5400rpm vs 7200rpm, replace hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wallaby, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. wallaby macrumors 6502

    wallaby

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #1
    I'm studying abroad in the Fall, and figured I need some sort of portable backup solution to bring with me. I'm decided on the best way to do it, though.

    What I'm considering:
    1. (simplest) Buy a 320Gb Passport and use it as an external.
    2. (fastest) Buy a 200Gb 7200rpm drive and replace the on in my MBP, then get an enclosure for the 160Gb drive that I take out.
    3. (largest) Same as 2, but a 320Gb 5400rpm drive instead of a smaller, faster one.

    I'm tempted to go with 1 because I don't want to screw up the installation of the hard drive on my one and only computer. What do you guys think? What kind of difference in speeds would I see in a 7200rpm drive vs the 5400 drive I've got?
     
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    With a 7200 rpm drive you will get a noticeable speed boost but you will also get a noticeable drop in battery life. Just something to think about. It is also not very difficult to change a HD out in a MBP. You just have to make sure you keep up with all the screws. There are plenty of online step by step instructions on how to do it (just FYI).
     
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #3
    You should choose the hard drive that suits your needs. If you need fast booting and random access, go with a 7200. If you need fast sustained read and writes, go with a 320 gig 5400. See this link for more info.
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    I hope you tested that claim, because as far as I know, the 7200RPM drive uses the same power as the 5400RPM drives.

    What is the difference between going #1 and #3; they are the same, except you don't get the enclosure in #3
     
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #5
    Alpha,

    How's that new Samsung drive doing for you?
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    The truth is, the 7200 will consume LESS battery, generate less heat and run faster than the 5400.

    http://www.barefeats.com/hard96.html
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    Your link is antiquated. Notice it does not have the 320 gig drives, which have the highest platter densities and, thus, greatest sustained read/write speeds. Now, if you throw in the new 320/7200 drive, all bets are off. But the OP wasn't asking about that one.

    In addition, the battery usage is so close between 5400 and 7200 drives that it's essentially a wash and therefore a nonissue.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    I'd hardly call 6 months "antiquated"! And the point is, the 200GB 7200 does NOT use more battery power... it uses less. And the OP DID refer to the 200GB 7200, so the link is relevant, even if it doesn't cover all models discussed.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    It doesn't even list the 320 gig drives. How can you call that an accurate comparison when the OP asked about 320 gig drives?

    But compared to the 320 gig drives the battery usage is just about the same, so close that it doesn't really have an impact on routine usage.

    I did not say he didn't. Please reread my post. He did not ask about the 320 gig 7200 rpm drive.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    People need to READ posts carefully before launching unwarranted attacks! Show some maturity!

    First, if you read the OP's post:

    The question was comparing the 200GB 7200rpm drive to the 160GB 5400rpm drive that he HAS and is taking out. The 320GB drive was NOT part of that question.

    Second, the link I posted was in response to "With a 7200 rpm drive you will get a noticeable speed boost but you will also get a noticeable drop in battery life." As the link I posted shows, the 200GB, 7200 drive that the OP was considering for an internal drive does NOT reduce battery life.... if anything, it may help it to some extent. It was NOT to say how great a difference in power consumption there is, but rather to say the 7200 does NOT consume MORE!

    Third, the question about battery life did NOT relate to 320GB drives, but to the 200GB 7200 drive. My post did not address the 320GB drives at all. I was ONLY responding to the comment about the 7200 consuming more power. I never represented that my post was an answer to every issue the OP brought up.

    Why don't you focus your attention on adding more factual information for the OP, rather than trying to attack other posters who are trying to help?
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    OP is looking at 320 gig drives vs 200 gig drives. It would be a great disservice to him/her to not provide such information. He has the apparent understanding that all 5400 rpm drives are equally fast (or slow) which is clearly not the case. That's a fact.

    I don't disagree with this, other than to say that, overall, battery use will be about the same with typical use. The exceptions would include if the OP uses a lot more random access (in which the 7200 would be more efficient) or sustained read or writes (in which the 320 would be more efficient). If its use is typical, then there would be virtually no difference. That's a fact.

    I know it didn't, and which is not helpful to the OP since s/he's not asking the right questions. Clearly, OP is looking for guidance, otherwise s/he wouldn't be posting such questions.

    You seem to be very sensitive. I did not attack you at all.

    The fact is, the drive that's best for the OP depends on his/her typical use. If it's heavily into random access or lots of boots, then go with the 200/7200. If it's more sustained read/writes, then go with the 320/5400.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    At no time did the OP ask for any comparison of the 200GB 7200 to any 320GB drive. The question was "What kind of difference in speeds would I see in a 7200rpm drive vs the 5400 drive I've got?" (the 160GB 5400).

    My original post was offered to correct the misinformation that with the 7200 drive, "you will also get a noticeable drop in battery life." Alphaod responded in similar fashion, "I hope you tested that claim, because as far as I know, the 7200RPM drive uses the same power as the 5400RPM drives."

    The link I provided was relevant and current enough to illustrate the point. Instead of responding by adding information about the 320GB drives, you chose to label my response as "antiquated" and "a nonissue". That kind of response is unproductive and inaccurate and uncalled for. I stated fact. I backed it up with fact. Leave it alone!
     
  13. wallaby thread starter macrumors 6502

    wallaby

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #14
    Wow...I didn't know my post was going to create such a commotion! Sorry...

    The main point of my "asking for guidance" was to figure out which would be of greater benefit: having more space INSIDE the laptop, or having a faster HD. That's why I asked about 5400rpm vs 7200rpm: I wanted to know if the people who had upgraded had noticed a substantial benefit. I remember first getting my MBP and being disappointed with the time it took to load programs compared to my 3-year old PC (which had a faster hard drive), but since then I've gotten used to it I guess. I'm studying graphic design, so my main concern is launching Adobe creative suite applications.

    A secondary inquiry was the benefits of having a larger internal harddrive versus just using my stock HDD with a large USB external. Since I'm going to be abroad, I want a portable backup solution, so it's gotta be a 2.5" drive.

    I hadn't considered battery life, although I'm likely to be plugged in most of the time. Probably my biggest deciding factor is the fear of messing up the innards of my laptop when trying to install a new HDD myself; this is my one and only computer, and I just recently bought the two-year AppleCare extension! :(
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    It's excellent; a bit louder than the WD drives, but very good none the less. I mean it's not as fast as I expected it to be, but it's all good... except the problem is I'm running low on space again :rolleyes:
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #16
    Yeah, I bet that micromotor has real trouble spinning up 3 platters. :) I'm probably going to get one for my MBP in August - and maybe one for my home theater Mini, too. That damned Eye TV is too easy to record HD content and it's all MPEG-2 here in the States, thus huge files (6 gigs for a 1 hour 720p show). I seem to run out of space every week or two.
     
  16. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    Again, it depends on what kind of work you do. If you're into databases or games (random access/seeks), or need to boot daily, then the 200/7200 is probably better for you. If you're into video or audio (sustained read/write), then the 320/5400 is probably better. Just keep in mind that the current saturation density of a 2.5" platter is just under 170 gigs. The 320 drives have two platters; Samsung's 500 gig has three platters. The high density of these drives is what makes them more suitable for sustained read/write speeds. It's also why a 160 gig or 320 gig 5400 rpm drive is faster than an 80 or 100 gig 5400 rpm drive. In addition, at around 160 gigs, the 200 gig drives will start to slow down dramatically compared to a 320 gig or 500 gig drive.

    You have to define your needs before you can make an informed decision.
     
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    One more thing to think about. If you are using Time Machine to backup your computer the external drive you use for TM should be a bit larger then the sum total of the data on the internal drive. I'd say about 1.5 times larger although 2X would not be bad. So if you try and use the old smaller drive as a TM drive it may be to small.

    I'd say if the current drive is big enough, kep it andbuy a new external drive that is close to twice as big.

    If the current interal ndrive is not big enough then buy a larger one and put it inside and then buy an even larger one and use that as a external backup drive. Find some other use for the surpls small drive.
    In any case it should be clear that an external backup drive needs to be larger, not smaller than the internal drive
     
  18. wallaby thread starter macrumors 6502

    wallaby

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #19
    I don't run Leopard (see sig) and am not sure if I plan on upgrading anytime in the future, but I will remember that if I ever do.

    I'm leaning toward just buying an external or an internal + enclosure, since the idea of opening up my MBP doesn't excite me very much. Thank you for all the replies thus far though.

    I run a 160gig drive right now with about 20 gigs free, is there a saturation limit that will slow that down as well?
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    Totally worth it; it did drop $30 in price a week after I bought it; I guess that's what you get for buying something early.

    My DirecTV is in MPEG-4 :D
     
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    Ahh, that's nice. I gave up on DTV and just bought a Eye TV Hybrid for our local digital broadcasts. All MPEG-2 and at low bit rate. The HD broadcasts aren't bad, but they are huge.
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #22
    Yes. Anytime you approach around 80% capacity you start to lose performance. There are a variety of reasons for this, including file fragmentation and scratch disk usage.
     
  22. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004

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