7200RPM vs. 5400RPM harddrive - did I make the wrong choice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ninjaboi21, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. ninjaboi21 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Hi MacRumors,

    got my CTO MacBook Pro 15" - sporting hi-res glossy and 7200RPM harddrive. The situation is: did I make the wrong chose? After using it for a day, I noticed the noise it produced. I just thought it was the fans because of the graphiccard which I couldn't do that much about, but after a little searching and experimenting with the fans, I can conclude it is indeed the 7200RPM that's making annoying noise.

    Did I make a wrong chose when I chosed the 7200RPM over the larger, but slower 5400RPM? Here, I am not talking about performance, but the noise level. To be honest, I would much more want a slower, but quite harddrive than a faster, but annoying harddrive.

    I have 4 choses now:

    1. Just go with this setup and get used to it. I don't like this solution.
    2. Buy a 5400RPM for 80$-90$ - enough for a 500GB harddrive. Either buy a case and use the 7200RPM as external or sell it.
    3. Call the different Apple Premium resellers and hear if they eventually have a top-end 15" with hi-res screen. Like this if they have one in stock. Would not have to wait.
    4. Get a full money return by Apple and make them ship a new one to me. I would have to a wait another week or two, but rather that than annoyance over the next couple of years.

    The only problem is that I'm 16 years old and it's been bought in my dad's name, and I already screwed up twice last year. I am pretty sure he will be pissed at me for making the wrong choice three times in a row within such small period of time. Though, this machine has costed me freakin' 4000$ so tbh I want to be bitchy about it, I want it to work and sound as I imagined when buying it. Yes, that's a total of 222 work hours for a 16 year old like me.

    SSD is out of the picture - I am not paying 250$ for a 128GB SSD and I can't live with only 60GB.

    What would you advice me to do? As I bought it from Apple.dk (yes, I am from Denmark :)) I should still have my 14 full money refund available.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    500GB 5400rpm HD shouldn't cost much more than 50$. I would go with that and then do whatever you want to the old drive (sell or use as an external). As 7200rpm drives are more expensive, might be that this upgrade won't cost you a penny.
  3. ClintMacwood macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Yeah I would buy a 5400rpm HD and sell the other one. I sold my 7200rpm last year on dba.dk. Quick and easy - and you can keep your Dad out of it.
  4. mikefly macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2007
    #1) You bought the MB with your money.. why did you put it in your dad's name?

    #2) This is not a screw-up on your part.

    #3) Call apple and see what they suggest.
  5. ninjaboi21, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    ninjaboi21 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Which harddrive would you suggest me to buy? The only two conditions I really have is at least 320GB, not cost more than 56$ total (including shipping) and actually a third one... maximum 5400RPM speed.

    If you could show me some amazon.co.uk links for less than 56$ total, it would be super awesome :)

    Hej der ;-) How much were you able to get for your 7200RPM harddrive and how big was it? How long did it take you to get rid of it? Will try to make a post tomorrow and just see what people bid of it...

    Now when you mention it - it is bought in my name, he just paid temporary as I didn't have the money on my card.

    Would do that tomorrow + call the Apple Premium Resellers and maybe hear what they suggest too.
  6. ozred macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2011
    I have this suggestion, why not give it a week or so.

    Deliberately focus on what you're doing with the computer, not what it sounds like.

    I have had several in both 5400 & 7200. There's little if any difference in the level of sound coming from these drives. I'm picky, I have a very quiet private office, so I can relate.

    But remember, it's not like anything is wrong or damaging your computer.

    You may find after awhile you won't even notice it. After all you just got it and it's going to be different than your used to. 7200 rpm drives are beneficial.

    Why give it up without a longer trial period?
  7. ninjaboi21, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    ninjaboi21 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Which harddrive will you suggest me, to a maximum of 56$? That's equal to 300 danish krones, which is probably the top I will pay for a harddrive.

    Sure I could give it a week, max, as long as my full money refund does not exceed :p

    Sure the 7200RPM loads applications faster than the 5400RPM, I'm not sure how much we are talking, a 25% difference? That's great, but I was thinking about investing in a SSD in some few months when the prices eventually has lowered or I have saved up some money on my account. When that time comes, a 7200RPM will feel like a 100RPM compared to the SSD and the noise will just be a pain.

    The question is more or less, should I call Apple and hear what they can do + the different Apple Premium Resellers or buy a 5400RPM harddrive and sell the one that's currently inside the machine?

    So I am concerning and thinking about swapping this MacBook Pro while it's still possible instead of wait a few months or weeks and see if I will get used to it. I am 90% sure I won't (unfortunately).
  8. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    I replaced my 750gb 5400 with a 750gb 7200. Its just as noisy. Only way you will be happy is with an SSD and since you can't afford it just keep the 7200 drive as its way faster. Best bet is to send it back and re-order you macbook pro with the 128gb SSD for the extra $100.
  9. Grolubao macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2008
    London, UK
    I had a 5400 and I moved to a 7200 and honestly I don't feel a difference in the sound
  10. skiltrip, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    When I put a 7200rpm in my 13" MBP, it def got a little louder. I've noticed as well the few external drives I have. The 7200rpm ones also have a little more of that whirring sound. That's why this time I opted for the 5400rpm in my 2011.

    I also think that's why Apple never adopted 7200rpm drives as standard in the MBP, despite the Pro moniker. They know they can be a little louder. In the MBP there it really only a thin piece of aluminum between the drive and the user.
  11. aibo82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    7200rpm drives are not that noisy if you get a stable one or one that's not been bumped as if the platters are unbalanced they hum and whir! some brands are worse than others! Hitachi are quiet WD are loud Seagate are somewhere in the middle!

    But as a trade off to a 5400rpm drives you will get faster seek times so loading is quicker and the computer is more responsive!

    Its the best thing you can do for a computer getting a faster drive as its the biggest bottleneck in any PC there are some 10,000rpm drives about but power hungry id go with SDD!
  12. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008

    That is a bit more but it's the cheapest 500GB I could find from Amazon. 320GB is few quids cheaper.
  13. ninjaboi21 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    Just looked up on a Danish website, where they stated the average decibel was 26. Does anyone have any idea how I can check the decibel of my current harddrive? Is 26 decibel lower than the 2000RPM fans?

    If I had the choice to return my MacBook Pro at an Apple Premium Reseller and get a new one instantly or buy a new 5400RPM HDD and switch it out myself, what would you suggest? The return solution would cost me 0$, but the other might end up in 100$ or 20$, wether I sell my 7200RPM or keep it as an external. Would I get a far superior HDD if I invested in one and swapped it out myself or would it be the same as the one Apple provided?
  14. GuitarDTO macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    Glad to see a few posts that suggest people dont notice a difference between the two. I was starting to get nervous about my choice of harddrive! I'll be able to evaluate in a few days ; )
  15. Hey Jude macrumors 6502a

    Hey Jude

    May 9, 2008
    My WD 750GB 7200rpm drive runs pretty silently, so might it be a problem your, and the OP's , HD?
  16. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    the hitachi that came with my mb was 5400 and near silent. I would advise you buy that and use your existing on externally in an enclosure.
  17. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
  18. ninjaboi21 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    You can't turn it lower than 2000RPM. If you all want to compare how my hard drive sounds, try download smcFanControl (use Sirmausalot's link) and turn the fans up to a 3500RPM. That's pretty much the level of noise my 7200RPM hard drive.

    I would appreciate if you could tell me what hard drive you would suggest - so far, it seems to be between a Seagate Momentus and Western Digital - which have the lowest noise level, kind of my first priority.

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