Difference Between 5400RPM vs 7200RPM and i5 vs i7


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
I am looking at buying a 15" MBP next weekend. I was nearly set on the i7 model with the high res AG screen, but now I am looking at other configurations and am wondering if that is the best choice.

I'll be doing a lot of coding but I do that fine on my 1st gen macbook, so I am not worried about performance in that regard.

The main thing I am thinking of is video editing with Premier Pro CS5. If I get the i5 I can upgrade the hard drive to the 7200 RPM version which I think will get me better performance on editing HD video than the i7 will as it will be accessing the hard drive a lot for the video. Will the performance boost of the 7200 RPM beat out the i7 in video production?

Also I am wondering about battery life, I have heard that the i7 gets around 4.5 hours in normal usage. That is fine but will the i5 + 7200 get more than that or about the same? (Not while editing video, just web browsing, email, maybe photoshop)

Anyone have any thoughts on this? or any experience editing video with the i5 or i7 mbp?


macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2010
It's recommended that you get an external hard drive of some sort for video editing, you'll get better performance.


macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
If you're coin video editing, personally I'd recommend the i7 + buy a Seagate Momentus XT on your own and put it in. But baring that, yeah, a regular 7200rpm drive.


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
Well I think I have decided on the i7 and probably an external FW800 drive. I have a FW400 drive that seems to work ok for video editing on my mac mini (short clips only...) so I'll try that first and see what happens.

Later on I may switch the internal drive for an SSD, probably after I have had it for a while so I can get a mid-life speed boost for it.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 9, 2006
The general suggestion is to put your money into non-upgradable parts (i.e processor, GPU). The HD can be upgraded later and for cheaper (especially as time moves on).

Also, it's usually a smart choice to use an external for a scratch drive. They generally are faster, have better cooling, and are a bit more durable.
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