Hard Drive Speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by millertime021, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. millertime021 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    Just like half the people on this forum, or so it seems, I am desprately waiting on the MacBook Pro refresh. I plan on buying my first MBP, a major upgrade from my grandma's iBook G4 I am currently using.

    I had a question about hard drive speed. I know that 7200RPM is quite a bit faster than 5400RPM, but what about battery life. I need it to get me through a day of school, 4-8 hours.

    My question to you is: would it be worth the extra $50 or so to upgrade to a 7200RPM HD, and what would the effects on battery life be? In your own experiences with current MBPs.

    I've thought about going with a SSD, but that might end up being too much, since I'm already paying quite a bit.

  2. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I believe barefeats.com has done some comparisons. There are a few older threads about it as well.

    Typically a faster HD will use more juice. Depending on what you use the system for, that extra speed might not be worth it if the longest battery life possible is your goal.

    I expect you should be able to get the 4 hours quite easily, as the HD speed is not the only factor here.

    Compared to the G4 iBook, whatever MBP you get it will fly in comparison.
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Unless you do some HDD intensive tasks, the 5400rpm HDD will suffice. You will get benchmark speeds of 75MB/s with that drive, a 7200rpm HDD will get you 95 to 100MB/s.

    I have a 17" Unibody MBP and get 5 to 7 hours use out of the battery while a 7200rpm HDD is spinning insde the MBP.
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    According to Toms Hard Drive Charts the worst spread for hard drives under load is less than one watt of energy. From other tests I have seen on that site a four hour run life has less than 10 minutes loss with 7200RPM hard drives.

    The drive model you select will have more effect on energy usage as the Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 uses less energy than many 5400RPM drives while the Samsung Spinpoint M6 5400RPM uses more than any of the 7200RPM models.

    If you want to look the charts also list all sorts of different benchmarks and you can compare specific drive models.

    What will effect battery life more is how much load you place on the CPU, screen brightness, whether Bluetooth and WiFi are enabled and if USB devices are attached. For example, with movie playback I always rip DVD's to the hard drive before travelling as the HD uses less energy than the DVD drive.
  5. millertime021 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    The iBook G4 battery life is pretty amazing, for how old it is. It can get me about 3-4 hours of off and on use.

    I know even a 13" MacBook or MacBook Pro will be a huge upgrade, but I'm just trying to figure out what would be best for the next few years.

    I plan on going with a 15" MBP as a 17" is expensive and not as portable and I have friends with 13" MBPs and I'm not a huge fan of that screen size.

    Thanks for the advice, maybe a few more people will have some opinions, and sorry if I reposted an old thread. My Bad.

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