We work from our local drive, then transfer the final model to network drives for archiving. Not using a RAID config, are 15k drives worth buying over 10k?
What type of drive are you talking about? The only 15k rpm drives that I know of are SCSI drives. These drives are intended for servers and are very expensive. I don't think the performance benefit would be worth the extra cost. For normal destop SATA drives, the fastest drive avalable would be the Western Digital VelociRaptor 10k drive. They top out at a decent 600GB size now. I think that would give you the best bang for your buck. You could also go to a solid state SATA drive but the cost is high for the space you get. They are wicked fast though.
The way to shop for things like this is to look at performance numbers like read and write times, not physical characteristics like RPM, areal density, number of platters, form factor, etc. The physical characteristics interact in ways that are too complicated to simply say 15k is better than 10k RPM.
I run 2 SAS 15k drives in my Dell T5400. I primarily went SAS because I demand 0 faults and SAS is more geared toward the server market where the drives have a much higher MTBF than SATA drives. The error checking that is part of the SAS architecture is more robust than SATA offers. The 15k is very fast and there is zero HD lag time.
The HD is only one part of the equation. If you think your computer needs an upgrade because it's slow, switching to 15k probably won't make any difference. I'd be looking at the RAM and using a 64-bit OS.
Whichever way you go, the cheapest insurance policy is to buy a replacement HD and have it on your shelf so if catastrophe strikes, you can quickly restore from your backup... because I'm sure you're backing up every night!
Retrieving data ...