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Old May 26, 2006, 01:16 PM   #1
iHeartTheApple
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Replacing the MB hard drive: 5400 or 7200 rpm?

Sorry if this has already been posted, but I'd like to hear from people who have replaced the hard drive in their MB. What speed did you decide to go with? Do you find that the 7200rpm significantly reduces battery times or significantly increases peformance over the 5400? Would it make a difference for day to day stuff? Would it make a difference for gaming? Thanks for the info ahead of time!
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Old May 26, 2006, 01:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josias
This would make no difference. How often does a drive even pass 5.400 rpm? I don't think you would feel any difference, unless you do heavu stuff. Yet being faster, the drive would have to spin less, so neither do I think it will affect battery time...
Pretty much right on the dot. If you were doing video editing (which you shouldn't be doing on a MacBook), you might notice a small speed increase, same with other very big files. This was heavily covered during the release of the MacBook Pro, btw.
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Old May 26, 2006, 01:34 PM   #3
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My own experience tells me that the difference is much more noticable going from 4200 rpm to 5400 rpm. Personally, if I had to choose between a larger 5400 rpm drive or a smaller 7200 rpm drive, I'd go for the extra capacity.
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Old May 26, 2006, 01:53 PM   #4
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I vote for the 7200rpm....(mine should be here today). It just helps to eliminate any of the bottleneck, apps open and respond faster, etc. If you are working with audio, the 7200 drives are great. And movie editing can be done on a MB, so dont listen to the others that say else wise. There are plenty of posts and sources saying that Motion and the FCS suite run, and quite respectably(i am not trying to drag this down the same road again, just felt that clarification needed to be made).
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Old May 26, 2006, 01:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the swift replies, everyone. It seems like there is probably only a small difference between the two speeds. I guess it won't make *that big* of a difference. So my next question is:

Can we swap out drives with basically any SATA150 2.5" notebook drive or is there a very specific type, as OWC seems to suggest?
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Old May 26, 2006, 02:04 PM   #6
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it just needs to be a sata 2.5" drive, though OWC offers drives that Mac people seem to like. My 7200rpm Hitachi is coming from them. You might use them to find the part numbers, then search elsewhere for cheaper prices.
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Old May 26, 2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faintember
it just needs to be a sata 2.5" drive, though OWC offers drives that Mac people seem to like. My 7200rpm Hitachi is coming from them. You might use them to find the part numbers, then search elsewhere for cheaper prices.
Does anyone have any positive/negative comments regarding the 120GB 5400rpm Western Digital drive offered by OWC? I actually really like WD for performance and reliability. I use them almost exclusively when building PC's. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of experience in the 2.5" form factor...does their reputation carry over?
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Old May 26, 2006, 03:08 PM   #8
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If you've got the cash... get the Seagate Momentus 7200.1 100GB 7200rpm drive.

It's the top notebook hard drive in speed benchmarks.

To those that say you feel little difference between 5400 and 7200rpm... that's completely untrue.
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Old May 26, 2006, 03:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vv-tim
To those that say you feel little difference between 5400 and 7200rpm... that's completely untrue.
I'd say it's completely true.
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Old May 26, 2006, 03:25 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for all the great advice! I just ordered a Seagate Momentus 100GB 7200.1 HDD and a 2GB matched pair of OWC-brand RAM from OWC, plus an external 2.5" enclosure for the old hard drive (backup, woohoo!). I'm pretty excited...I'll let you know how it goes when it gets here next week!
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Old May 26, 2006, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vv-tim
If you've got the cash... get the Seagate Momentus 7200.1 100GB 7200rpm drive.

It's the top notebook hard drive in speed benchmarks.
Actually, the Hitachi beats it in most benchmarks. Mostly depends who you ask and what test suite they ran.

In any event, both are excellent drives.
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Old May 26, 2006, 07:48 PM   #12
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With the 7200 RPM drives, my main worry would be extra heat. If anyone is going to install one of these soon, can you comment on any differences in heat? Maybe try to run some tests? Might only be able to get subjective results, as there's probably no hard drive temperature sensor, right? Does it feel hotter, do the fans come on more after installation?

I must admit, I'm already thinking of upgrading the 60 gig in my Macbook. I installed Final Cut Express (+LiveType +Soundtrack) the other day and was a bit taken aback at how much space it takes! Already down to 19 gigs free, barely enough for an hour and a half of DV. A 120 gig drive is sounding kind of nice right about now...
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Old May 26, 2006, 08:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bankshot
With the 7200 RPM drives, my main worry would be extra heat. If anyone is going to install one of these soon, can you comment on any differences in heat?
So far so good. I installed the Hitachi 7200rpm 100GB Travelstar today in my MB. Did a fresh install of the OS, copied all of my files over (56GB) and am now up and running. While doing the file transfer via migration assistant from my TiPB to my MB the TiPB was much hotter to the touch. The MB was hot, but not "burning" hot...not even close.

So back up and running, with safari (9tabs open)), itunes, mail, ical and Peak4(PPC audio app) all running at 63C-64C. After closing Peak4, the temp fell to 60C within 20 seconds, and crept back down to 56C one min. and 30seconds after closing Peak. Not bad considering my original idle temp was around 54C-55C.
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Old May 26, 2006, 09:45 PM   #14
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Just remember that the warranty doesnt cover 3-rd party hardware, so if it conks out on you, youre out of luck with apple warranty. The HDD itself probably comes with some manufacturer warranty.
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Old May 26, 2006, 11:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nar1117
Just remember that the warranty doesnt cover 3-rd party hardware, so if it conks out on you, youre out of luck with apple warranty. The HDD itself probably comes with some manufacturer warranty.
Seagate 5-year warranty beats Apple's 1 year anyway


From the benchmarks I saw, the Seagate Momentus beat the TravelStar in all but like 4 tests...

Anyway, my 7200rpm is running nice and cool in my MacBook Pro. No heat problems from the lower left corner at all.
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Old May 29, 2006, 11:59 AM   #16
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Also installed a 100GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive. No change in heat or audible HD noises.
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50thVert
Also installed a 100GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive. No change in heat or audible HD noises.
Do you notice a difference in the speed between the 5400 and 7200? Any noticeable difference in loading times, games, encoding, etc.?
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by iHeartTheApple
Do you notice a difference in the speed between the 5400 and 7200? Any noticeable difference in loading times, games, encoding, etc.?
There will definitly be a noticeable difference. When I went from a 7200 to a 10K raptor, my BF2 load times went from 2 mins to 45 seconds.
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by navigator
There will definitly be a noticeable difference. When I went from a 7200 to a 10K raptor, my BF2 load times went from 2 mins to 45 seconds.
Remember that I can speed up your load times by installing the exact same drive - here's why:

When you have used a drive for a while and it is getting near full, the new game software files you install (besides being somewhat more likely to be fragmented) will be installed on the inner tracks of the drive's platters. When I install a new drive, the software and data I install will start loading on the outer tracks of the platters.

There is an immense speed difference *on the same drive* between the inner and outer tracks. This is because a single rotation of the drive takes a finite amount of time -- 1/7200th of a minute, for example-- yet the length of the track (the perimeter) of an outer track is much longer than an inner track, so more data gets passed under the heads in the same interval of time. In the case of loading software, where the data blocks are most likely to be contiguous, the throughput is limited by the amount of data that can be read per revolution (as opposed to latency or head transit time).

This is also why, when partitioning a drive, to put your scratch disk space and whatever you need the fastest access to, into the first partition you create (which is the partition on the outside tracks).
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:52 PM   #20
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I recently installed a Seagate Momentus 7200.1 100GB in my PB 17" 1.33 and can vouch for the speed difference. I frequently work with 300-500 MB Photoshop files while on the road and the 7200 drive speeds everything up - especially read/write times. This drive coupled with a speedy external should be good enough to crank through some FCP as well. Whatever people say about not using PBs or MBPs for video editing is bogus. Sure, it will be slower that a desktop but it can still get the job done.
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Old May 29, 2006, 01:29 PM   #21
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Well, I don't have a MacBook nor have I ever upgraded a hard drive in a Mac, but I know that this 4200RPM drive in my iBook is incredibly fast. I honestly forget that it is 4200RPM. No lie. So, save the money and go for a 5400 RPM. You really won't see much a difference.
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Old May 30, 2006, 04:42 PM   #22
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For those that have a 7200rpm drive, could I please ask you to check out this thread and share your results? It'd be much appreciated.

Thank you!
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Old May 30, 2006, 05:30 PM   #23
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Interesting thread don.

The 80gb 5400rpm drive in my macbook seems a hell of a lot faster than my previous 80gb 7200rpm drive in my powerbook 15".

It's very strange, because before I had the 15" powerbook I had a 12" powerbook 60gb hd and it seemed so much slower to the 15"'s 7200rpm.
Now with this 80gb seeming faster again and only 5400rpm it's very confusing/ I had to check on Fujitsu's website just to make sure it was 5400rpm...
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