For Anyone Who Wants to Upgrade Their Hard Drive (Unibody MacBook)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by sml238, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. sml238 macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2010
    I noticed a lot of you have been posting about what hard drive to get for their macbook and I was in the same bout a few weeks ago. I chose to go with the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB for a few reasons. In tests it beat the Hitachi 7200 in almost every aspect except in two multi tasking tests, but everywhere else the Momentus blew it away, even in power consumption, except for at idle I believe. I looked into the WD Scorpio Black, Hitachi 7200, and my drive as much as I could to make the best decision.

    Before deciding to go with a 7200 rpm drive I had my doubts about power consumption, noise, and heat. After using my 7200.4 for almost two weeks now I've grown to love it. It runs cooler at idle than the stock 5400 rpm Toshiba, and only slightly hotter during HD extensive tasks. Again, at idle and minors HD tasks this drive is virtually silent, and is a bit louder than my stock hard drive when being worked. As far power consumption goes, I haven't noticed any difference in everyday use. If I'm transferring a lot of data all day and things, it might take 15 minutes off the battery tops. But in exchange you finish a lot quicker so it makes up for it in a way.

    I also read people reporting clicking, lag, and beach balling with this hard drive. I have all of the latest firmware and have not yet had a single instance of any of these problems. I'm pretty sure these problems are more related to the older version of the drives and the older macs.

    The speed of my macbook is now great. It's very snappy, quick to open apps, download, photoshop, etc...but I also have 4GB of crucial RAM which also adds to this factor.

    I have not yet had any issues with this drive at all. It installed flawlessly and has caused me no trouble. The only thing that worried me was one time in a car we went over some rough bumps and I did feel the drive clunk, but I've been told all drives do that when you shake them up. It's never clunked or anything on me even when picking the macbook up fast, or even shaking it a bit.

    So in conclusion, the drive is great in my opinion and I'm very happy with my choice. The sacrifice in power, heat, and noise is very, very minimal, if at all. And the gain in speed and capacity was well worth it. Hope that helped anyone who had the same concerns as me. And sorry for the badly written review haha, I'm way too tired and lazy right now.
  2. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Personally i would have just have saved a bit of money and got a ssd, no heat, no vibration, no anything.

    And its alot faster then 7200rpm anyways.

    I just orderd a ocz one
  3. skinniezinho macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2009
    You'd have to save a LOT of money to get the same capacity...
    I have the same drive mentioned in this post in my macbook white "unibody",it changed my computer from night to day,this thing is FAST!although vibration is a little "annoying" but nothing special...
    PS: I've 4Gb too..
  4. sml238 thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2010
    yeah to get a 500gb or even a 250gb or 320gb ssd its so much more.

    and yeah this drive does light the computer right up, and i dont have any problems with vibrations really. my old laptop was much worse and it was only 5400.
  5. jkozlow3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    Wait until you get an SSD! They're pricey, but I'm fortunate in that 80GB is more than enough space for my needs at this time. My Intel X25-M G2 SSD boots Snow Leopard completely with all startup programs running in less than 15 seconds!
  6. dekka007 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2009
    160GB Intel Generation 2 in the Optical bay of the macbook (Ditch the superdrive who uses them these days with High capacity USB drives and 2.5" Externals).

    Internal HD drive bay 12.5mm 1TB 2.5" Western digital drive (Yes it does fit)

    Gives you 160GB of SSD speed and 1TB for your photos/music/movies etc.

    Best of both worlds. Thats how I have a macbook setup with 8GB ram. Who needs a MBP :)

    Macbook unibody $1000
    1TB Drive $ 200
    160GB Intel SSD $ 500
    8GB Memory $ 360

    Total cost: $2060 - gives you the best value for money performance on a Mac notebook.

    And when you want to change to the new MBP or MB then you hang onto the 8GB/SSD/1TB drive and sell the macbook and put the extra components into the new model and sell the basic mac model for $750. Win Win situation.
  7. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    i use the optical drive for making cds/playing dvds. me and my friends still have cd players in cars and stuff so it comes in handy.

    also do u put osx on the ssd and what do u put on the WD? whats the poing of having a non ssd?
  8. dekka007 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2009
    OS and Applications goes on the SSD (Only 160gb remember). This gives you the performance.

    Non performance critical files such as music/movies/pictures/Time Machine Backups etc. go on the western digital 1TB drive.

    you would fill up quickly and really waste the performance of SSD filling it with the above type of files.

    The combination of SSD and 1TB drive gives you the Huge storage and SSD performance in the OS without the need for external drives etc.
  9. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    hmm, doesnt seem like a bad idea. i don't need 1tb. 500gb is plenty enough for me. so if i got a 120gb ssd and used my current seagate 500gb 7200.4 that would be fine right?

    also what is normal load cycle value for a 3 week old hd? mines like 3500, is this too high?

    and where can i find a good but cheap ssd? and how do you mount it in the optical drive?

    and another question, what do you do if u want to rip a cd?
  10. riceboidavid macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2009
    when replacing the optical drive with a SSD or any other HD, would it require for you to buy some sort of bracket?
  11. rpang macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    So Cal...
    When I went to a 7200 rpm drive, I was annoyed with the vibration also. After 2 exchanges of the drive, I was able to find one vibration free. If you can exchange drives, try exchanging your drives until you are happy. When I ordered my drive from Newegg, they had no issue with returns.
  12. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    i must have gotten lucky i dont notice any vibration
  13. dekka007 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2009
    Kits for SSD into the optical drive are available from and
  14. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2009
    Had a 7200rpm WD Scorpio 320GB in my Macbook. Didn't notice much vibration at all.
  15. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    how do install programs and stuff without the optical drive though?
  16. skinniezinho macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2009
    I only notice vibratio when the laptop is on my "cooling bar",because when it is on a table I don't notice anything..
  17. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    yeahh, idk honestly i was expecting a lot more vibration from this drive but it really is pretty silent. i cant even tell if its any louder than my old 5400. it probably is but i would only be able to tell if i put my ear right down by the hd bay
  18. Requiemm macrumors regular

    May 23, 2008
    I just ordered the optical bay kit from MCETech so I can start to transition to this set up. I have a 1TB drive on it's way from NewEgg that will go into the optical bay. Later, when i have money again, I will replace the OS drive with a SSD drive. Since I am moving my Documents, Music, Photos, Downloads, & Movies folders to the 1TB drive I think I can survive on the 80GB SSD.

    MCETech is including a USB 2.0 enclosure for the SuperDrive so I can plug it in when needed. My stuff should be here on Friday so I'll let you know how it goes.
  19. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    ok yeah let me know please. would u still be able to burn/rip cd's with the usb optical drive? and wouldnt 60gb ssd be enough for osx, and the apps, then u can put all documents/files on the other hd?
  20. Requiemm macrumors regular

    May 23, 2008
    Got your PM :)

    Will let you know for sure about burning/ripping but I don't see why it wouldn't work. It just changes it to a USB drive instead of internal. With regards to your size question that probably depends on how much software you tend to install. I will let you know what my "OS Drive" tops out at after I make the changes and move the other folders off of it.

    Fair warning, I work until 8 Friday, (when the shipments are due), and am hoping to swing by home to pick up the drive & bay during my lunch. If UPS hasn't come yet my "doctoring" may have to wait until sometime over the weekend.
  21. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    well currently i only have 90GB used on my 500gb hard drive. (laptop is new) 40gb of which is music, 24gb of movies. so that means all my apps/osx and whatever else is about 30gb. do you think i would be fine with a 60gb?
  22. dekka007 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2009
    Don't think the 1TB will fit the optical bay - not sure never tried it. So the 1TB may have to go in the HD Bay.

    Let me know on that front tho for future reference.
  23. Requiemm macrumors regular

    May 23, 2008
    An update with a minor setback.....

    OK, so my unibay enclosure came from MCE on Friday. Unfortunately the WD 1TB hard drive did not arrive until after I'd left for the weekend, so I planned to do the upgrade today at work. My plan was to strip the MB as much as possible, drive up to my apartment's management office to get the HD, head back to work and assemble the pieces. Then I could do my file copying while I was working and have my MB all ready for some WoW, I mean serious work tonight...

    I used this EXCELLENT write up to remove the SuperDrive and then hit a snag. The connector on the SD was not the same as the one on the unibay. CRAP!! After looking at my order, It looks like I ordered the unibody version instead of the non-unibody version. I have sent an email off to MCE to see what we can do to swap them out. The good news is that everything came apart and went back together in under 30 minutes while I was working on 3 other machines.

    So it looks like we'll have to wait a few more days to see if the 1TB drive will fit in the bay and to investigate the SuperDrive enclosure. Sorry folks!

    On another note, I did not receive the SuperDrive enclosure but did get a quick email from MCE letting me know that they had been out of stock but I would have one in my hands within a few days.

  24. lyons238 macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2010
    nicee man. let me know how it all works out for ya. iv actually decided to not get the ssd and remove my optical drive because i want to be able to use my optical drive on the go and not have to plug one in. i dont really need the speed of an ssd, my 7200rpm 500gb hd is plenty for me. the loss of a optical is not worth it to me. ill get an ssd when i can buy a 320gb+ one for an affordable price haha

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