7200 RPM HD worthy upgrade for a Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by fiatlux, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    15 months ago I purchased a MacBook primarily for lightweight work, but it quickly replaced my desktop PC for basically all my work, including photo and video editing.

    I've got plenty of external disks and a seperate monitor to cope with the task, but a MacBook will never be a workstation. ;)

    I've been thinking about buying an iMac, a Mac Pro (used or new) or building a hackintosh, but I thought a hard drivre upgrade might get me going a little longer with my MacBook.

    If anybody made the upgrade, how effective is the replacement of the stock 120GB 5400 RPM drive by a 7200 RPM model (such as a Western Digital Scorpio Black - 320 Go) on a MacBook 2,2GHz with 4GB of RAM?

    In terms of software, I run Lightroom, Final Cut Express, iLife and iWork on OSX 10.5.6. Most of my data is on external FW400 hard disks.
  2. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    The 7200 rpm drives that I've put into my MacBook definitely give it a performance boost. I feel it mostly at startup and opening programs. Contrary to other posts about 7200 rpm drives, I don't feel that my MacBook is hotter, louder, or using battery any differently although I do feel a slight vibration at times. Nothing uncomfortable or alarming. -GDF
  3. Mpulsive81 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2006
    McKinney, TX
    Sounds like you're on the right track! I just traded up and have the same machine you do now. On my old Macbook (2GHz CD/2Gb ram) I replaced the 60gb with the 7200 Scorpio Black 320 you're mentioning. I noticed a respectable/noticable difference in performance and the 'increase of noise' wasn't significant (unless you're just a extremely picky individual).

    The two better ones are the WD Scorpio Black & the Seagate Momentus 7200.3, so it's all a matter of preference. You'll be pleased and, if not, lemme know and i'll buy it off you so i can stuff it into my new machine :D
  4. waiwai macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    Faster HD = Faster load times...

    Of course its worth it to upgrade from 5400 to 7200... First thing I did when I got my aluminum mb was swap for a seagate 7200RPM 320GB HD and have been very happy with the upgrade.
  5. Gaspode67 macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2008
    Oxon, UK
    Got to say, like the others here, I've noticed a boost on boot time since I replaced the old HD with a 7200 160GB Seagate. It was a forced upgrade, as the original drive failed completely on sunday morning! Thank god for Time Machine is all I can say....

    The added vibration of the faster disc is noticeable at times, but nothing too annoying, and I would hazard a guess that the fan noise is actually a little less now with the new disc...

    Bottom line, it's definitely worth doing
  6. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I moved from 5400rpm to 7200rpm a few years back and it was nice. I performed a similar upgrade recently going from a 7200rpm drive to an SSD. If you can afford it, that is much more noticeable.
  7. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    As others have said its a noticeable speed improvement but not dramatic in overall use. Boot times improve and application load times improve and reading/writing very large files improves. Its less noticeable in other areas.

    I learned from my MBA that XSLIMMER significantly speeds up application load times and that an occasional (quarterly to annually) iDefrag can boost overall performance (depending on the shape of your file system) as well. As it turns out both of these work very well on my MB and iMac as well making relatively fast machines even faster.
  8. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Sorry to thread jack but...

    I have recently been doing some homework as i want to upgrade my 2.4 Penryn Blackbook with a 500GB HD. Now, i know the 7200 is faster but will I notice the difference between the 5400 and the 7200? I have already upped the RAM to 4GB, not sure if thats a factor or not. The price difference isnt really an issue, but if i pay for a faster drive, i would at least want to be able to see where those extra dollars went. Yanno?

    Thanks in advance for your responses. :D

    Now playing on iTunes: Maino Feat. Uncle Murder - NWA
  9. mbradyrn macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2009
    I upgraded my MBP 2.2 to a WD Scorpio Black 7200/320gb and am very happy with it. No heat increase, less noise than before. I do notice about 10% less battery, but other than that a nice simple upgrade.
  10. stringbeanie macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Southern California
    Seagate 7200.4

    I purchased the Seagate 500GB 7200 and installed it on my unibody macbook 2 days ago and I love the extra room on the hard drive but that is about it. It is very quiet and no more vibrations than the stock hard drive but the boot up is incredibly slow compared to the original toshiba drive. I put my original drive in an enclosure and booted it up from that drive and it was definitely faster than the new drive. Any ideas what could be the hold up on boot up?:confused:
  11. dmiller macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2008
    i think if you are going to replace your HDD anyway you go for the 7200. If you have enough space on a 5400 there isn't enough benefit to upgrade to the same size HDD but in a faster speed. does that make any sense :confused:
  12. bizzo macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    I just performed this upgrade on my new aluminum macbook mostly because I wanted more storage and since drives are so cheap nowadays, I figured why not go with 7200rpm? There is definitely a performance boost to be gained by doing this. I noticed installing apps to be much faster, but haven't actually done any real benchmarks. I definitely notice a slight vibration at times but nothing to make it a deal breaker for me. I also can hear the hard drive now, but that's only when it a completely silent environment, if there's any background noise you won't hear the hard drive at all.
  13. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    where did you purchase them? I can't seem to find one...
  14. Miller117 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2009
  15. Corvillus macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    My boot time with the new Seagate drive is definitely faster. Keep in mind, however, that the first time using any new drive, it will be slower because Spotlight hasn't indexed the drive yet.
  16. dxta0 macrumors member


    Feb 28, 2009
    i upgrade my hard drive as well and yes there is a boost but i have notice about to 2hrs of battery life was cut off because of it
  17. stringbeanie macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Southern California
    After many boot ups, my old hdd in the enclosure still boots faster than the 7200. When I first formatted the new drive, I renamed it and it seemed to make it a sub of the drive with the new name. Do you suppose that has anything to do with the slow boot? As mentioned before, once booted up, this drive is fast.

    BTW, I got mine from CompUSA. They had them in stock for a few days. Keep checking the tech sites. They do get them in stock but they just sell out fast.

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