MacBook 1.1 upgrade to 7200rpm HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by pizzacake, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. pizzacake macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I upgraded my MacBook 1.1 (yes first gen!) Intel Core Duo with Toshiba 5400rpm 60GB HDD to a Seagate 7200.4 7200rpm 320GB ST9320423AS HDD. The performance jump is outstanding.

    My MacBook from cold gets to the login screen in less than 30 seconds. After logging in the MacBook would be pretty much unusable for about 20 secs on the old Toshiba drive because of programs that load on login. With the 7200rpm drive these just 'pop' onto the menu bar. I couldn't stand Cover Flow on the 5400rpm HDD the previews took so long to load but on the 7200rpm the previews load in a snap, just make sure you turn off file sizes column in cover flow mode though. Garageband the 5400rpm struggled with 3-4 tracks, the 7200rpm easily handled 8 tracks (didn't bother testing more tracks as that's the most I would ever need).

    I haven't seen any loss in battery life with the 7200rpm drive and it can be powered with a single USB socket in an external caddy which backs up its lower power specs.

    I've compared my MacBook with my Aluminum iMac 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo with 3.5" SATA II HDD and honestly the MacBook with this 7200rpm drive is just as fast apart from processor intensive tasks like h264 encoding.

    A 7200rpm HDD is a terrific upgrade, imho far more noticeable than doubling memory. Processor speed wouldn't make a difference for 95% of daily use, the Intel Core Duo handles pretty much everything I need it for including 720P HD viewing, heck an Intel Atom can do nearly everything the non-pro needs.

    p.s. I also connect an external 19" LCD to my MacBook, Mac OS X really handles multiple screens well and 19" LCDs are really cheap nowadays so well worth doing.
  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    It's always nice to read a post such as yours that shows what a difference a hard drive upgrade can truly make. For you, the increase in platter density alone would be enough for large gains in transfer speed, going from a measly 60GB drive to a 320GB drive. What did you end up doing with your old hard drive?
  3. pizzacake thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Thanks B G, considering the small investment the gains in speed and capacity are tremendous. I forgot to mention heat, noise and vibration. The MacBook is oddly cooler with the 7200rpm than the 5400rpm (newer tech I guess?), with the 5400rpm I could sometimes feel the heat on the palm rest. Noise and vibration are hardly detectable just like the 5400rpm. As a comparison my iMac is much noisier and that's a quiet machine.

    The 60GB HDD is now in a USB external caddy, it may come in use when I have files too large for a flash drive. What's great about laptop drives is they don't need a separate power supply when used in caddies.
  4. Buzzworms macrumors member


    Apr 5, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Where'd you buy it? I'm thinking about doing the same to my old CD MacBook, especially if it runs a little cooler.
  5. pytanie macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
  6. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    The OP went for a Seagate but I can say the same about my Western Digital 320GB 7200rpm (WD3200BEKT). It really makes a big difference... especially for the 1,1 OCE (Original Collector's Edition) which has a limit of 2GB of RAM.

    OWC (the mentioned model currently not offered)

  7. pizzacake thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I have the Seagate 7200.4 7200rpm 320GB ST9320423AS HDD however I've read the Western Digital HDDs are good too. I bought mine from but that's because I'm in the UK. I imagine in the US newegg is a popular choice?

    Whichever brand you go for remember you're MacBook has a sudden motion sensor built in and many reviews have said don't buy HDDs with motion sensors built in as they may conflict with the MacBook's sensor.

    For example:
    Seagate ST9320423AS (no motion sensor built in)
    Seagate ST9320423ASG (built in motion sensor)
    WD WD3200BEKT or WD3200BJKT (motion sensor or not model numbers are something like this)

    As an added bonus those minus the motion sensor are cheaper. Now if you're putting one in an external caddy then the motion sensor models are probably a better buy if you're worried about dropping them.

    Btw I run smcFanControl to increase the minimum fan speed to about 2350rpm, the extra fan noise is minimal but it really keeps the temp down. With the Toshiba I be averaging 54°C CPU but with the Seagate it's about 47-48°C CPU Temp.
  8. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    I just upgraded my unibody macbook 2 days ago from the stock 160 gb HDD to a Wester Digital Scorpio Blue 500 gb 5400 rpm (WD5000BEVTRTL), it works great and its very quit, so far its good. it was on sale at Best Buy for $89 + Tax.

    Im not trying to go off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows how much the battery is affected with a 7200 rpm HDD vs a 5400 rpm HDD, if any.

    so far I'm happy with my Hard Drive, but I'm wondering if maybe I should use this opportunity to get more speed out of my HDD before Snow Leopard comes.

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