JUST ABOUT to order my first Mac ever, got a last-minute question for experts here

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Marc4, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Marc4 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Hi guys,

    I've finally narrowed down the options of my transition to a Mac environment to the 15" MacBook Pro in 2.4 GHz Penryn with 2GB of RAM and the anti-glare screen.
    However, I'm still not sure whether to go for the 250 GB 5400 RPM drive, or the 200 GB 7200 RPM drive.

    Let me start by saying that I've done a lot of research and read ALL the threads on here about 5400 vs. 7200 RPM drives.
    However, none of the information I've come across actually compares the *current generation* MBP drives head-to-head.

    So what I'm trying to gather is how accurate are the following statements:

    250 GB 5400 RPM advantages:
    - size (obvious)
    - less heat dissipated?
    - better battery life?

    200 GB 7200 RPM advantages:
    - faster random access times?
    - "snappier" OS feel?
    - faster data transfer rates for large files?

    If anyone has accurate measurements comparing the above metrics of these two drives, I would love to hear it.
    For example, does the battery life noticeably suffer with the 7200 RPM drive? Does the 5400 RPM really "feel" slower when poking around applications?

    Note that I won't be doing any intense video-editing or database compiles, but I do like a faster OS feel running everyday apps.
    And I can't wait to order my new MBP!

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Rivix macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2005
    I like faster drives just because it's snappier. I'm not sure about battery or heat however. Its only a 50Gb difference, and if your running low, just get an external drive.

    I suppose it depends if you think you can fill it fast. It would take me a while to fill 200Gb, so I would go with 7000rpm.
  3. Marc4 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Thanks, anyone else have any first-hand data or experience comparing the two?
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    What I like about Macs is you just just put it sleep instead of shutting it down all the time; of course a lot of Apple "experts" say that's bad--computer needs to restart to empty cache, clear memory, yada-yada-yada, but experience says otherwise, so in my case boot up times are insignificant--only done after requirements for certain updates.

    In general usage the 7200RPM drive is faster; people will tell you the bigger capacity drives, you won't notice the difference, but boy you will notice; I've compared my 320GB 5400RPM, 500GB 5400RPM drives to the 200GB 7200RPM drive and the 7200RPM drive is faster in random seek, random read/write; in sequential both are pretty much on par, but I'd think if you need ultimate speed get a 7200RPM drive. That said, I personally don't think losing the 50GB is worth the extra few milliseconds of speed gained.

    As with battery life, I believe the 200GB 7200RPM drive uses less power than the 250GB 5400RPM drive if not the same power usage (definitely not more). Neither drives are hot, and neither are that loud.
  5. Marc4 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Thanks alphaod, that's good information.
    So when/how did you notice the increase in speed?

    Have you had any experience in comparing battery life between the two?
    When you say neither are hot or loud, does that mean you did not notice a difference in the two?

    I'm just trying to put numbers around those differences to see whether they are worth taking into account or not, and base my decision off this.

    Thanks again,

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