I recently bought a Western Digital 150 GB VelociRaptor SATA 10,000 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Enterprise Hard Drive WD1500HLFS. Reviews of it on some sites said anywhere from a 15%-35% speed increase. Many of people said not to bother and to get a SSD (solid state) drive instead. While it’s not lightning fast like a SSD drive, its still fast and I can definately see the speed increase. If you don’t want to spend lots of money for a SSD drive, this is a great upgrade to get. It makes my 3 1/2 year old computer seem new again, because upgrading memory wasn’t going to gain me any more speed on my computer.
My bootup time before had gotten quite slow, but I have avast! Antivirus, Norton Ghost, Vmware, ZoneAlarm, Microsoft LifeCam, MySQL, Apache, VirtualCloneDrive and some minor things all loading up at boot time. My Windows backup that took 8-11 minutes now takes 3 minutes and 16 seconds. And my Norton Ghost backup of my C:\ drive used to take 20-22 minutes now takes less than 7 minutes.