Hard Drive Question(s): Speeds and SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by waynechriss, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. waynechriss macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2009
    I've been looking to upgrade the hard drive of my white macbook 2.13 160gb hard drive to something bigger and i'm looking through crucial and macsale.com at various options. First off, why is a solid state drive so expensive for so little memory and how is it better than a regular 2.5 hard drive? Also is there a significant difference in 5400RPM vs 7200 RPM?
  2. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    The reason SSDs are so expensive is because it is a new phase of technology. Very few computers have SSDs installed in them at this point, but this will change in the years to come.

    The reason SSDs are better than regular hard drives is because they have no moving parts, which leads to better performance and less of a chance of breaking down.

    Honestly, I find no difference between 5400RPM and 7200RPM. To me, a hard drive is a hard drive, although I'm sure if you talk to someone else they can probably tell you the difference.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    SSD's are an immature product. Just look at how much flat screen TVs cost 5 years ago and now the price is about 50% (if not more) of that now. Supply and demand play into this, being fairly new, its expensive to manufacture, and there's not too many manufacturers so the supply for high density SSDs is low.

    Much faster, just google it and you'll see that SSDs are much more efficient at accessing data thanks to its non-mechanical all electronic design. No latency is needed as the read/write head as to be positioned over the platter.

    Personally, I'm thinking that the cost per gigabyte is too high for me to take the plunge, so I'm on the sidelines waiting for the price to decrease a bit more.
  4. circularforward macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2010
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd just stick with a standard hard drive, especially if you want more storage. The 7200 RPM drives offer a bit faster performance (more like that of a desktop) due to the increased rotational speed. However, they vibrate more and are slightly noisier than 5400 RPM drives. I have had both in my computer, and the noise and vibration differences are small, neither of which bother me, and I like the bit of a boost I get with the faster drive. Personally, I'd go with a 500GB western digital scorpio black (or blue if you don't want the vibration, etc). I have had good experiences with WD drives, and I like the performance.
  6. waynechriss thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2009
    I didn't know hard drives vibrate. I've only had fan noise but I hope its not too much of a bother because i do want the faster one.
  7. MACMAD08 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Your macbook is, the brutal truth, too old to justify a SDD drive. The logic in applying SDD drives is to put you OS and applications on it and have an external drive for storage. There is a noticeable speed pickup in startup and app launch, if seconds are what you are looking for.
    The noise that you hear from a drive are the torque from the drive getting up to speed and the heads moving back and forth. Vibrations is not a nice word to use to describe the noise from a drive. Naturally, 7200 is faster that 5400 rpm. The drawback to going with the 7200 is power consumption.
    Bottom line is it depends on what you are using it for. Truthfully, if you are entertaining the thought of getting a SDD drive, consider upgrading your mac first.

Share This Page