7200rpm vs. SSD - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by nope7308, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I originally owned the new MBP with a 320GB 7200rpm drive, but I had to return the machine because it was defective (multiple reasons). Rather than a direct exchange, I went with the 2.4Ghz MB for size/portability. I'm noticing a small difference in 'snappiness', primarily when booting and 'cold-starting' apps. I think it's safe to say that the slight delay is caused by the slower 5400 rpm HD.

    Now, that extra second or two is enough to make me want to upgrade. My fear with the 7200 rpm drives, though, is the vibration. The MBP I previously owned did vibrate, but I don't know if that was normal, or if it was yet another defect. Unfortunately, 'annoying vibration' is kind of subjective...

    Given my OCD tendencies, I figured an SSD would be a safe bet. BUT, I know very little about them. So, here are my questions:

    1) Is an SSD equally fast as a 7200rpm drive? That is, will it provide the same performance as my previous 7200rpm drive when booting/cold-starting apps? Are there any performance issues that I should be aware of?

    2) I would need a 250GB SSD and I would like to pay around $200 CAD. To my knowledge, that is presently non-existent (at that price). BUT, is it reasonable to assume that in 6 months time I will be able to get a 250GB SSD for around $200 CAD?

    3) Any other suggestions? The stock 5200rpm HD is dead still and that's what I'm looking for. Battery consumption is important, but I'm way more concerned with vibration.

    Any constructive comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #2
    1) Much faster read times (will affect opening applications). Slightly slower write times depending on the 7200 rpm drive. The main performance issue is multitasking with an MLC SSD other than Intel. Read a great Anandtech article on the issue.
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3403

    2) Probably not reasonable. Even in 6 months, 256 GB will be among the largest SSDs, and therefore quite expensive. Also, anything that cheap will likely be an MLC SSD with multitasking problems.

    3) I switched from a 5400 to a 7200 rpm in my MacBook and I did notice a little vibration. In theory, there shouldn't be too much of a difference in 5400 vs. 7200 for day to day tasks. Are you sure you're not being limited by RAM or something else?

    Good luck!
     
  3. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #3
    I am not sure what all this talk about vibration is.

    If there is a holding screw missing or the hard drive is not seated correctly, yeah, I can see there might be a vibration problem.

    Older hard drives or hard drives that are breaking down maybe vibrate.

    I have probably owned a zillion laptop hard drives and never noticed vibration problems.

    If it really shakes and quakes, I'd say you had a bad drive.

    Seagate is coming out with their 500gb 7200 drive with new technology in the next few weeks 2.5" drives. That is what i'm waiting for to up grade my macbook.

    And there is a difference in speed from a 5400 to a 7200 drive. For years the fastest ATA laptop drive with the largest storage factor was the 100gb Hitachi 7200 rpm. I replaced it in my PBg4 with a 250gb 5400 drive. The larger discs in the 250 drive made up ALMOST for the speed. They were about equal speed -- but only because the WD 250gb was so much bigger.

    Finally I just this month replaced a 160gb desktop drive in my 2.0 dual core Powermac. It was a 7200rpm drive. Guess what? the 320gb 7200 replacement hard drive is A LOT faster than that smaller drive.

    Call me old fashioned, but I don't trust yet all my info to a ssd drive. One zap and you're done. Too expensive, too. I'm waiting for the 1 terebyte ssd and technology to catch up.
    You guys saw the old ad from 1984 or something with one of the first 4 gig hard drives for a desktop? Saw it on DiGG i think. It cost 40,000 dollars. That was hysterical.
     
  4. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    I'm in agreement with California. My 320GB Scorpio Black is fast and it doesn't vibrate at all. Very happy with it and for around $100us it's a much better value than a SSD 256GB that go for around $7,000. Hey but the price may drop.
     
  5. phoobo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #5
    more like $700

    The 128GBs are about 350-400, and the 64GB's like the one I'm running now are around $170. These are OCZs, but there are several brands. Check the best site on the net for info about anything electronic:

    http://dansdata.com/ssds.htm


    Great not to have the vibration. I have felt it in my fingers on every HDD-equipped aluminum MB I have ever picked up. The SSD is a godsend.
     
  6. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #6
    I stand corrected on my original cost estimate but I merely looked at the Googled page 1. I found this price at Newegg and they are more resonable than I thought.
     
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    Heh. You probably mean "megabytes" (remember them?).

    In 1982 I was running a PDP-11 on 8" floppies and needed a hard drive. I managed to get a 19" rack mount drive with an 8" Shugart "Winchester" drive in it. Effective capacity when configured for DEC systems? 5.5 megabytes. Five-point-five. Megabytes. Cost? $5,500.

    Yes, $1000 per megabyte. Gigabytes of storage were unavailable under any circumstances, for any amount of money in the early 80s, so far as I know.

    I still have another 8" Shugart bare drive in my barn (a vintage computer guy took away the old rack and its electronics in 1998 or 1999 -- it still worked).

    I doubt that anybody wants to see an image of that beast but if so I can make and post one. Then look at your 500 gb 2.5" drive and be amazed that it has about 100,000 times the capacity of the Shugart.

    To be even more amazed, calculate the cost per megabyte for (say) the current Seagate 1 tb drive and compare it to the $1K/MB price from 1982.

    More the point of the thread, I've had 8 or 9 7200 RPM drives spinning in various laptops over the years and I've never been bothered by vibration at all. I've currently got a 320 gb 7200 in my early 2008 MBP and it's never been an issue.
     
  8. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #8
    Considering that 250 GB ssd drives go for well over a thousand dollars, there is no chance the drives will get that low in 6 months. Zero.
     
  9. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #9
    Thanks for the replies!

    Sadly, I had a feeling that my 6 month wait time was just wishful thinking...

    To clarify on the 7200rpm vibration, on the first MBP, here is what I experienced:
    - Noticeable vibration on the palm rest above the HD. This vibration also resonated throughout the case.
    - Slight 'tingle' (not electric) if I gently rested my fingertips on the keys.
    - Slight 'tingle' (not electric) if I gently rested my finger tips on the back of the screen on the right side (same side as HD).

    I triple checked and the drive was mounted properly in the MBP. I think the aluminum casing may have contributed to the (IMO) excessive vibration, but that's pure speculation. Since there are no display models with the 7200rpm HD in the Apple Store, I was not able to verify if this was indeed a defect.

    Now, this could very well be my OCD kicking in, but like I said, I want a drive that's imperceptible to the touch. Presently, the 5200rpm has no perceptible vibration. For those who said they have never experienced any vibration with a 7200rpm HD, have you used those drives in the Alu MB?

    For the person who wrote about the 320GB Scorpio Black, is that drive mounted in the Alu MB? If so, is there any vibration? I'm not asking if there is an acceptable amount, I'm asking if you can notice any at all.

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #10
    I've got a black in my 2.4 MBP, and yes, there is a vibration to the touch on it, but no worse than there was on my stock drive.
     
  11. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #11
    I don't have an AlumiBook; mine is a first gen WhiteBook. This is the second 7200rpm drive in mine and I don't have a vibration. Maybe my touch is not as sensitive as yours.
     
  12. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #12
    Agreed. When I note vibration I mean it's really slight. It's more or less turned into white noise that I no longer notice...

    I am, however, still a big fan of good SSDs. I have the Intel X25-M in my Mac Pro and it's amazing even compared to a 10,000 rpm drive.
     
  13. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #13
    Hmm, so I guess I should wait for the SSD then (perhaps a smaller capacity).

    I'm extremely sensitive to vibration because I spend a lot of time typing on this computer. From my perspective, there is nothing more annoying than vibration when resting your fingertips on the keys.

    When you say that you experience a 'slight vibration', is this vibration perceptible on the keys as well?
     
  14. phoobo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #14
    one thing to try

    The 4 torx-6 pins that hold the drive in place actually transmit most of the vibration. One thing you might try is actually *removing* those pins, then replacing the drive, wrapped in a bit of gauze around the ends to hold it in place - but not so much that it prevents the drive from cooling. You will find that there is less vibration transmitted in this way.
     
  15. Dairyman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #15
    I am really OCD as well enough that the 5400 made too much noise for me. I got a SSD swapped it in and all I can say is WOW i have the MB 2.4 it is the fastest computer I have ever used everything is instant little to no wait EVER the boot up time is insane and it is DEAD silent you have to listen in a room with nothign on just to hear the fan VERY VERY quietly spinning. I have 2 10,000 RPM drives raid in my alienware and this computer opens up apps MUCH quicker
     
  16. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #16
    What drive did you use? What's the capacity and how much did it cost (if you don't mind me asking)?

    You see, I had a 60GB drive on my previous notebook and found that it was much too small. I have an external HD, but I still prefer to keep a select few files on my primary machine. I think 200GB is the perfect number, but damn, that is awfully expensive when it comes to SSDs!
     
  17. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #17
    Yikes, that is pretty OCD. Well, I understand. You get used to certain things when you work.

    SSDs are probably the way to go for you.

    I remember back in they day I HATED how my fingernails "clicked" on my titanium keyboard. I could not think. That was kinda OCD. (I'm a mac goil)

    The iSkins solved the problem for me. Now I have an iSkin on my regular mac keyboad and usually plug in my macbook to the ACD.

    Tho I took the macbook away for the weekend and I have to say I did not notice any vibration at all with the stock fujistu drive. And I hate Fujistus; just biding my time until the 500gb Seagates 7200s come out.

    So get the SSD but use your time machine to make sure you have back ups...
     
  18. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #18
    In another thread (can't remember which one), someone said that the price of Intel SSDs would drop within Q1 2009. Can anyone substantiate this claim?
     

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