Looking to upgrade my HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Saladsamurai, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Saladsamurai macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #1
    My Late 2006 15" MPB is running a little low on space and I would like to improve the performance a touch if possible. The stock HDD is 120GB 5400RPM.

    What are my options? Do I need to go with the 5400RPM? Or can I upgrade to a 7200RPM? More importantly, will bumping up to the 7200RPM do anything for me? I have been told that a faster HDD can help to improve performance.

    Thanks!
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    MRoogle will have answered your questions.

    7200rpm is faster than 5400rm, ergo the drive (read and write speed) is faster.
    You can put any SATA compatible 2.5" HDD and SSD into your MacBook Pro if it is not higher than 9.5mm.

    A faster HDD improves performance in a way that files are opened faster.
    But it also affects battery life in a negative way (10 to 20 minutes less battery time) due to the higher spinning platter(s).
     
  3. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #3
    What is MRoogle? Oh, I see it in you signature. Let's have a look here...

    Edit: Well, after looking at MRoogle, I am still not sure why you posted "MRoogle will have answered your questions." Thanks, for answering my question though.
     
  4. jamesraward macrumors regular

    jamesraward

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    May 18, 2009
    #4
    By the way, I've been having issues with my WD blue 500GB drive because of the power management, so personally I'd avoid them and go for a Hitachi - which was the make of the original drive in my uMBP. I also tried a Seagate Momentus 7200 which was awesomely fast but had a massive hit on my battery performance.

    worth thinking about if you're using it away from power a lot - which i am.
     
  5. Takashi macrumors regular

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    Oct 26, 2009
    #5
    My WD 500 GB worked fine and the transition is smooth as silk.
     
  6. jamesraward macrumors regular

    jamesraward

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    May 18, 2009
    #6
    Rather jealous, did you clean install or supaduper it over?
     
  7. Takashi macrumors regular

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    Oct 26, 2009
    #7
    No need to get super jealous. Perhaps I am just lucky.

    I just use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy everything to my new HD, reset PRAM, and let her boot up. The whole process did took a little bit longer than expected.
     
  8. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    Feb 5, 2009
    #8
    I just bought a 500gb western digital blue 5400rpm drive for my late 2006 MacBook. It was only $80 with shipping and tax from newegg. Don't let the rpm deceive you - look up reviews, it can hang with 7200rpm mobile drives. I'm running with 70mb/s+ for sequential read/write. My stock drive (similar to yours, if not faster) was barely pushing 30mb/s.
     
  9. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #9
    This is good to hear. I am really not sure what I am doing. I just know that I need a new HDD for storage purposes. I figured the more RPMs the better. But if my battery is going to take a major hit, that will be a major concern for me. I am a student and I only use my laptop when I am on the go (i.e. no outlets).

    Dwalls90, can you explain to me something? If the stock drive was 5400RPM and your new HDD is 5400RPM, why does the new one perform so much better? Is this simply a case of RPMs aren't everything? Is it a quality of the HDD issue?

    Also: Is this the HDD you got?

    Thanks,
    Casey
     
  10. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #10
    A 500GB 5400rpm drive can outperform a 320GB 7200rpm HDD, as the 500GB drive has more density on its platters and the read/write head has not as much to travel as on a 320GB drive.

    But a 500GB drive with 7200rpm will be faster than a 500GB drive with only 5400rpm, if only 20MB/s (95MB/s vs. 75MB/s).
     
  11. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #11
    Great, now I have to look up what a 'platter' is. :p But seriously, thanks for the help guys.
     
  12. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #12
    A platter is the round thing on which the data is stored, which do spin in HDDs, therefore the rpm count.
    There can be up to three or four platters in HDDs, but normally there are two and sometimes there is only one.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #13
    Ok, makes sense. So assuming that the 160GB stock HDD and the 500GB WD HDD have the same number of platters, the 500GB HDD will have a higher data density as you said and hence the better performance.

    Or even if the Stock has only 1 platter and the WD has 2 platters, the 500GB would still have a higher density.
     
  14. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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  15. davidlv macrumors 65816

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    Kyoto, Japan
    #15
    Different WD Scorpio Blues or just the blues?

    I also tried a WD Scorpio Blue 500 GB HD in a Late 2009 MBP 15" with firmware 1.7, and there was a really annoying lag, or wait that drove me nuts. Writing in MS Word was horrible, with a 2 - 3 second delay when selecting text, etc, etc.
    I went back to the original Toshiba 250GB and ... no lag at all.
    I guess there is either a difference in the WD drives people are using or the combination of firmware, some people say there is no problem with the prior ver. 1.6 firmware.
    This issue really needs some resolution. :eek::apple::eek:
     
  16. jamesraward macrumors regular

    jamesraward

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #16
    I had that until yesterday when I used HDAPM and it sorted it right out.

    Shame that the drive is actually a bit loud though... unless I have my right hand on the wrist area and it dampens it, maybe I've a defunct drive?
     
  17. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #17

    Hmm. This is not good news. Are you both using the 5400RPM models? I had heard about problems with the 7200RPM models, so I assumed I was safe. :eek: Guess that was a poor assumption. :(
     
  18. davidlv macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Yes, the Scorpio Blue 500GB HD is a 5,400 rev. drive. WD does not make a 7,200 500GB disk. And the problem with HDs now is not simply that 5,400 drives are good, 7,200 drives are bad. Many people have had mixed results with the WD 5400 500GB HD, even with models having the same model number. Some get lucky and have no sound, vibration, lags or other problems. Some have one or more of the problems. I am going to try a Toshiba or Hitachi 500GB as soon as I can find one locally. The 250 GB Toshiba I am using now is completely free from any perceptible sound or vibration, and it gets great milage on the battery, but it is not really fast, about 10-15% slower than the WD scorpio Blue in real life. Unfortunately 250GB fills up rather fast when converting your collection of Movie DVDs to the HD.
     
  19. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #19
    So I guess the best thing to do is just go ahead and install it. If it's hit or miss, then I will hope that I get a good one and if not, I can return it.
     
  20. davidlv macrumors 65816

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    #20
    If you do install the WD, let me pass on my experience. The installation guide in the computer manual is enough to do the HD exchange, but...
    there are 3 long screws and the rest are REALLY short. So short I actual thought I had broken the first one I unscrewed! Be really care when you take them out, as it is very easy to let one go and have it roll around. I suggest you lay them out so you remember the exact place they go back in. Also be sure to get a T6 torx tool, they are cheap, for without it the screws on the side of the HD are really a pain.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Good luck.
     
  21. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #21
    Okay. If anyone cares, I successfully installed my WD Scorpio Blue 500GB 5400RPM HDD. I used one of the fantastic guides at ifixit.com.

    The install went flawlessly (with exception of me boning the Time Machine Install once; a reinstall of Leopard solved it though).

    I can't be believe that there is actually a very noticeable performance increase on my late '06 MBP! I likes it. :D
     

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