5400 vs 7200rpm

freud

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2007
8
0
Hi Guys,

I'm new here. Very briefly, I'm a PC user and I've always been (for more than 15years). I'm into audio production, an also I like paying a game ionce in a whiel, but I'm billion light years from being a hardcore gamer.

I plan on changing computer, my pc is now 3yo and so it's time to upgrade me thinks.
A friend of mine bought a macbook and it seems cool. I'm just having a hard time making that decision moving from pc to mac is really difficult for me (also, from desktop to laptop is not that easy).

I would go for a macbook pro 15 - 2,16ghz - 2gb of Ram; that's the initial idea.
But I'm wondering about the HDD. I fear that 5400rpm might be too slow. Is there a noticeable difference between the 2 (in performance/heat/...)?
Does anybody have a 7200rpm on such laptop?

Thanks for shedding some light

any other comment on the purchase or on the ida to switch from pc to mac is welcome (but please no pro-mac and anti-billgates comments then, I'd rather read something useful)

Thanks all for your help.
Cheers
F.
 

squeeks

macrumors 68040
Jun 19, 2007
3,389
14
Florida
i'm a PC user, i will always be a PC but ive also recently become a mac fanatic, but no way will i ever completly stop using windows, well, vista yes, but i love XP too much (lets face it there are just some things you need XP for no matter what the mac fanboys say)

anyway

i got rid of my HP laptop and got a macbook pro, ive used it for pretty much everything, some gaming (UT2k4 for OSX, Age of Empires II for OSX) runs well, ive done video editing with FCP (takes a long freaking time to render, whcih is why i still prefer sony vegas (XP only) for video editing over FCS, nothing beats Apple Soundtrack though, what an awesome program, you should very much enjoy that for doing your sound recording, i used it last night, and other than that fact that it kept wanting to use the internal mic insted of my USB soundblaster, it worked very nicely for what i was doing

ive always been a very big supporter of "Have Two Computers" there are some things you just need a desktop for, and everyone needs a laptop, for me a desktop PC and a mac laptop work wonderfully, all of my internet useage has always been on my laptop, and the "no spyware, no viruses" thing i have to say so far ive found to be true, which is nice, for what you are planing to do, i think ill have to vote for, "Switch to Mac" and get he macbook pro

the HD issue...i cant really help you, i have a 5400RPM 250gb drive, i would use a 7200 if they had it in a larger size, but i cant get away with 200gb

but i dont find the speed to be a big problem really

and ive found nothing beats handbreak for dvd ripping/ipod video encoding
 

oYx

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2007
191
3
London
freud,

i'm in exactly the same situation as you are. am thinking of getting a mbp end of the year, with audio work being primary focus.

i was thinking of using an external fw800 7200 rpm drive and leaving the internal drive as 5400 rpm.

the external 7200 rpm will only be useful when dealing with a high track-count for the data bandwidth, which also means much larger capacity. and high track-count usually means mixing time, which means i'd be indoors, a situation where it's alright to plug in an external drive and not worry about battery.

however, the bad thing is that the project may not follow you everywhere you go, if you decide to leave the fw800 drive at home.

now, i figure i'd probably just upgrade it to 7200 regardless, as you just never know when the situation calls for a larger data bandwidth. :D

here are some links you'd find useful:
http://www.barefeats.com/rosa05.html
http://www.barefeats.com/rosa06.html

i'm also trying to find out the track-count range of a 5400 rpm to no avail, so do report if you find out! of course, we can do some maths using the numbers from the test and see how many 24 bit, 96 khz tracks we can do, but it's much better to have numbers from actual usage. :)
 

freud

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2007
8
0
nice link!
very useful!

thanks!

i'll have a read then i'll make a decision
lol
 

majordude

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2007
2,352
4
Hootersville
nice link!
At the time of order, I bought a 7200 100GB drive and it saved me $100 off of the slower 160 being offered at the time.

A few weeks ago I bought a 7200 200GB Hitachi for $200 and installed it myself. I was going to wait for the 200GB Seagate coming out but it has a slower seek time than the Hitachi... so the better drive was on the market first. I believe Apple prefers Hitachi because that is what my original 7200 was.
 

freud

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2007
8
0
At the time of order, I bought a 7200 100GB drive and it saved me $100 off of the slower 160 being offered at the time.

A few weeks ago I bought a 7200 200GB Hitachi for $200 and installed it myself. I was going to wait for the 200GB Seagate coming out but it has a slower seek time than the Hitachi... so the better drive was on the market first. I believe Apple prefers Hitachi because that is what my original 7200 was.
sounds cool

any link to that harddrive?

tx
 

freud

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2007
8
0
thanks mate!

very useful!

still happy with the drive choice?
 

majordude

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2007
2,352
4
Hootersville
Just remember you're going to get a little more heat with 7200RPM, something the MBPs certainly don't need any more of.
My computer came with a 7200 RPM 100GB drive. I just upgraded to it's big brother.

I don't know why everyone is so concerned about MBP and heat. First off, Apple specs out 7200 HDs and offers them for sale. Second, the case is metal so, in the case of my 17" MBP, I have a 1.5' x 1.0' x 1.0" heat sink :eek: to cool everything off. Third, the only time I can really get the machine cooking is when I am ripping something and then (per iStats) it stays well within Apple's specs for heat.

If you want hot, I have an eight pound Clevo/Sager (Alienware) Area 51 notebook with a desktop 3.06 GHz processor (with Hyper threading)... grunt! grunt!... that REALLY gets red hot. When the fans come on it sounds like a Lear jet landing in the back yard. The external power supply gets too hot to handle (literally) and even has it's own fan! Between the computer and power supply they can heat a small room in the dead of winter. ;)
 

pilotkid

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2006
915
51
Chandler, AZ/Chicago, IL
I have a macbook and it originally came with a 5400 80GB hard drive and I upgraded it to a 7200RPM 100GB hard drive and I did notice it starts up alittle quicker but I also noticed a reduction in battery life...Was it worth it? ummm not really.
 

CL191

macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2007
9
0
I have a macbook and it originally came with a 5400 80GB hard drive and I upgraded it to a 7200RPM 100GB hard drive and I did notice it starts up alittle quicker but I also noticed a reduction in battery life...Was it worth it? ummm not really.
Just curious, how bad is the 7200rpm drive with the battery, like 1/2hr ish?
 

matt l

macrumors member
Aug 30, 2007
39
0
the faster drive uses hardly any more power then the slower dive, it works out at a couple of minutes less. i dont think people fully understand just what a difference faster hard disk make to your overall system. the hdd is the main bottle neck, and while people are willing to shell out loads more just for a slightly higher cpu clock speed, they skimp on the hard disk!

speed over size every time, put you os and apps on a fast disk, and your data on a slow big one, easy!
 

BrittQ

macrumors regular
May 23, 2007
235
0
Another option:
Get an external enclosure and put a (/multiple) high storage 7200rpm 3.5 SATA (desktop) Hard drives in there. Connect with eSATA via the express34 slot... and enjoy (much faster than firewire).
 

majordude

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2007
2,352
4
Hootersville
Another option: Get an external enclosure and put a (/multiple) high storage 7200rpm 3.5 SATA (desktop) Hard drives in there. Connect with eSATA via the express34 slot... and enjoy (much faster than firewire).
But the OS and cache is still on the slow drive.

Spend the $200 and buy a 200GB 7200 RPM Hitachi. Best money I've spent since that wild night in Vegas.
 

freud

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2007
8
0
nice nice nice

I'm not concerned about the heat to be honest.
I also believe that if they sell such products then it's made for such machines.
If my Mac would melt because of that, trust me I would go to an apple store and I would make them eat my well cooked MAC!


that Hitachi drive looks neat! I'm sure they don't ship to my place though :(

And honestly if you look at the benchmarks on http://barefeats.com/rosa05.html
the 200gb at 7200rpm is definitely an improvement!

Depends what u do with your mac also. I plan on doing Audio production (Ableton, Logic) and usually that means fast drive access (for recording and sample use). I could also use a FW800 drive (which I'll probably have to buy also bevause of lack of space, 200b is nothign nowadays ;) )

cheers
 

majordude

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2007
2,352
4
Hootersville
Depends what u do with your mac also. I could also use a FW800 drive...
Well, a 7200 RPM drive will improve the day-to-day performance of your system as well.

I have an external FW800 drive and the transfers are fast. The disk inside is probably only 5000 RPM, I'm not sure.
 

freud

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 6, 2007
8
0
Well, a 7200 RPM drive will improve the day-to-day performance of your system as well.

I have an external FW800 drive and the transfers are fast. The disk inside is probably only 5000 RPM, I'm not sure.
default it is 5400rpm indeed
 

robby818

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2007
581
3
I swapped a 7200 rpm drive for the stock 5400 rpm drive but i went back to the 5200 rpm drive because of vibration from the 7200 rpm drive. On the macbook the drive is right below the palm rest so i could feel it under my wrist.

i put the same 7200 rpm drive into my thinkpad x61s which has rubber drive rails and i can't feel a thing.

the performance difference is noticeable.
 

Veritas&Equitas

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2005
1,528
1
Twin Cities, MN
See, I installed a 7200 rpm into my Macbook Pro upgrading from the default 5400, and I really don't notice a difference with vibration or anything like the previous poster, at all. The only thing is that it runs about 2 degrees Celsius hotter, and about 10 minutes less battery life.

Regardless, the massive performance boost I've gotten from the 7200 far outweighs these cons. According to the Barefeats test, my 200gb 7200 rpm is about 25% faster than my original stock 120gb 5400, and I truly can tell the difference. Definitely wouldn't go back to the 5400.
 

pilotkid

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2006
915
51
Chandler, AZ/Chicago, IL
I have a macbook that came with a 5400RPM HD and I switched it out to a 7200RPM HD. I did notice that from power off and from sleeping to ready to use it happened faster BUT I also noticed a drop in battery life and alittle more heat.