Apple Stock 5400 vs 7200 drives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cubsfan334, May 24, 2011.

  1. cubsfan334 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    Hi all,

    About to buy a new quadcore 15" high end model. My question is about the stock hard drives offered by Apple: is there a noticeable improvement in speed with the 7200 rpm drive over the 5400? Also, does the 7200 run hotter, noisier and/or use more batter than the 5400?

    I tried searching, but couldn't find any threads referencing the stock drives.

  2. motoracer1486 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2006
    There will be a big difference in speed between the 5400 and 7200 rpm hard drives. The 7200 will be noisier, run hotter, and use more battery though. You should consider a SSD insead of a HDD.
  3. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    Depends on what you do. Apart from bootup and app launches, you won't notice much difference if you only run relatively lightweight apps. If you do things like video editing and use the drive as a scratch disk, then its a different story.

    I have a Seagate ASG 7200 and its very quiet, no heat or vibrations problems and it barely uses any more power than a 5400. Having my display up one further notch would probably eat into the battery life more. Its not the best drive and others will recommend others but do bare in mind each different make/model may have their own different set of characteristics.
  4. cubsfan334 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    I should probably add that I'm planning on adding an optibay + SSD later down the road; I do photoshop work, but not too much video, so the thing I'm mainly concerned with is app launch/bootup time.

    I think I'll probably go with the 5400, as I don't think the small speed increase is worth the extra heat, noise, and -250 GB, especially if I do add on the SSD.
  5. motoracer1486 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2006
    If you're going to upgrade to the SSD, save the extra money and put it in a SSD fund ;) That's what I'm doing anyway.
  6. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    That would be true...if you were running a 7200 RPM drive from the dark ages or the year 2004/2005. Modern 7200 RPM drives are just as quiet/cool as their 5400 RPM counterparts and have similar power draw. I was more than happy with the one that came with mine.
  7. ' r i S e n macrumors regular

    May 15, 2011
    If it helps at all: I have a stock SATA 500GB at 5400 RPM and it is relatively fast in my opinion. My machine boots up very quickly and I don't have any disappointment in terms of opening anything like applications or what have you - and it handles Photoshop CS5 very well. It's very quiet and doesn't generate much heat at all.

    I think you're making the right decision now if you plan to adding a SSD later on. Good luck. : )
  8. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    Mine has the stock Hitachi 500 GB 7200rpm drive and it doesn't add any extra vibration as far as I can tell. Don't feel any. It runs perfectly cool and quiet as well, maybe a touch louder than the fans at 2000rpm.
  9. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Another vote for the SSD. That said, there won't be a big difference in drive speed between the 750GB 5400 and the 500GB 7200, as the 750GB has more data-dense platters which equal faster data throughput. Plus, their 750GB drive happens to be a great performer.
  10. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    If you want a very cheap option, get one of those Hitachi hybrid 500GB drives (momentus XT). They're like $100 and they have 8GB of SSD built-in that automatically caches your most used 8GB of data. It's faster than the stock 7200rpm drives and cheap to boot!
  11. ZeroCoolZ macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2011
    I was about to post a new thread for the exact same question, good thing I did a quick search before ;)

    Do we know how much it makes a difference on battery life to have the 7200RPM HD?
  12. secretanchitman macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
    7200RPM by far. forget the storage space, the extra speed is worth it.

    the "extra" noise, heat, and power is all crap, that was years ago when they first came out. now its just as good as the 5400RPM drives.
  13. ZeroCoolZ macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2011
    The upgrade for the 7200 drive is 90$ and I could get a Momentus XT for 110$ and use the stock HD as an external drive... I think that's what I will do
  14. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    It really depends on what you do.
    If you just use it for watching movies, using light apps, etc just get more storage with the 5400.
    But if you are using your mac for video editing and heavy application that requires more reading and writing to your HDD, forget space and get 7200.
    I would go for the SSD but I mean 128GB is not enough for me.
    And 512GB is nearly $1000 from Apple.
    The nowdays Hitachi 7200 HDD (stock from apple) is very cool, silent and uses barely any battery/power same as the 5400. So no worries on that.
    And this is why I use 7200.

    If your in the US you can exchange 5400 to 7200 for free when you order.
    (Except 3rd party sellers like
    I mean if you have the money, go for the high end SSDs or buy it later and add it on yourself. I just think SSD is a bit too pricey still
  15. maxxed macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2009
    Don't buy that Momentus XT before reading the Seagate support forums. Seems they are more trouble than they're worth.
  16. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    i already got an ssd on hand, so it was a no brainer to get 750gb for the extra storage. When I get this MBP, I'll swap in the SSD and put the HDD in an enclosure and voila, I've got myself a new 750gb external drive!
  17. Goohfy macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2011
    Go with the 5400, and save the extra money for a future SSD.
  18. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    You guys are aware that he won't be spending anything by going from the 750-GB 5400-RPM to the 500GB 7200 RPM HDD right?

    It's one or the other with no extra cost. Personally I'd go for the faster drive over 250GB's of storage but that's just me.
  19. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    completely agree: my CTO 17" 7200rpm 500 gb is not noticeably louder or hotter, or uses a significantly more battery life
  20. sambuev macrumors member


    May 28, 2011
    Can you help me? I want to buy MBP 17' from Online apple store with 128GB SSD drive and then I want to buy 500GB HDD drive and replace it to DVD. Then I'll have 2 drives on MBP - SSD + HDD. Is it possible to do? How about warranty?
    Thank you. :rolleyes:
  21. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yes, look up optibay this has been discussed many many times.
  22. DIMEZ macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2009
    appl over charges for ther hdd. Buy a 7200 elsewhere and keep the 5400 for back up. You can get a external enclosure.

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