Bigger HD or Faster HD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Blazer5913, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Blazer5913 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    What would you guys say about this one... I am getting ready to order a MBP (Just came back from the Apple store and decided on Choice #1: Going with the glossy screen). But anyways, my final dilemma is the HardDrive. Currently, I have an 80gb 7200 HD in my Powerbook, and I have about 6gb left. I guess my HD is "fast" with the 7200, but I really have nothing to compare it with. Next year I will be a freshman at Boston College and will have tons of media on there (Pics, video, ect), and I am not sure what is "more important"... To have the extra 20gigs and a 5400rpm HD, or to give up the 20gb and stick with the 7200rpm HD. Right now, I do a little bit of video work, Final Cut Studio, but nothing way too intensive. So what would you guys chose?
     
  2. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #2
    7200 rpm is always better as everything is uploaded/downloaded faster and it would make working in FCP faster and more efficient.
     
  3. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #3
    I disagree, especially if you're running FCP. FCP takes up a LOT of space, somewhere around 40GB with all the Soundtrack and LiveType media, on top of any DVD Studio themes. I'd go with the larger drive. You won't notice any major difference between the two drives doing everyday tasks, and if you're serious about editing, you'll be editing off a faster FW drive anyway. Get the most storage you can get. If the 160GB SATA drives were available, I'd go with those, but since they're not, go with the 120GB.
     
  4. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    well I do have an external HD (300gb), so I guess size is not the biggest factor. I only have 6gb free right now, which is somewhat discomforting... I would really want about 30 or so just to have for safety. For working with Final Cut Studio and an external HD, what is the correct workflow? Do you keep your media on one drive and applications on another? THanks
     
  5. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #6
    I keep apps on the internal drive, and the "media" what have you on the external one.
     
  6. MacRumoron macrumors 6502

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    #7
    i was faced with this decision also...

    i went with the faster HD and i don't regret it
     
  7. interlaced macrumors 6502a

    interlaced

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    #8
    I've only started using FCP but yeah, it does take up a lot of space on your HD. I only put my actual Applications on my computer's hard drive and all MP3s, videos, documents, pretty much everything else goes onto my external HD.
     
  8. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #9
    Trust me. I use a 17" MBP for HD editing. I edit off FW800 or FW400 external drives. You set your "scratch disk" to you external and keep your apps on your main drive. I use a 160GB external mobile drive connected via FW800 most of the time. You can store all the LiveType, Soundtrack, and DVD Studio media on an external drive, but you have to have it plugged in to use those apps fully, so that doesn't make any sense. You said you'll have a bunch of pics, movies, music, etc. Go with the larger one, or switch it out yourself to the Hitachi 160GB SATA, but that's kind of a task on an MBP.
     
  9. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Well, from what it sounds like, I think I might go with the larger HD. I want all my music, movies, photos, ect on my MBP at all times, but I also want the Final Cut Studio on there too, with plenty of space left over. I'm not sure I can gaurantee that with a 100gb, so I'll go with the 120gb?
     
  10. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    So would there be any cons with going with the extra space on the 120gb HD, only 5400rpm? Will it be "that much slower" on FCP, granted that I will have 2gb of RAM in there, and top of the line 15.4" 2.16ghz... Thanks
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #12
    I'd go with the faster drive. You would need far more than 2GB of RAM to compensate for the reduction in hard drive speed.
     
  12. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    #13
    I've been pondering a MB or MBP and when it comes to the HDD I'd say if you go with a MBP get the fastest, largest hard drive you can afford. Its difficult to replace the HDD in a MBP at a later date, so its best to put the one you want in there from the start.

    In terms of speed vs capacity, you'll definitely notice a difference in day-to-day usage by going for the 7200RPM, but of course if that speed is a result of going for a lower capacity drive, you might get annoyed when you can't install all that you want to.

    It's different with a MB where its so easy to replace the HDD, and they're relatively inexpensive to obtain.
     
  13. BAspecialCake macrumors member

    BAspecialCake

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  14. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #15
    Again, I disagree. Coming from someone who HAD the 15" 2.16 MBP with a 7200RPM drive and went to a 17" MBP with a 5400RPM 120GB drive, I can honestly say that there is no NOTICEABLE difference. I had 2GB of RAM in both machines. Sure you'll notice a few seconds difference when using massive photoshop files, but for the everyday tasks, unless you're running two identical machines with different HDs in each one, you're brain couldn't process the difference in speed. Yeah, the 7200RPM is better performance, but in this case, more drive space is more valuable to the user than a LITTLE better performance.
     
  15. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #16
    I have the same specs in my 17". I edit with FCP every day, absolutely no problems and no noticeable difference from the 7200RPM HD I had in my last MBP..
     
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #17
    barefeats did the test, but they also published the drive part numbers.

    When you look at the drive specs...

    Seagate Momentus 5400 at 42MB/sec.pdf

    Seagate Momentus 7200 at 45.8MB/sec.pdf

    You see those extra RPMs of you are tossing out some $100 bills for also cost you 20GB in space -- but heck, the drive is after all 3.8MB/sec faster.

    Heck, that $100 would be better spent on RAM which would net you basically a 5300MB/sec boost in performance.

    ---

    So yes, the faster RPM drive is worth it -- for bragging rights alone, or those 2 msec you will save in seek times and 1 msec in latency.
     
  17. BAspecialCake macrumors member

    BAspecialCake

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    #18

    The whole paragraph contradicts itself after the bolded words...

    Then you finish it with bolded underlined.

    :cool:
     
  18. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #19
    Faster hard drive --> faster computer. You do realise that hard drive is the slowest component thus the weakest link? Make it better and you'll get better system overall. It's more than just numbers.

    OTOH, larger capacity can be transformed into better performance as well. Wisely partitioned drive can effectively cut the seek times into a fraction, and most of the time, seek times are more important than sustained transfer rates.

    I'd get faster drive any day.
     
  19. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #20
    Except that I was referring to the ability to NOTICE a difference versus the actual performance.

    It depends on if the user would notice the speed difference even though on paper and in benchmarks, the faster drive may have slightly better performance. OK, so it transfer's 1GB of data .34 seconds faster, is it worth then, sacrificing that 20GB of extra space? In my case no. In other cases, probably. If there were a 7200RPM 120GB option, I'd go with that no question. But in terms of value of performance vs. value of storage, the 120GB wins in this user's case based off the information he provided. He's not concerned with bragging rights, he's not concerned with that 1-3% performance boost, however he is going to have "tons of media on there", which direct you to an obvious choice...
     
  20. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    If I was to go with the 7200rpm HD, would I see better response times in Spotlight and applications like that that use the HD a great deal? I have an external drive to store most of my raw video footage. But mainly I don't want to be in the situation I am in now. I have an 80gb HD and only have 5 gb left now.... Right now, I am leaning towards the 7200rpm HD... I just need some confidence... I don't want to spend all this money on the wrong choice!
     
  21. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #22
    Assuming that you want to keep all the media that's currently on your PB, how much do you plan on adding over the next year or so you have your MBP?

    More than the 20GB that this will give you (say 15GB if you want to keep 10GB or so free) - then go for the bigger drive.

    For day to day tasks, you're not really going to notice much difference between the 5400 and 7200 so go for the bigger one. For video editing, you'll be on at least a 7200 external anyhow so it's not that relevant.
     
  22. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #23
    Why would you be leaning towards a hard drive with less storage space when it's obvious that is your primary concern? You might notice better response times, but whether or not those few milliseconds difference is worth sacrificing that extra 20GB is your call.
     
  23. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

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    #24
    This has been a damned useful thread. I'm waiting for the announcement of the Merom-based MacBook Pro and can see myself having to address the same question, particularly since my 60GB drive is almost full and I'm expecting to be installing both Boot Camp and Parallels versions of Windows XP Pro (although the Boot Camp partition would hold the smallest XP installation as I can get since I only want it to play the odd game). I'm not sure of the space requirements for XP but I'm expecting to loose somewhere in the region of 20GB per installation, so doing this on a 100GB 7,200rpm disk would mean that I'd be in the same situation as I am now, which isn't good. Given the information in this thread I think I'll abandon the notion of a 7,200rpm drive and hope that Apple offers the 160GB drive as at least an option on the 17" version.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #25
    That extra 20 GB is so insignificant that it doesn't matter. If you were editing video, you'd go with an external HD via firewire.

    The fact that you want to keep everything on your HD means that you'll probably fill whatever your choice is within a month or 2. The benefit of getting the larger HD is virtually nil. After all, you're going to be dealing with 30GB or 40 GB files sometimes.

    Get another external HD if you need it, and just live with the fact that you hit a technological roadblock for now.
     

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