive to move to the correct place. Also, faster drives have faster internal data transfer rates. This means how fast the drive is able to actually read a chunk of data into the drive's internal cache, ready to be bursted to the system, through the drive's "interface" which in the Tyros2's case is IDE/EIDE (ATA-100).
Now, let's consider the usage of a drive. When used in a computer, a faster drive will greatly benefit the system. When you boot up windows for instance, the operating system is in effect reading hundreds of small files scattered across the hard drive, in which case the better seek times of faster 7200rpm drives are very welcome. The comput"er will have finished booting several seconds earlier than it would have with a slower drive.
But what about when used in the Tyros2? What type of usage can we expect?
The hard drive on the Tyros2 is used for recording digital audio (HD recorder), loading/saving custom styles, custom voices and samples. The bitrate of digital audio recording is about 1.4 Mb/s. 4200rpm drives have an internal transfer rate of around 370 Mb/s. 5400rpm have around 440 Mb/s. 7200rpm have around 500 Mb/s. So it is clear that even with the slowest 4200rpm drive, you would have absolutely no problem using the HD recorder on the Tyros2 - even in full duplex mode (which is also possible, it means you hear your previous recording and can at the same time record on top of it). This would use double the data rate. But as we can see, HD recording uses only a fraction of the data rate capabilities of any available 2.5" hard drive.
What about seek times then? Well, there are no "many small files" to load. You always load just one style, one midi, one registration setup. In effect, usually one file. What are the differences in seek times between these drives? 4200/5400 drives typically seek in 12ms (that's MILLISECONDS) whereas 7200rpm drives do it in 10ms. As you know, a millisecond is one-thousandth of a second. This means in theory, Scott there can load his style "two one-thousandths of a second" faster than me (with my 5400rpm drive). In practice however there would be no difference, as the Tyros2 operating system is fairly slow in itself, wasting any speed gains in actually reading the style data.
As we know, the USB ports on the Tyros1 are v1.1, which effectively kills the advantage of any fast hard drive when importing / exporting samples or music. It is just terribly slow and I know, because I've already used it. smiley
There is just one scenario where one could slightly benefit from having a 7200rpm drive: loading a HUGE sample into Tyros2's sample memory. Let's say you have imported a 500MB voice library using your USB thumb drive (and waited for half an hour for it to finish), then want to play with it. 500MB equals 4000Mb (MB=Megabytes, Mb=Megabits). With the theoretical transfer speed of 440Mb/s, my 5400rpm Samsung would load this in 9 seconds, whereas Scott's Hitachi (at 500Mb/s) would manage it in 8.
So that one second advantage in a very unlikely / rarely used scenario is, in my opinion, not enough to compensate for the one very considerable downside of 7200rpm drives: they are more noisy. Hard drives have motors to spin the discs (duh). Looking at the specifications of Scott's 7200rpm Hitachi, it emits 35 dB (decibels). That's over TEN decibels more than my 5400rpm Samsung (24 dB ). That's a fair amount of more noise, as any audiophile will recognize. I don't want my Tyros2 to sound like an aeroplane (which it may look like smiley ). In noisy environments like at gig venues this will not make a difference, but in the silence of my home, or when I'm doing a recording, I don't want any more noise than is absolutely necessary. The hard drive cover on the Tyros2 is full of holes (to allow air to circulate) and does not provide any noise insulation. As it is now, I can barely hear my Samsung drive humming when the room is quiet. I would assume a 7200rpm drive would be much more of a pain in the ass."