7200rpm Drives - 13inch Unibody Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by helix21, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. helix21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    #1
    Posting this in the macbook pro section deliberately because the unibody 13 inch macbook is essentially a 13"MBP

    I have about 10GB free in my standard 5400rpm 160GB harddrive and am now thinking of moving to a 7200rpm 320GB one. Few questions:

    1. How much of an impact will this have on performance? Would this make a significant one?

    2. Can anyone suggest any known 'good'/reliable 7200rpm drives?

    3. How much of an impact will this have on the battery life? I get good 4 hours currently on it and really like that I dont need to carry the powercord into school for the odd lectures.

    And I intend to clean install snow leopard on the new drive. Will need any formatting of sorts or is it just connect and install from drive? I then plan on using the 160GB as a backup one.
     
  2. Mumford macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    #2
    1: performance will improve for anything disk related. Data transfer rates will be higher due to the higher rotational velocity. You'll notice apps starting faster, things like that.

    2: I hear good things about the WD Green series.

    3: can't give exact numbers, but battery life will definitely go down. I'd be surprised if it went any lower than 3.25 - 3.5 hours.

    4: if you're going to do a clean install of SL, the installation process will take care of formatting it.
     
  3. helix21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    #3
    Thanks. Never heard of the green series - mainly blue, back and seagate momentous. From some quick searching, the momentous seems to be the better one.
     
  4. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #4
    My MB is not a new unibody, but the 7200 drives do provide
    a nice boost to performance. I recommend Other World Computing
    as they have some stats on their site and have good prices on HD's.

    I put a Seagate 7200 Momentus in and it works great. They is a slight
    vibration at times relative to the 5400. And then you can get an enclosure
    and make your old drive an external HD for storage/backup.
     
  5. bobnugget macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #5
    Note that if you want to keep power consumption down and preserve your battery life - get a slower high capacity drive. They are nearly as quick as the faster, lower capacity ones. A 500 GB 5400rpm drive gets nearly the same speeds (about 3 MB/s slower avg, 2 ms slower seek, 1 MB/s slower burst - you probably won't notice it) as a 320 GB 7200rpm drive. A 5400rpm 320 GB drive will also be much faster than your 160 GB 5400rpm one!

    Stats using HD Tach: WD & Seagate 5400rpm 500 GB vs WD 7200rpm 320 GB


    I've had issues with a couple of Momentus drives and my unibody MacBook, but not everyone else has, so I wouldn't say it's dangerous. I've swapped to a 500GB Scorpio Blue.
     
  6. helix21 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    #6
    Thanks that is useful input. 500GB drives are more expensive (obv), but if the difference in speed is minimal then I reckon that would be the better option. Which one would you recommend?
     
  7. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #7
    Get a Hitachi 7200RPM drive @ 500GB. Sounds like I'm working for Hitachi here, but this drive is newer and better than the Seagate.

    It's only $99 @ Frys.com
     
  8. specops macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #8
    I have the seagate 7200 500gb in mine and it works great. Doesnt make any loud sounds either. I got mine from Bestbuy with my discount. If you have a friend who works at bestbuy see if they can get you one. That way you can return it if you have any problems.

    Oh and yeah you will notice a 10-20% performance increase, nothing to amazing. Battery life i never noticed a change so yeah.
     
  9. bobnugget macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #9
    I usually go for (and would recommend) 5400rpm WD Blue drives - although the WD Green will apparently give better battery life. It does appear that the equivalent seagate drives are faster, but I have had issues with them in the past - there was certainly some incompatibilty between the drives and NVidia chipsets paired with OS X (they worked fine in Windows) when I was using them. However, plenty of other people have had no issues with them, so they could be a good option too!

    If you can afford a 7200rpm 500 GB drive - that would be the best option! If not, I'd go for 5400rpm 500 GB, then 7200rpm 320 GB (although in the UK, the 5400rpm 500 GB only costs about 10% more than the 7200rpm 320GB, so I'd go for the 500 GB if it was affordable)
     
  10. Revelation78 macrumors 68000

    Revelation78

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #10
    I also have a 7200RPM Seagate 500Gb drive. I've loved it ever since I put it in. I'm sure there's a hit on the battery, though I never really noticed it or payed enough attention to it. Performance wise, things are a little more peppy - it's nothing to scream OMG about, though. I notice the most performance increase when I play games, as one would expect.

    I've heard good and bad about Seagate, WD, Hitachi, etc... Regardless of the one you buy, get it from a reputable seller - preferrably one with a laxed return/exchange policy.
     
  11. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #11
    I put a 5400rpm WD Scorpio Blue Drive 500GB drive in my 13" MBP and I like it a lot. I'd recommend whatever drive you get... get a 500 GB one. The increase in price over a 320 GB drive is minor for the increase in disk space. You can never have too much disk space, girlfriends, or money... just ask Tiger.
     

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