Macbook HD upgrade question (WD Passport 320 GB HD)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tekulvi, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. tekulvi macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #1
    I have been trying to figure out if this drive has a 2MB Buffer or a 8 MB Buffer.

    There are also 2 different models of WD Passports. One is WDXMS3200TN and the other is WDME3200TN.

    I wonder if each has a different version of the Scorpio in it. I know the XMS one is newer of the 2.

    My model number is WDXMS3200TN.

    I was in the process of cloning this particular drive so that I could replace it in my macbook. I know that it has the remnants of the WD scorpio in it. I just popped the WD Passort open....the hardware number is:

    WD3200BEVT-227CT0

    Now if I do a search on WD3200BEVT I can see its a scorpio. Not sure what the other numbers are "227CT0"

    I know this external has been a popular purchase with the idea of switching the macbook internal ( I saw a bunch of threads).

    It scares me to put a HD with a 2MB buffer in my macbook. Some people will tell you straight out that its a 8 MB buffer. Here are some websites that support the 2mb theory:

    http://computers.pricegrabber.com/hard-drives/m/56966700/search=wdxms3200tn+2mb/st=query/

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3540619&CatId=136

    http://stores.tomshardware.com/rating_getprodrev.php/product_id=56966700/id_type=M/st=pop/sv=review/

    I worry that I just spent 149.00 on a HD that is has a 2 mb Buffer.
     
  2. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    anyone? I know a couple of people on here have done this.
     
  3. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    only 320gb WD drive ive seen is the 8mb version, i doubt they make a 2
     
  4. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    I thought the same...until I looked at those links.
     
  5. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #5
    hmm, well if you only spent 149 bucks thats a pretty good price for that harddrive anyway, newegg wants 179 for just the drive
     
  6. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #6
    This particular cut and paste from the Tom's Hardware site also says 2MB.

    Description: Passport Portable External 320GB Hard Drive
    Manufacturer: WD
    Lowest Price: $144.99
    User Reviews:
    (4.75 / 5.00)
    (Read 4 Reviews)
    Rebates: (None)
    Quick Glance
    Capacity: 320000
    Rotational Speed: 5400
    Access Time: 12
    Cache Size: 2
    Internal/External: External
    Interface: USB - Universal Serial Bus 2.0
    Drive Width: 2.5 in
    Storage
    Capacity: 320 GB
    Interface
    Interface Type: USB - Universal Serial Bus 2.0
    Interface: USB - Universal Serial Bus 2.0
    Performance
    Access Time: 12 ms
    Maximum Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
    Cache Size: 2 MB
    Rotational Speed: 5400 RPM
    General
    Form Factor Width: 2.5 in
    Included Components: Cabling (Interface)
    Internal/External: External
    Dimensions
    Weight: 3.7 oz
    Depth: 5.11 in
    Width: 3.14 in
    Height: 0.59 in
    Warranty
    Warranty Information: 3 Year Limited Warranty
    More Info
    URL: Manufacturer Link
     
  7. Csmitte macrumors 6502

    Csmitte

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #7
    I did it also 149 for the passport, it said scorpio on the drive and had the correct part number? can someone give a down and dirty of cache speed
     
  8. Star Destroyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #8
    Do you really need 8mb buffer over the 2?

    I would say 145$ is a great price for a 320GB HDD, and the ratings give it 4.75/5 so that means a lot of people really like it. I think its a keeper regardless, and its not internal so it wont slow down the system to much....
    I would stop worrying, it seems like a good drive regardless.
     
  9. Prelude2Tragedy macrumors regular

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    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    I did the same swap with the 250GB passport with the 2MB cache. I too was a bit disappointed realizing it was the smaller cache, but I haven't been able to discern much difference from the stock hard drive. In the end, the extra space is well worth it.
     
  10. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    The point is that I purchased this drive, so that i could swap it out with the internal....and then I would put the internal in the encasing that the passport came in. I know that the passport itself is not an internal drive, but it was basically a WD scorpio inside an an external enclousure...which is what made it a better financial buy than getting the scorpio for 180 and a 30 enclousure.

    It may well be a good drive, but I dont want to go out and spend 150 more dollars to get another drive because this one is not what i was looking for.
     
  11. Csmitte macrumors 6502

    Csmitte

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #11
    I have the wd 320 hd, and I cannot tell a difference? where is this difference take place.
     
  12. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Thanks...here is the question...what does the extra buffer size provide? How does it affect the system? Does it slow down any processes. I am an Apple Logic user, so I am unsure if the buffer would make a monster of a program run any slower ( it doesnt run slow now...I have 2GB of Ram which I think may be the driving force in speed).

    I just dont want to cut the nose to spite my face ( I always get these sayings wrong...but you all know what i mean).
     
  13. Prelude2Tragedy macrumors regular

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    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #13
    Im not exactly sure the specific benefits or shortcomings of a 2MB over a 8MB. I suppose there are people out there with a lot more knowledge about it than me. I just wanted to say that in my case I did not experience a noticeable hit in performance that made me unsatisfied with the larger storage space and the cost in making the swap. I also have 2GB of ram so Im sure that helps a bit.
     
  14. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2008
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    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #14
    I probably will give WD customer service a call tommorow...just to verify if it indeed does have 2 or 8 MBs...and to ask them what difference that aspect makes.

    Even when I try to google it, I cannot find info on what buffer size does.
     
  15. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
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    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    #15
    From About.com:

    I just bought one of the WD 320G Passports and put the drive in my MBP this week. I checked the model number of the drive I removed from the Passport and it had an 8Mb buffer according to WD's Web site.

    My new drive screams compared to the 100G 7200 RPM Hitachi that I took out.

    MacDann
     
  16. azdude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    #16
    I too just did this swap.

    1) The model numbers on the drive I removed from the Passport are the exact same as shown on the label for the Scorpio internal drive in the Tom's Hardware review. I can't imagine they'd make a 2MB drive and label it exactly the same. Note: this is not to say that other 320GB Passport drives don't have a 2MB drive in them... they very well might have two drives they use for the Passports, depending on available supply.

    2) This drive is noticeably faster than my stock 160GB 5400 rpm drive, especially at boot. Note: this was a cloned drive, so it's not the "fresh OS install" effect that's responsible

    #1 makes it likely that this is an 8MB drive, and #2 really makes me not care as much as I otherwise would.

    Go for it, and enjoy.
     
  17. freitas macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #17
    Check out this thread for more discussion on the 8/2 MB Cache. About half way down the thread there is a post that essentially states WD is putting 8MB drives in the passport as the 2MB are not available. Also it is worth noting that the drives with different caches have different model numbers, WDxxxBEAx vs. WDxxxBEVx.

    http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8300945231/m/561009320931/p/2
     
  18. Csmitte macrumors 6502

    Csmitte

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #18
    You just saved me time and money, this drive works fine though in the WD Handout they dont even list a 2mb cache drive.
     

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  19. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #19
    Thanks for the info...Looks like wholesalers might have misclassified the drive as a 2MB. Out of sheer curiousity, Ill take the time out to call WD tommorow.
     
  20. freitas macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #20
    Please post you response from WD. There is a lot of confusion floating around about the meaning of the digits after the model number. I put the WD WD3200BEVT-00ZCT0 (from a passport) into my macbook pro. I would love to know definitively that this in fact the 8MB cache drive. I suspect right now that they are all (if not most) 8MB drives as there is not 2MB cache scorpio version on the WD site.

    M
     
  21. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

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    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    #21
    Western Digital's product data is pretty clear - they don't make a 320G 2.5" SATA drive with an 8Mb buffer. The model WD3200BEVT is a 320G 2.5" drive with an 8Mb buffer only - there is no model in this series with a 2Mb buffer.

    This is the drive I took out of the Passport I bought at BB last Monday.

    MacDann
     
  22. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #22
    Just got off the phone with WD.

    They said that pretty much everything MacDann said...with additional good news...the drive has a 16MB Buffer. None of there 320s have anything less than 8 MB. I gave him my model number and Seriel number for the external HD. And even gave him the internal drive SN ( WD3200BEVT-227CT0)...and he said that my drive has a 16 MB buffer.

    Now I quizzed him on why there would be several sites that have that this drive is a 2MB. He stated that it must be that they copied the lower drives capabilites and that none of the 320's have nothing less than 8MB and that mine was a 16MB buffer. I even sort of questioned why that is not available on the WD product page because that would be something of note to highlight...he said he did not know why.

    I believe them. The information he gave me was really specific. This compared with MacDann and other's people's good experiences makes me now feel safe.
     
  23. Csmitte macrumors 6502

    Csmitte

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #23

    How can i find out about my buffer size? can i just look in the about this mac page? or do i have to open my baby up again, i'll do it i am not scared!:( <--- is scared
     
  24. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #24
    Its either 8MB or 16MB if you have the 320GB HD according to the WD employee.

    I wouldnt worry much about it as he said that none of the drives have a 2MB drive...its either 8 or 16....and he said he was pretty sure it was a 16MB.

    Once again gotta give MacDann his props as he was saying this from the get go....but based on prior life events, I always have to check for myself.

    EDIT:

    If you have the scorpio 320GB...you have a 16MB Buffer ( that is according to the WD employee....according to the spec sheet, its 8MB...which he could not really explain).
     
  25. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #25
    If the drive number ends in BEVT its a 8mb look "in about this Mac" mine i bought as a blank drive and not in an enclosure

    Blank drives will be 8MB
     

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