Powerbook 5400 RPM HD upgrade worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mduser63, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #1
    I'm planning to buy a Powerbook tomorrow. I was planning to buy from the Apple online store, thinking there would be no sales tax (I'm in Utah), however, today when I got to the check out page, $100 sales tax was added. That made me rethink my purchase. I can buy the PB in town and still get the EDU discount (at the University bookstore), and the main reason for going through Apple direct was the no sales tax thing. Anyway, I had configured the PB to have the 5400 RPM HD upgrade for $100 extra. Obviously I can't walk into the bookstore and get a BTO PB, but I can get a stock PB tomorrow instead of waiting a week for an online order to arrive. Basically my dillemma is this:

    Should I pay the tax and order a Combo Drive 12" PB with the 5400 RPM upgrade through Apple and get my PB in a week, or should I pay the tax and get a Superdrive (with the money saved on the HD upgrade) 12" PB at the bookstore and have my PB tomorrow?

    I realize this comes down to a personal choice, so what I'm asking for is your opinion based on what you'd do in my position. Anyone think the 5400 RPM drive is absolutely essential? I'll mostly be doing webdesign, Photoshop, 3D modeling, and electrical engineering homework with my Powerbook. I'd go for the 15" but I simply can't afford it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #2
    the hd upgrade is not really neccisary unless you are moving big files around alot, and need the speed. so unless you are doing video or audio production, you should be fine.
     
  3. jaromski macrumors regular

    jaromski

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    zion
    #3
    the 5400rpm drive would make your whole system a bit faster but $100 is $100. and i agree unless you are moving files around a whole lot (video/music/etc) you might not notice it.

    another thing to consider, if you make any customizations from the stock pb config you can not return it. something to think about, plus i would suggest saving the dough for a stick of mushkin.com 256mb or 512mb ddr. that will make your pb rocket.

    i have the 12" pb 768mh stock 60gb hard drive and i just love it. you will too, go down to the U's bookstore and get it now. if you buy from macconnection.com no sales tax, but the edu discount might offset that...

    jaromski
     
  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #4
    I have the upgraded hard drive and it really helps. Nice having an extra 20 GB but I recently used a 4200 rpm system and it was slower noticeably. I also have an extra 512MB of RAM in my PowerBook, totaling 768. RAM helps a lot. If you can, do the hard disk upgrade and at least 512MB of RAM (get it from elsewhere, it is cheaper) or more RAM. If you cannot, get an extra 512MB of RAM.

    I bought my PowerBook from Apple and I was always under the impression that I could return it... they do accept it for repairs, BTW.
     
  5. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #5
    I have a 550Mhz PBook that I put a 5400 RPM drive in after a couple years using the slower original one. It did make quite a difference in the machine. The slow HDD is quite a bottleneck in the system...but it's not like you'll know what your missing, and SuperDrive's are definitely cooler. It would always be easier to upgrade the HDD in the future than it would be to put a SuperDrive in. :cool:
     
  6. xgsrpg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    http://barefeats.com/pb12.html

    Speed tests show a good increase in speed with the 5400rpm drive.

    For example, in launching 4 major apps, the 4200rpm drive took 94 seconds and the 5400rpm drive took 62. Big difference.
     
  7. JasonL macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #7
    If I had to do it over again I would have gone with the upgraded HDD (for me it was only a $40-50 upgrade because it was either a 4200rpm 80GB or 5400rpm 80GB HDD). What's a hundred bucks when we're talking about a purchase of this magnitude? If you keep your PB for three years you are talking about a dime a day for the upgraded HDD. Not only is the extra speed nice, but you'd also get a 33% increase in HDD space. My PB already has about 60GB on the 80GB HDD and I'm now looking at external drives...
     
  8. mduser63 thread starter macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #8
    Well, I picked up my Powerbook today. Decided to get just the stock Superdrive 12" model, as I really didn't have the money for the HD upgrade AND the superdrive, and I decided the superdrive would be more useful to me. I still have a well-equipped desktop machine for video editing. When I'm ready to upgrade that, I'll likely get a Powermac G5 (gotta earn a bunch more money first). Thanks for all your replies. I love the Powerbook so far.
     
  9. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #9
    hey, im runnin a stock 1.5ghz powerbook too. And im a heavy video editor. Its not that bad really. I was even tossing around HD footage on the internal without any problems.
     
  10. efoto macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    #10
    Since you already purchased I would say look into a faster external harddrive since based on your work your be filling the current one quite quickly, and also it might be wise to invest in a faster internal DVDR because the superdrive one is pretty slow so if you use it a lot you might want a faster one.
    Although...other help! What is the compatibility of the files from Mac to a DVD burner on PC?
     
  11. betsbillabong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #11
    I also bought a stock machine today - I'd ordered one BTO but it was DOA... a loose screen. So today I drove to Delaware to buy one that would (a) be perfect before I walked out of the store with it, and (b) have no sales tax. But in order to do that I had to sacrifice the 5400 drive.

    I'm thinking that in a few months, if/when they come out with an 80G 7200 drive (is it IBM/travelstar?) that I'll have a technician swap the drives, and I"ll put the old one in a firewire case and use it for backing up, and sell my other firewire drive.

    But first I think I'll see how it is editing on the stock drive. I'm not a heavy FCP user.
     
  12. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #12
    Most definately worth it
     
  13. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #13
    D'oh! You could have had an all-round performance increase and put a $60 8*DVD+/-RW in the desktop!

    Going from the 4200 in an iBook to the 5400 in my 12" PB made the OS feel much nicer. :eek:
     
  14. efoto macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    #14
    Well based on your choice mduser, I would say that your future plan seems to be a good one. Wait and see if there are any updates soon enough and have the tech throw it in, you'll appreciate the spd increase.
     

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