160GB 5400rpm vs 7200rpm

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 4np, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. 4np macrumors 6502a

    4np

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    #1
    As the new MacBook Pro's have been upgraded to specs I have wanted for a long time I am going to order one (15" 2.4). However, it it possible order it with a 7200rpm 160GB drive.

    Does anybody know what the impact on power consumption / heat / noise is of a 7200rpm 160GB harddisk over a 5400rpm one? As I also intend to play games (HL2 etc) and edit videos; how big a difference would it be performance wise?
     
  2. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    The $150 upgrade option over the 5400rpm drive is a bit ridiculous. I bought the 7200rpm drive by itself for $170. That said, it's back-ordered most places, so it may extend your shipping date as well.
     
  3. klymr macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Shipping is still 1-3 days with either option. I was also wondering what difference I would see while rendering videos and such. I heard a 7200 rpm drive is a lot faster for that. Hmmm....what to do!
     
  4. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    It's the fastest drive on the market. If you can afford it, do it.
     
  5. MacDonaldsd macrumors 65816

    MacDonaldsd

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    #5
    Is there any downsides to the 7200rpm hard drive compared to the 5400rpm?
     
  6. 4np thread starter macrumors 6502a

    4np

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    #6
    This site has some interesting tests of a 5400rpm drive vs a 7200rpm drive in a MacBook Pro. Apparantly there is not so much difference between the two in normal use; only in large sustained reads and writes the 7200rpm is faster.

    This is their conclusion:

    So I guess the 5400rpm drive is fine and if you want to do video editting one is better of using a fast external FW800 drive... Regarding games it also looks like there will only be a difference in loading time; not really in gaming performance...
     
  7. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    My 7200rpm drive has always felt snappier loading things like World of Warcraft and even smaller programs.

    It's going to be faster. How much doesn't really matter to speed freaks.

    Down side? Slightly more power consumption in idle mode.
     
  8. Igantius macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Quite a bit more when the drive is pretty full though.
     
  9. urbanachiever macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #9
    Very excited to be buying my first Mac! (2.2 MBP)

    So, if I am going to be doing a lot of audio production/editing (e.g., ableton live, logic express/pro) will the 7200 make that much difference or is it really just noticable for video/gaming? Not sure I want to wait 4-6 weeks for it.

    Thanks!
     
  10. MacDonaldsd macrumors 65816

    MacDonaldsd

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    #10
    Is the 7200rpm hard drive (noticeably) louder ?
     
  11. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    No, not at all.
     
  12. klymr macrumors 65816

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    #12
    I was wondering the same thing. I just got off chat with the apple guy, and he said the 5400 drive is slower, particularly with audio. He said with video there isn't much of a noticable difference due to the c2d chipset they are using. It is also true that the 5400 drive will use less power, which is a big factor.

    SO, now I'm stuck in the same boat, go for less speed, or less battery life (and a LOOOOOOOOONG wait)?
     
  13. MacDonaldsd macrumors 65816

    MacDonaldsd

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    #13
    I hate having to wait :(

    Performance is more important to me than the battery life though, so il have to sit it out.
     
  14. klymr macrumors 65816

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    #14
    What is the performance difference? I'm just curious to know. If I won't see a big difference in read/write speeds while editing, why wait? Anyone know where I can compare the two in this particular fashion?
     
  15. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The battery life difference is neglible. Price is more of an issue.
     
  16. urbanachiever macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Today the guy at the Apple Store in Chicago said the 7200 will make a difference for audio work but a guy at Macmall told me it only matters for gaming. I guess I am wondering if that difference is a few seconds here and there or a few minutes here and there.

    Uggh, I waited this long, I guess another 4 weeks wont kill me :(
     
  17. Hls811 macrumors 6502a

    Hls811

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    #17
    I dont think theres a clear cut answer anywhere.. I've been debating this (and a 4200 RM 200GB drive) all day... I spoke to 2 people w/ Apple, and they both said that the speed difference is minimal and I wouldn't notice it and the tradeoff for going to a 200GB is more beneficial then any perceived performance hits by going slower...

    I ultimately opted for the 4200 simply because I currently have 160GB and its closer to being full than it is empty and thats with be being very picky about what I install.. when ever Apple releases that 100GB widescreen iPod, I'll need the space on my notebook to have the same and I'd easily fill up 160. (and I use itunes locally from my laptop on a daily basis, and porting around an external drive isn't really convenient).
     
  18. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

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    #18
    How many people have ordered mac products before and have been told 4-6wks and they have come sooner? Ready to pull the trigger but that wait time is crazy for the 7200 rpm drive!
     
  19. 4np thread starter macrumors 6502a

    4np

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    #19
    I've made up my mind and I'm gonna go for the 7200rpm drive. It's a shame it takes 3-4 weeks for be ready for shipment but what the heck. I've been waiting for quite while already so I can handle a couple of extra weeks.

    Anyways; I read on several sites that the 7200rpm is faster (especially in large sustained reads) but does not significantly generate more heat or noise and the battery drain is also very little (minutes). So I'm just gonna go for the 7200rpm ;)
     
  20. urbanachiever macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I think I'm going w/ the 7200 as well. I spoke with a couple musician/ producer friends and they said it does make a big difference when working w/ audio
     
  21. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

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    #21
    I took the plunge and got the 7200! I'm waiting and no regrets!
     
  22. live4ever macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    That site I believe used one of the 100GB 7200rpm drives vs. a 5400rpm drive with a higher data density (perpendicular recording) the newer 7200rpm drives at 160GB would have the same data density now so they might be faster than that comparison shows.
     
  23. cbatt macrumors newbie

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    Feb 15, 2004
    #23
    It does, but if you're doing audio and/or video on your internal drive, you're nuts (or perhaps just desperate).

    Buy an external firewire drive or enclosure. Use that for any recording / editing work that you might have to do. If it fails, mechanically, (this is likely, because A/V work can seriously tax a drive) then replacing an external drive is trivial. Not to mention that if the internal drive fails, you'll probably have to replace the drive and re-install all of your software and THEN try to recover any lost data.

    If you're debating about whether or not to upgrade the internal drive when ordering your MBP, don't bother is my recommendation. Save the money and go FW - you will be happier in the long run.
     
  24. macagain macrumors regular

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    Jan 1, 2002
    #24
    from a few past experiences... all related to everyday use... bootup, safari, etc.

    1. on my old TiBook 550 (768Mb), when I went from a 4200rpm drive to a 5400rpm, the difference was noticeable. Not "oh my gawd", but noticeable.

    2. on my G4 1.25 AlBook (1.25Gb), when i went from 4200rpm to 7200rpm, it was hardly noticeable... bootup was maybe 10-15% faster, everyday day stuff was barely noticeable... a little, but not enough to say "wow"

    3. on my windoze (pentium m something or other) compaq (1.5Gb), when I went from 4200rpm to 7200rpm, it was "oh my gawd, did some one put a turbo in this thing?". difference was night and day... boot up was less than half the time, everything was much zippier...

    my takeaway was that os x is very, very good at memory and io management, and assuming you have enough ram for what you do, disk rpm is not as huge of a factor as you would think. My MBP now runs a 5400rpm disk, and I'm not complaining... I would never run windoze on less than a 7200.
     
  25. Sunnzy macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2007
    #25
    So does anyone know roughly the battery impact with the 7200? 5 minutes or 50 minutes?

    If only around 5 minutes I would opt for 7200, the LED already saved around 30 minutes so that would make up for it.
     

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