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Old Apr 12, 2011, 02:00 AM   #1
jmfm
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7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm for the new MacBook Pro?

Hi there,

I'm ready to buy one of the new MacBook Pros. I was going to go for the 15" 2.0 GH. There's one thing that's difficult to decide. Should I go for the 7200 rpm HD upgrade?

In principle it would seem that the default 5400 rpm HD would act as a bottleneck for the new and powerful CPUs. I heard some people say, though, that the 5400 rpm HDs are fast enough and that I would not notice any difference. Therefore, spending the extra money on a faster HD would be a waste.

There is also the concern about battery life. Would a 7200 rpm HD reduce the battery time considerably vs. a 5400 HD?

Since this would be my work computer, I would not want to sacrifice performance. So, if there is no significant difference in battery life and a considerable gain in performance, I would definitely go for the 7200 rpm option.

What is your experience and/or opinion? I've always gotten very good advice from people in the Mac Rumors forums. I'm anxiously waiting for your response so that I can go ahead and enjoy the new Mac Book Pro.

JM
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 02:25 AM   #2
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My own strategy is to save the $100 on the upgrade, and apply that to a 128GB SSD in a few months for about $200.

In this way, you also get to keep the HDD that comes with it and can install that in place of the DVD drive. This doesn't work for everyone though. But to pay $100 for some more RPMs, to me, a poor value.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 03:07 AM   #3
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My own strategy is to save the $100 on the upgrade, and apply that to a 128GB SSD in a few months for about $200.

In this way, you also get to keep the HDD that comes with it and can install that in place of the DVD drive. This doesn't work for everyone though. But to pay $100 for some more RPMs, to me, a poor value.
This is the best advice in my opinion.

The problem about the base config on the 15 is that you are forced to take the slow HD, unless you want to pay for overpriced upgrades. If you care about performance at all, you will have to replace the HD as soon as you get it. Some people are not comfortable doing this, although it is very easy.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 04:58 AM   #4
jmfm
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Re: 7200 rpm vs. 5400 rpm for the new MacBook Pro?

Thanks for your answers, guys.

I agree that the SSD option would be ideal. I use often one of the new MacBook Airs with SSD HD and it is amazingly fast.

The problem is, SSD memory is still very expensive. One could buy an SSD module and install it in the DVD player slot but with 128 GB I would only have space for my basic applications. Data would still have to be stored in the default HD. Then what? If you are editing video or searching through large amounts of data stored in the mechanic hard disk, having SSD for your apps would not be much help, would it? I'm just asking. Perhaps somebody has already implemented this mixed solution and can tell us how it works.

That's why I was asking whether there would be important differences in performance between the default 5400 rpm and the optional 7200 rpm unit.

JM
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 05:40 AM   #5
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Any noticeable speeds will depend on your usage. If you can tolerate the extra few seconds on boot time then go for the slower drive. A lot of people just put their MBPs to sleep rather than do a complete shutdown anyway. App launches might lag a bit but its not a show stopper. If you do a lot of big data transfers you'll most probably notice the difference.

Impact on battery life with a faster drive would be negligible.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 05:48 AM   #6
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Buy a stock MBP and put the 7200 drive in yourself. It's a easy upgrade if you know how to use a screwdriver (you will need a Torx 6 driver too). You'll spend less money and get an extra drive out of it too. But the best thing is that YOU can select the exact brand drive you want and not a random Apple OEM which are not always the best or quietest. Same goes for RAM.

Putting in an SSD (again, yourself, as Apple's SSDs are slow and pricey) is also a great option IF you don't need a lot of internal storage or you are good with content management.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 07:21 AM   #7
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You get some HDD's with 7200rpm that use the same amount of power or less as a 5400rpm. It depends on the brand and model, get the standard one with your drive, by a new one with 7200rpm, clone your HDD, replace the standard HDD with the new one. If you need the optical drive then put the standard drive into an external enclosure, if you dont need the optical drive then install the HDD into there.

Performance wise, i have apples 7200rpm 500gb drive in my BTO Macbook pro, its quick yes, speeds up to 90mb/s couple things that bug me though are the noise and vibrations. its not really that load but definitely louder then fans at 2000-2200rpm. Vibrations are significant, i feel them when putting my hand flat on the palm rest, can be annoying at times. Depending on the surface of where my macbook pro is standing, the vibrations can be transferred to the object, this also produces more noise.
when i use my friends macbook pro with 5400 rpm drive im amazed how quiet it is, and how little vibrations there are.

thats my little review
your call which one you want
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 07:31 AM   #8
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I have the 7200rpm seagate momentus in my aluminum Macbook. I don't find it notably faster. Save the hundred dollars and start an SSD fund. You'd already be halfway there.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 10:33 AM   #9
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The Momentus XT is very cheap now and there is new firmware available.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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I sort of have the same dilemma, 500GB 7200rpm or 750GB 5400rpm. I think I'll be going with the 750GB as 250GBs is more important to me that very slightly quicker.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 11:17 AM   #11
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I hate to say it (again), but SEARCH is your friend. There have been numerous threads on this subject.

/thread.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 01:17 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the great answers. I think it is clear that the best option is to buy the MBP with the default 5400 rpm HD. Just by chance, though, I came across this other thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...1135259&page=2) and now I'm getting cold feet about buying one of the new MacBook PROs. This overheating problem is a bit scary.

JM
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jmfm View Post
Thanks for all the great answers. I think it is clear that the best option is to buy the MBP with the default 5400 rpm HD. Just by chance, though, I came across this other thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...1135259&page=2) and now I'm getting cold feet about buying one of the new MacBook PROs. This overheating problem is a bit scary.

JM
A few people have issues, now it's an overheating problem? Honestly, that thread should not have pursued you, iMHO. Some people have unrealistic expectations regarding the functionality of computers. Are you one of them?

No offense Sir, but think about what you are saying. The cpu will get hot no matter which emblem is on the lid, so why would Apple's lineup be different? Food for thought.

EDIT: also, I vote for buying the 5400 and installing the 7200 yourself.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 11:02 PM   #14
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I say buy it with the 5400 RPM. Use it in stock form and if it is not performing to your requirements, then- let the requirements drive your expenditures and upgrades.

It may be just fine with the 5400 RPM's and you can save for other stuff.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 02:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jmfm View Post
Thanks for all the great answers. I think it is clear that the best option is to buy the MBP with the default 5400 rpm HD. Just by chance, though, I came across this other thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...1135259&page=2) and now I'm getting cold feet about buying one of the new MacBook PROs. This overheating problem is a bit scary.

JM
Just make sure you have a good backup/archiving strategy. Any HDD can unpredictably die on you anytime, no matter the size or spin rate.

Not getting into the heat issue... that's for the other thread you found.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 03:36 AM   #16
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In mine, i have the 7200. and its obviously faster than 5400.
When you restart, mine only takes about 8 seconds and bootup is like less than 15 sec.

My friend had the 5400 (Same 17in 2.2GHz MBP w/ 4GB) and we tested to see the difference but, his Mac didnt stand a chance to my 7200.

If you want to go even more faster, buy a SSD but as you know Apple rips you off with SSDs:/

all you lose is 250GB of space and gain more speed on restart, bootup, reading and writing on your HDD.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 11:50 AM   #17
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Performance wise, i have apples 7200rpm 500gb drive in my BTO Macbook pro, its quick yes, speeds up to 90mb/s
Quote:
Originally Posted by yusukeaoki View Post
In mine, i have the 7200. and its obviously faster than 5400.
Could both of you please go to Apple -> About This Mac -> More Info… -> Hardware -> Serial-ATA and tell us the model name?
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 12:01 PM   #18
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I have the 7200rpm seagate momentus in my aluminum Macbook. I don't find it notably faster. Save the hundred dollars and start an SSD fund. You'd already be halfway there.
"Your Mileage May Vary"

I installed a Momentus XT 500GB in my '09 MBP Unibody and saw a noticeable improvement. Yes, I would love to have a SSD Optibay + conventional setup, but financially that isn't in the cards right now.

OP, the XT hybrid drive is a good option if you don't want to spend the $$ on a full SSD drive.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 01:42 PM   #19
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Fair enough. I normally wouldn't have had the cash either, but I got more money than I had expected for the 2006 Mac Pro I sold to fund the new MBP, so I was able to swing the SSD. Seriously, though, if you save for a few months you could easily swing it, in my opinion. Momentus XT is $100. You can get the new Intel 320 120GB for $230, plus $75 or so for the caddy. Yes that's more than three hundred bucks, but deliberately saving $20 a week for a two months will make up the two hundred dollar difference in under three months. Not bad.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 02:21 PM   #20
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In mine, i have the 7200. and its obviously faster than 5400.
When you restart, mine only takes about 8 seconds and bootup is like less than 15 sec.

My friend had the 5400 (Same 17in 2.2GHz MBP w/ 4GB) and we tested to see the difference but, his Mac didnt stand a chance to my 7200.

If you want to go even more faster, buy a SSD but as you know Apple rips you off with SSDs:

all you lose is 250GB of space and gain more speed on restart, bootup, reading and writing on your HDD.
Say what? You better check your stopwatch there son, cause there's no way you are booting up that quick. The new MacBook Pros with the fastest SSD might boot in 19 sec at best. And restarting would even be slower.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 04:32 PM   #21
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Could both of you please go to Apple -> About This Mac -> More Info… -> Hardware -> Serial-ATA and tell us the model name?
Mine is the:
Hitachi HTS725050A9A362
Capacity 499.76GB
Rotation Rate: 7200

this may vary on types of mac.
mine is the 2011 MBP 2.2GHz i7 Quad 4GB RAM.
If you have the iMac it maybe faster
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 04:33 PM   #22
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Say what? You better check your stopwatch there son, cause there's no way you are booting up that quick. The new MacBook Pros with the fastest SSD might boot in 19 sec at best. And restarting would even be slower.
sry i meant 25sec. hit the key next to it.
Thanks for the correction
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 05:26 PM   #23
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Mine is the:
Hitachi HTS725050A9A362
That's a decent drive, no need to get another one and install it myself then. Thanks!
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 05:48 PM   #24
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The 5400 drive is fast enough. Once an app is loaded into memory the hard drive doesn't matter anymore.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 05:54 PM   #25
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sry i meant 25sec. hit the key next to it.
Thanks for the correction
No worries. FYI, my 17" with the stock 5400 RPM drive boots in 25sec. I'm actually going to be trying to install a Vertex 3 in it tonight that's waiting for me at home. I hope I can get to to work.

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The 5400 drive is fast enough. Once an app is loaded into memory the hard drive doesn't matter anymore.
Ahhhh, sure, as long as your app never does any disk I/O, you should be fine.
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