Difference between harddrives?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by engaged44, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. engaged44 macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2011
    #1
    Hello everyone! First let me say I have been monitering these forums ever since I got a macbook pro 15 inch (june 2010) and love the community. lots of useful things i have learned here!

    one question I have though is what is the difference between your standard ata drive that most macbooks come with compared to your standard state drive?


    wouldn't getting a standard state drive be a bad thing because it has less memory?

    lol...maybe i'm just very confused:D
     
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #2
    lol your very confused.

    There are 2 types of hard drives. Serial ATA or SSD (solid state drive).

    The difference between a Serial drive and an SSD is an SSD has no moving parts and is incredibly faster than a standard Hard Drive.

    Getting an SSD is the most expensive but beneficial upgrade you can make for your mbp. You will have an incredibly short boot time and reading and writing to the drive will be much faster. With that being said, right now a 512 GB SSD will run you over $1000. Best wait for the prices to go down.
     
  3. engaged44 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    oh i see. so basically the serial drive spins at a certain speed so it's slower then the nonspinning one?


    if i were to upgrade my current serial drive, how much of an improvement would we be seeing in performance?
     
  4. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #4
    Solid State drives are lighter, much more durable, no moving parts, and run on NAND Flash memory chips. They are considerably faster access speeds at both reading and writing than a standard platter-based hard disk drive.

    Also, MUCH more expensive. 500GB hard drive is less than $100. a 512GB Solid-State Drive is a $1300 drive.
     
  5. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    do you have a 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM serial drive?
     
  6. engaged44 thread starter macrumors member

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    pretty sure its 5400 RPM...whatever the standard 2.4 i5 15 inch MBP came with is it. i'm 99 percent sure its 5400..
     
  7. axu539 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I think you're confused about several things here. Let's ignore PCI for now and stick to talking about SATA drives. The two kinds of drives for notebooks (2.5" form factor, 1.8" for some) you will find are either hard disk drives or solid state drives. Hard disk drives use a spinning disk and a reader to store data. These are generally relatively cheap, and are only getting cheaper for larger and larger capacities. Solid state drives on the other hand, are just flash memory (like in iPhones and iPads) in a notebook form factor. While solid state drives (SSDs) are much more expensive as of now, they offer several advantages to hard disk drives. The first, most noticeable benefit is that SSDs are orders of magnitude faster than HDDs. Furthermore, since SSDs have absolutely no moving parts, they are much more resilient to drops. If you drop an HDD, chances are pretty good that it will be damaged. Regarding space, HDDs definitely do have more space for cheaper. However, many people do not need oodles of storage space, and would much prefer to access whatever data they do have much, much quicker.
     
  8. engaged44 thread starter macrumors member

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    thanks for this...it made a lot of sense.
     
  9. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #9
    It's really not worth spending the money to go from a 5400 drive to a 7200 drive. I think your best solution is to buy a small SSD 120 GB or so for your mbp and keep a large external drive for occasional use.
     
  10. engaged44 thread starter macrumors member

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    ah thanks for that. yeah i think i'm going to in the future when the time is right....i may also think about maxing out my ram.
     
  11. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Upgrading from a factory Mac drive to something like the WD Cavier Black will yield many gains, including both speed and reliability. You can get the 750GB high performance drives (WD Blue/Black, Momentus, etc) for around $125-150 and the 500GB for $100-125. People who buy these drives are very satisfied with them and agree the price was worth the speed gain.

    Upgrading to a SSD will take data movement speeds as much as 50 times faster than with the standard hard disk drive (HDD). However, that does not mean your computer is 50 times faster, but it does mean quick boot times (I am about 15 seconds) and insanely fast load speeds. Also, FireWire 800 and especially USB3 transfers will be able to show their true speed only with a SSD. SSDs are essentially better in every way that magnetic drives except the fact that they are much more expensive and have a max capacity which now sits around 600GB. The 512-600GB SSDs are so expensive that I doubt any average consumer would buy them. Most people on this board use the 64, 80, 100, 120, 160, and 256 gig sizes with 120 seeming to be the most popular, and it seems to be the best blend of size versus costs (I have one myself). I would argue they are worth their weight in gold and worth buying now as you get to enjoy (among the many benefits) the insanely fast speeds and you have great reliability and durability, including impact resistance which HDDs are very sensitive to. Flash based memory is just an amazing thing all over and it is getting more and more popular each year.

    Quality wise, the current SSDs are very, very durable. The cited standard of SSDs is often the Intel X-25. If you look at the reviews of the X-25, you will see hundreds and hundreds of amazing reviews and very few people regret purchasing it. As of now, there are numerous SSDs on the market which perform very well and have the framework for long-term durability. Also, the lack of OSX support for SSDs has been mitigated by controllers (SandForce 1200) have their own wear-leveling software.

    If you upgrade the HDD, you'll be happy. If you get a SSD, you will be in shock with how fast programs run. IMO it is currently worth the money but whether it is worth the money is a completely individual call.
     
  12. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    #12
    Maxing out the ram is a great and inexpensive upgrade.
     
  13. sydenham, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011

    sydenham macrumors regular

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    #13
    Here we go again. A Western Digital drive will NOT be more reliable than a stock Apple drive. Faster maybe but not more reliable. Please get this out of your head, as you don't even know what the make of the drive is that came in his computer. It could be from one of several companies, in the past these have included Western Digital, Hitachi, Seagate, Fujitsu.... My 2010 Macbook pro came with a Hitachi drive. Are you going to tell me its unreliable? I have asked you on several occasions to stop spreading your misinformation on stock Apple drives not being reliable. but you don't seem to get it. I have had a Scorpio Black die on me after two months, but I don't go around saying they are unreliable. I hope we don't have to have this conversation again.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #14
    If you feel that a post is misleading, you can report it by clicking the [​IMG] icon by the post.
     
  15. sydenham macrumors regular

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    I don't feel it is deliberately misleading. I think he really believes this and he is entitled to his opinion. However I have simply asked him several times to stop saying that Apple drives are unreliable. He states that reports have pointed to this, but when I ask him which reports, I get no reply. We all know they could put faster drives in the machines, but to say they are unreliable doesn't seem fair. And yes perhaps a bit misleading.
     
  16. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Just to clarify... this statement is not correct.

    Serial ATA (or SATA) drives can be either mechanical or Solid State (SSD). The OP's computer needs a SATA drive (as all current models do), no matter what it uses to store the information - physical rotating platters, solid state memory modules, or a hybrid between the two. SATA doesn't refer to this, but rather the way it connects to your computer.

    cheers!
     
  17. OldMacUser macrumors member

    OldMacUser

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    #17
    Personal experience just a couple of weeks ago - a Hitachi 160GB drive which replaced an 80GB Apple stock drive (also a Hitachi by the way, but had the Apple logo on it) in my MacBook died and I swapped back the Apple/Hitachi 80GB into it. Both drives had been in fairly constant use (the Apple/Hitachi 80GB in an external USB enclosure).

    So 3rd party != more reliable but this is just one data point. Also had numerous other 3.5" HDDs die in the past year or so from my Windows PCs. Have 5 dead HDDs (2.5" and 3.5") gathering dust in the cupboard.
     
  18. sydenham macrumors regular

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    #18
    I guess I don't see how you are saying 3rd party=more reliable. You replaced the hard drive in your macbook when? About 4 years ago when the macbook was new? Now it died and you took the original 80 gb back in, how does that make the newer 160 gb more reliable.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    He isn't saying that:
    != means "not equal"
     
  20. sydenham macrumors regular

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    #20
    OK thanks, I am not being very perceptive this morning.
     
  21. reberto macrumors 65816

    reberto

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    #21
    *sigh*

    You know Apple doesn't make hard drives right? And that they use Hitachi/Western Digital/Seagate drives in all their computers, right?
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #22
    I think that was made very clear:
     
  23. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    I do know Apple doesn't make hard drives.... but I wonder if there is a specific ROM loaded into the firmware of the drives these companies make for Apple...

    Case in point, this Apple ROM drive OWC sells.... any idea why/what this means? any comments?
     

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  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #24
    The drives that Apple uses are identical to the same brand/model drives you could by directly from the manufacturer. For example, I bought an external Hitachi drive that is identical to the model I have in my MBP. There is no difference.
    Western Digital does not use "Apple ROM" to describe that drive. Those are OWC's comments. That drive is the same, whether you buy it from OWC or another vendor or Western Digital or if it came installed on a new Mac.
     
  25. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

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    ok, got it, thanks.
     

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