5400 vs. 7200

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by arielled01, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. arielled01 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #1
    is there a noticeable difference in the HDD for the Macbook Pro:

    160 GB 5400 RPM
    160 GB 7200 RPM

    also does the RPM have anything to do with memory. For example if I upgrade to 4 gb of ram is it better to have the 7200 RPM?

    thankyou
     
  2. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
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    sunny los angeles
    #2
    7200rpm would give you a slight speed increase for lots of things. if you can afford to go for it, then why not.

    Also, the RPM has nothing to do with the amount of ram you have in your computer.
     
  3. GanleyBurger macrumors regular

    GanleyBurger

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    Feb 25, 2007
    #3

    Will this make these laptops any HOTTER???:eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  4. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    NC
    #4
    RPM = Rotations Per Minute

    It means that your hard drive will spin faster and when things spin faster things usually get hotter.

    But it does make loading things a lot faster.
     
  5. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #5
    Usually = not always, like in not in this case (assuming one is comparing two hard drives of equal size).

    Hard drives consume power when they do work but idle spinning consumes very little power. Now slow-spinning hard drive has to do more (milliseconds of) work just to find the correct place to read the data. Furthermore, the slower-spinning hard drive has to do more (milliseconds of) work to actually read the data. This means that faster-spinning hard drive can "idle" more than the slower-spinning hard drive (assuming both do equal amount of data reading/writing). And because more idle revs, the faster drive can actually consume *less* power and run cooler OR on the other hand, the faster drive can do more work for same power.

    Fast hard drive is always a win-win situation, you only have to invest some more money to get one ;)
     
  6. basicfiend macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #6
    Here's a review

    Storage Review has a comparison between the two drives (and a few more too, but concentrate on the Seagate 5400.3 and Seagate 7200.2 as those are the two options for the MBP:

    http://www.storagereview.com/160notebook.sr

    You can check out the performance increases yourself, but concentrating on the downside of the 7200:

    Basically the 7200 is faster, but it's also noisier and consumes slightly more power. The 5400 consumes about 35% less power than the 7200 when idling, and the 7200 is 2 decibels louder:

    http://www.storagereview.com/160notebook.sr?page=0,5

    Can't have your cake and eat it too :(
     
  7. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #7
    The faster the hard drive the better, always.

    The Hard drive is the slowest component inside a computer, you mite as well get the fastest one you can.
     
  8. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #8
    I'd stick with the 5400, however, it really depends on what you are doing with the laptop. If the most important issue is capacity, then you might want the 200GB (and eventually the 250GB 5400).

    If application load times are important or use any application that reads or writes frequently to disk, the faster the better.

    So far 5400 has been fine for me and I would no spend the extra to upgrade. Capacity is more important to me (not important enough to drop to 4200) so on my next purchase I will propably wait for the new 250GB 5400s are build to order options.

    Cheers,
     
  9. arielled01 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2007
  10. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
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    #10
    Who cares? When the laptop lid is open, somebody is likely *using* it for something, thus not idling the hard drive. Idle numbers are important for 24/7 high-availability servers that are designed for occasional light load.

    Hard drive laptop is in constant use so real-world numbers would be most important. Unfortunately, you can only get trustworthy real-world comparison by installing two different hard drives into one and the same system and running same tests for both. I did it with a G4@667MHz PowerBook which was a case (in which hard drive change was a piece of cake) and noticed that 7200rpm hard drive not only ran cooler (because it did less work and more idling for the same amount of disk activity) but the hard drive change also did not affect to the battery life in a measurable way. Give or take 5 minutes of battery life, the real-world power consumption is very close to nothing.

    After that experience, I will always put in the fastest-spinning hard drive available, period. The only downsize is money, but for the performance gain it's well worth it.

    ...you might just as well buy some terabytes of external storage.
     
  11. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Location:
    Kilrath
    #11
    I do have TBs worth of external disks, however I beleive some folks just don't like lugging the external drive around. I actually carry a 160GB 2.5 inch external sata drive for my ipod videos. It only has eSATA and USB2 but once I buy a MBP instead of this MB I will either get a eSATA card or a FW800 2.5 inch enclousure. Speed is good, just for me not the most important thing (especially if I have to spend ($200+ to have apple put it in - it would be nice if the drives in the MBP were user upgradable).

    Cheers,
     
  12. basicfiend macrumors member

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    Jun 13, 2007
    #12
    Hmm, my hard drive is definitely idling during lectures when I'm using my laptop to surf the net. Sure, it depends on your usage patterns (like surfing the web versus watching movies), but my hard drive is actually idle most of the time. Furthermore, if you're doing video editing and spinning the hard drive, you're also likely plugged in and power consumption doesn't matter.

    I guess there are 10 types of laptop users in this world: those who want mobile battery life and those who need fast disk performance.
     
  13. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #13
    Apps will in theory launch faster with the 7200, although how noticeable this will be is debatable.

    If you are doing, or planning to do any digital video work then it is also important.
     
  14. superwoman macrumors regular

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    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey,CA
    #14
    I have a 160GB 7200rpm Seagate in my MacBook.

    It's not just about apps launching faster (come on, how often does one launch apps?). It's also about the overall responsiveness of the system. No matter how much RAM you have, there will always be disk access all the time. And every single time the OS accesses the disk, it will do so 33% faster. The result is an overall snappier-feeling system.

    Some people feel that for the same money, one should opt for more disk space instead of faster RPM. The way I see it, the extra disk space may not be used at all, but a snappier system will be felt all the time.

    Also, if you use Parallels or Fusion, then you this is definitely the next best thing to having a separate physical HDD.
     
  15. arielled01 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #15
    i think i am going to get with the 2.4 ghz MBP because ive been reading on other forums about the better video card and such, and also with the 160 GB 7200 rpm. the student discount is very beneficial although the tax (in my case $170) is a bummer. total cost = $2604.38 :eek:

    does anyone object to upgrading to the 2.4 ghz?
     
  16. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #16
    I just installed a Seagate 160GB 7200 rpm HDD in my new 2.2GHz MacBook Pro w/ 4GB of OCz RAM and this thing is a screamer. Much faster than my 2GHz MacBook w/ 5200rpm HDD (I know there are other improvements, but I can tell the faster HDD is doing its part). :)
     
  17. babababoon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #17
    I am thinking 5400 vs 7200 as well. I do a lot of photoshop/illustrator work do you think 7200 rpm drive would be a lot better than the 5400 drive?
     
  18. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    Working for MI-6
    #18
    I would go for the 7200 if I was you. Dealing with large files (be it loading or saving) will be much faster with the 7200 rpm HDD.

    www.barefeats.com found the 160GB 7200rpm HDD to be about 24-30% faster. :)
     
  19. boyneverstop macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #19
    what about the change in battery life? does it effect the battery life?
    how long can your battery last if you only use safari and itune, msn etc? thank you very much! i d like to buy a mbp and upgrade the memory and hdd just like you! thank you!
     
  20. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #20
    For the sake of the noisyness of your MBP, and for the battery life, the 5400 is better. I remember someone posted up benchmarks on both of the drives and there was a very minimal difference between the two. I say get the 5400 (I did) and keep your battery life (and money!) :)
     
  21. GanleyBurger macrumors regular

    GanleyBurger

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #21
    .

    Called OWC yesterday.

    4 gigs of Ram is like $219 (2 x 2gigs)

    Seagate 7200 RPM 160 gig drive is $189.

    No sales tax.

    I'm on the fence, too. What to do.

    160GB 2.5" Seagate Momentus 7200.2 7200RPM SATA Notebook drive with 8MB Cache
    OWC Item # SEAST9160823AS
    Same Day $189.99

    Just a note: Either Hitachi now has a 200 gig 7200 rpm drive through OWC.
    200GB 2.5" Hitachi Travelstar 7K200 7200RPM SATA Notebook Drive with 16MB Cache
    OWC Item # HIT0A50940
     
  22. basicfiend macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #22
    Both?

    I ordered the Seagate from ComputerGiants.com for $164 (no tax, no shipping), but estimated shipping date is June 30th.

    I wonder how the Hitachi 200 GB drive performs. If it's as good as their 160GB 7200 drive, then I might just cancel this order....
     
  23. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #23
    OMG, the RAM is cheap again :)
     
  24. Jenkl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    #24
    What restrictions would you say there are for size/speed of a hardrive you put into a Macbook? Just due to power consumption... Im curious if theres a limit I should watch for. I intend to buy my own SATA drive, as big and fast as I can get for around 100 bucks, so I just want to make sure I dont screw myself. Figured this is a good thread for the question ;).
     
  25. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Location:
    Kilrath
    #25
    I think any of the 2.5 inch sata drives will be fine. I use a 160GB Hitachi SATA drive in mine with no issues.

    Cheers,
     

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