5400rpm hard drive will affect gaming?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by secretpact, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. secretpact macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    Hi, I'm planning on buying the new MBP with 200GB 5400rpm HD. Will this make my games slower?
    I plan on playing Sins of a Solar Empire, Oblivion, Fallout 3 (when it's out), and everything on Orange Box, but mostly I like showing off portal to my friends :).
  2. redsteven macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    Well, here's what I can tell you.
    I have an iMac and Macbook Pro (both first generation) that have ALMOST IDENTICAL specs.

    The MBP has a 2.16 GHz core duo and the iMac has a 2.0 GHz core duo. They both have 2 gigs of memory and the Radeon x1600 with 256 megs of VRAM.
    I believe that the HD in the MBP is 5400 RPM while the HD in the iMac is 7200 RPM (i think).

    Despite the slight increase in clock speed on the MBP, I think games still run a little better on the iMac. Unfortunately, this isn't really a fair comparison because the x1600 in the MBP's is underclocked by Apple.
    Worst case scenario you could always purchase an external harddrive.

    I would think that hard drive speed would have it's most noticeable impact when it came to map loading time. I haven't done a timed comparison on that between my computers, and I don't recall if the iMac is actually faster on that.

    Also, just make sure you have plenty of memory. You probably know this, but you want at least 2 gigs for gaming. I don't know if it would make a noticeable difference, but you could always go to 4 gigs in the hopes of minimizing HD paging, and it shouldn't be that expensive.
    If you take a look at http://dealnews.com/memory/prices/systems/Apple-Mac-Book-Pro/41495/2GBx2.html you can get the RAM pretty cheap now. I don't recommend getting the memory from apple... go with dealram.com instead :)
    I see that Apple wants $400 to upgrade your MBP to 4 gigs from 2. And if you purchase a 4 gig kit, you can then probably sell the two 1-gig sticks on eBay or something. I think they'd sell; they're authentic apple-branded RAM, and will have the nice little apple sticker on them :)
  3. secretpact thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    Thanks for the great advice! I do have an external HD but it's USB 2.0, and I think that might be too slow? I'd probably have to have a FireWire 800 HD or something...
  4. CANEHDN macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2005
    Eagle Mountain, UT
    Why not just upgrade the HD. You will notice some speed decrease because of the slower HD. Games may not see it much because a lot of games are played mostly in memory, but your overall experience will be slower. For the price, upgrade.

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