Is this 1TB 2.5 HDD suitable as a system drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kdum8, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    Tokyo, Japan
    #1
    I want to buy the following 2.5 inch 9mm HDD and replace the current drive in my pre-unibody Macbook Pro. It would be my main system (OS) drive. Is it going to be fast enough or am I asking for trouble?

    I know it will fit but that's about it.

    The drive is the Samsung SpinPoint SATA 5400rpm 8 MB Cache 1 TB 2.5-Inch Hard Drive and the link is below:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0053YLTBC/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=1278548962&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B005DVJJWQ&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=131GMHE0E6M7S1C4AEE2

    Any help would be much appreciated :)
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    Define fast enough?

    It will fit, and will be as fast or faster than other smaller capacity spinning hard drives, if that's the question?
     
  3. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #3
    Hi and thanks for your response. The reason I ask is because one of the reviewers on amazon posted a detailed review that said the following:

    "If you are purchasing this for an OS drive, and the 8MB of cache wasn't a warning sign, then you are on your own. At 5400RPM and 8MB of cache, you really shouldn't be using this for an OS drive, or even as a secondary application drive. For all intents and purposes, this is a storage drive, and in that capacity it functions well."

    I have no idea if 8MB of cache is enough for an OS drive or if this reviewing knows what he is talking about or not, but thought I would check here in MR with the people in the know before I spent $100 or so for nothing. He seems to think you shouldn't use this for an OS drive. Is he right?
     
  4. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

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    #4
    Speed is all relative. If you're not going SSD, I'd probably get one of the 750GB 7200RPM models unless you really need the extra space.
     
  5. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #5
    Indeed relative it is I agree. Basically I really need the space otherwise I wouldn't be going up this large. 5400 RPM should be workable but what about this "only 8MB cache" thing. Is that an issue?
     
  6. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #6
    Some benchmarks show the spinpoint outperforming other drives, I really wouldn't worry about it.
     
  7. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
    #7
    It will work but keep in mind it's still a 5400rpm drive.

    Hitachi 7K750, WD7500BPKT and especially Seagate Momentus XT are noticeably faster.
     
  8. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #8
    In other words, it would be fine as an OS drive?

    Right, indeed they are but they are only 750 GB.
     
  9. samac92 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #9
    Yes it will be fast enough. I am considering buying it too.

    Apple ships all MacBook pros with 5400rpm drives. They are plenty fast enough and are slightly quieter than 7200rpm drives. The difference in speed between a 5400 and a 7200 is barely noticeable.

    Also the larger the drive, the faster it is as data is closer together. So a lot of the large 5400 drives outperform the smaller 7200 ones.
     
  10. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    #10
    This statement is not wholly correct and true. The reason that lately this is the case is because of the platter densities that drive manufacturers have achieved. A greater density on the platter allows more data in a smaller space and this allows for more data to be trasnferred in a given read. This result is why lots of the newer 5400rpm drives are posting better numbers than some of the older 7200rpm drives. It is not due to the drive being larger (the drive is just larger due to the platter density, a good side effect in this case).
     
  11. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #11
    It's reputed to be a good drive, and based on my experience with other Samsung drives it should be very good.

    As for speed, it will most likely be faster than other 5400 RPM drives and older 7200 RPM drives, but not quite as fast as newer models like the Hitachi 7K750. The Seagate Momentus XT is most likely the fastest of them all, but in my experience creates a LOT of vibration (not noise) in my MBP (15" 2.4 GHz i5) to the point where it is like there is a low level current running through it.
     
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #12
    The HDD Cache really doesn't make much of a difference. I don't know that much about OSX but in Windows RAM Cache is even used for HDD stuff, which means that the HDD cache really doesn't make that big of a difference in most any case.
    It will work fine as a system drive or as fine as 5400rpm spinning disk can possible be.
     
  13. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #13
    Thanks, that's good to hear. One problem I have had with my current drive is that it keeps parking the heads after 30 seconds of inactivity meaning I have over a 170,000 load cycle history on the drive. It's life will be considerably shorter as a result. I hope this Samsung HDD doesn't have the same 'feature'

    (It is due to some energy saving efficiency from Western Digital - my drive is the Western Digital 750 GB Scorpio Blue running on Mac OS 10.6.8).

    See here for details:

    http://mymacfixes.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-do-i-stop-clicking-noise-from-hard.html
     
  14. jdecraene85 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #14
    I have this drive installed in my Macbook Pro as a secondary storage drive in an optibay.
    I only installed it yesterday so I can't comment on the speed yet, certainly not for apps.
    What I do know, is that it should be faster than say a 500GB 5,400 rpm drive, due to a higher data density on the platters of the drive, resulting in a lower seeking time.
     
  15. robots3humans0 macrumors 6502

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    London, Ontario
    #15
    Until about 2 weeks ago I used this drive as my main system drive. Worked perfectly fine for me. No sluggishness or anything. I would definitely recommend it. The only reason I dont use it anymore is because I've upgraded to an SSD and its now my optibay.
     
  16. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Connecticut
    #16
    No. It will not be fast enough. Any drive with moving mechanical parts in it is not fast enough to be a boot drive.

    Seriously, that's a normal, slow as molasses laptop drive that most laptops have.
     
  17. klinic macrumors member

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    Apr 7, 2011
    #17
    o_O No.

    You don't need an SSD for a boot drive. Up until yesterday I booted off of a stock 5400 rpm apple drive. It worked fine, just wasn't performing well enough for my video editing work.
     
  18. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #18
    lol, not all of us can afford >500 GB SSD yet! :p
     
  19. titatom macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2011
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    Montréal, QC
    #19
    Hi there !

    You are right, SSDs are quite expensive. But they are worth it.

    I have the same computer model as you and today I swapped the original drive with a 64GB Kingston SSD (not the fastest one their is but the difference with the stock drive is incredible). I then bought a 15$ IDE to SATA caddy and put that instead of my optical drive. So I have the SSD to boot + apps and the stock drive as storage (you could also buy a new drive for storage, say a 500GB HDD)...

    It works marvels and it gave my computer a new life...

    It put me back 125 $ canadian.

    Good luck !

    titatom
     
  20. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #20
    Yes, interesting setup indeed. And you do have the same MBP as me. I have been looking for ways to get a couple years more life out of this computer and that might be one way.

    Couple questions...

    i) How easy it is to remove the optical disk drive and replace it with a HDD?

    ii) Can you have applications that are too big to fit on the SSD installed over on the optibay HDD?

    You have certainly thrown another option into the mix
     
  21. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #21
    If it's 5400RPM, 9.5mm and 2.5" drive, with SATA II or higher then it should work ...
     
  22. dsio macrumors regular

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    Australia
    #22
    You've hit the nail on the head here, Windows, OSX, Linux all have their own IO caching which is the significant factor. When benchmarks are run on hard drives, OS level caching is typically disabled in order to show how the disks perform "in the metal" however OEMs that add larger disk caches have an advantage in these benchmarks from that which inflates their perceived performance. In actual real world use, you can consider it irrelevant due to the OS.

    The reviewer on Amazon is simply an idiot.
     
  23. titatom macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Location:
    Montréal, QC
    #23
    hey !

    to answer your questions :

    1) It's has easy as changing the HDD. A couple of screws and some connectors. I did it for the first time in a laptop today (quite used to desktop upgrades) and I was really easy. I had ifixit.com opened on my sister's computer right next to me just in case but didn't really need it. It's really straight forward if you are a bit tech savvy !

    2) I pretty sure you can but if someone can confirm it would be good. If your Application folder is in your SSD and your user folders in your storage and your app is to big for the SSD, I do not see why you couldn't put your app in the storage drive somewhere and launch it from there.
    Seems logical that you can do that but maybe someone can confirm ?
    You just need to be sure you use the right Optibay. It's not the same ones as OWC. I bought one on ebay that specified my (our) MBP model (A1260, I beleive). Here's the link :
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290589716133?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    As for space, 64gb seems small, but I have installed the OS Lion + Adobe CS5 Master Suite + iWork + Final Cut Pro X + Starcraft 2 + random apps and have more than half of the drive free. I don't think I'll be installing much more big apps except maybe Aperture...

    Good luck fellow upgrader, and don't hesitate if you have more questions ! All I can tell you is that I am more than pleased with my new setup !
     
  24. kdum8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #24
    Thanks for the link to ebay, it is a tempting idea indeed. What did you do with you DVD drive once removed. Can you put that in an external case too to use separately? There are still times when I use mine, albeit infrequently.

    Also, since we have the same mac, you have the dreaded 8600M GT chip as well. Just wondered if you have had to have it replaced yet? (I have once).

    Thanks again! You have given me something to think about :cool:
     
  25. Hillskill macrumors member

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