Quicker hard drive worth it??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by pmac, May 30, 2004.

  1. pmac macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2004
    Hi all,
    I am on the verge of finally switching from my PC laptop and getting a new 15" 1.33 powerbook but am trying to decide on some of the finer details. Specifically I am wondering whether it is worth upgrading to the faster hard drive or is this money better spent on extra ram? I am currently doing a PhD in biochemistry and will be doing the usual student stuff but with some 3-d molecular modelling thrown in there. I know there will be some improvements but will the faster hard drive give me a noticeable performance boost for everyday uses??
  2. BaDBoY macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2003
    there is a noticeable difference in speed of hard drives. its obvious... a slower hard drive will load things slower and a faster hard drive will load things faster. It will also mean it will do main stream seeking with minimal pauses.

    experiment. I run UT2003 on my 1 GHz G4 laptop and the way the game loads when i join a game is soooooo choppy. when i put it on my lacie drive that is twice as fast, theres barely any lag.

    hope this helps
  3. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    3-D Biochemistry stuff ehh? Well honestly I'd get the hard drive first and then upgrade the RAM. RAM is way more important for speed, RAM will give you a significant increase in speed. The hard drive'll be good for saving and loading times but other than that 4200 is as good as 5400 (but faster is better). Thats my 2 cents, hope it helps.
  4. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
  5. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    Look, get the 5400rpm 80GB Apple Hard Drive option with the 1.5GHz Powerbook 15".

    It is so much faster than the 4200rpm base model drive and it uses no more battery!

    If you can afford it, go for the 128MB Video Memory - all these upgrades are at very low price for Apple and will make a big difference to OS X performance, but the Hard Drive most of all!

    Look here for more details:


  6. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    You will recieve a around 10-20% increase in performance on hard drive intensive task with the upgrade. i would also recommed and ram upgrade. both upgrades will increase 3D rendering performance. i image the models you are rendering take up quite a bit of RAM, more RAM than you have. Your hard drive contains a file called the swap file. (its in /private/var/vm) OS X swaps information between your RAM and your hard disk, when dealing with large files in memory. increases your hard drive speed will increases this process not only increasing your 3D capability with large files but on the over all operating system performance. the bottle for your laptop performance is the hard drive. always going for the fastest hard drive will always save you time in the long run because the use of the swap file.

  7. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    get the faster hard drive; depending on tasks you may see a difference in performance; it all depends on the intensity your hard drive will be needing to access data; something like video or photo or audio editing needs faster drives.
  8. LaMerVipere macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    Very true, sometimes when working on projects in iMovie i will get a message saying that the HD isn't fast enough to handle what I am doing, or something like that, needless to say, it's sad times when that happens!
  9. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    i say that if you are spending that much money on a laptop, why not spend a bit more for something that will greatly increase your performance? i am sure there will be one night two years from now that you will waste like $70 in a bar somewhere or a drunken bet, and this money could have been spent on something that will last you much longer. just get the upgrade. also up the RAM from a place like crucial
  10. Naimfan macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    I would agree with those who say go for it. It is something that cannot be added after the fact (without voiding the warranty) is relatively inexpensive, adds significantly to performance, etc. I'd also agree with upgrading the video card--for the money, why not? I've got a 1.5 PB with both, so am perhaps a bit biased....

    And RAM is a great addition, but it is something that can be added later.


  11. pmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2004
    Thanks for your helpful replies.
    I think you have all convinced me to go with the hard drive upgrade.

    I like it, but it would be funnier for me if it wasn't so true!!

    From what I can find here in NZ the apple ram (at Education prices) does not seem to be much more expensive than importing through crucial or buying locally so I will probably just go with apple, unless anyone in this part of the world has any good suggestions for ram suppliers?

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