Is a 5400rpm external compatible with 7200rpm hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tuckyfan240, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. tuckyfan240 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    I was wondering if I have a 7200rpm hard drive in my MBP, will I have to buy an 7200rpm external drive. I would think that you wouldnt need the speed of 7200rpm if it is just a backup and not the main drive, but if they would not be compatible that would be important to know. Also, do only certain external drives work with Macs or does any USB or Firewire external work? Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!
  2. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    The two different drive speeds will be fine together.
  3. tuckyfan240 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    Ok, I was hoping that would be the case, because you can find a lot more 5400rpm ones that are a lot cheaper.
  4. Kar98 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2007
    Not a problem. I've been using an external 7200 with an internal 5400 on my mini for 2 years now, and the same external 7200 with an internal 4200 on my previous mini.

    But I do recommend an internal 7200. 90 bucks shipped from Newegg: 320 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB cache = huge, and I mean HUGE performance increase. And they just slip in. Really really easy to install.
  5. LTX macrumors regular


    Dec 25, 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    As said before, you can use any combination of drives you like, as they are independent devices.

    I was going to say that in response to Kar98, replacing the MBP's internal hard drive with a 7200RPM drive will cause you to have a shorter battery life (worth it for the performance increase if you ask me :D), but it looks like you already have a 7200RPM drive in it. If you do opt to replace the internal, Seagate is a good choice. I have four Seagates in my desktop of varying capacities and they work great. They also have a long 5-year warranty. A few months ago I bought a 200GB SATA drive from a friend for $20 only to discover it did not work. I told him, and he gave me the money back but said I could keep the drive and try to fix it or whatever. Curious, I entered the serial number on Seagate's site, and sure enough, it had about year's warranty left. I sent it in for an RMA and 1 week later received a 300GB absolutely free.

    If you get an external, I'm a fan of LaCie drives. They look great and perform well.

    In regards to your last question, any mainstream (read: recognized brand) USB or Firewire drive will work but I would research compatibility anyway.
  6. tuckyfan240 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    Thanks a lot! All that stuff really helped, and the more I looked into it, I found a lot of 7200rpm drives for pretty good prices, so it will be a win-win.

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