MacBook Pro 5200 vs 7200rpm drives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peejack, May 31, 2009.

  1. peejack macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    Hi, im going to order a new macbook pro this week, and just have a quick question.

    Is the 7200rpm 250gb harddrive they offer and nosier or make the laptop any hotter? Also i presume it will make a bit of a difference to performance?

    Also is there likely to be a MBP update at WWDC? I need the laptop now as I dont have one but I suppose if I brought it on the 1st/2nd I would still be in time to swap it under the 14 days warranty?

    Many thanks
     
  2. waywardsage macrumors 6502

    waywardsage

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    Dec 22, 2006
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    #3
    It depends on what you need it for. For graphic designers, computer artists, and video editors, I highly recommend a 7200 RPM drive. For everyone else, i don't see the point in spending that kind of money for unnecessary performance.

    If your a normal person, having a 7.2K drive is like driving a ferrari to work every day. Cool..but unnecessary.

    Drive noise and heat wise, I never feel heat on that part of the computer. It's really hot toward the back near the processors. As for noise. Unless your in a dead quiet room, you won't hear any drive noise.
     
  3. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    That's just BS. The harddisk is the slowest part in any computer. 99% of times people experience their computers being slow or unresponsive is being caused by that harddisk. Every person that does not need a specific CPU for processor intensive tasks is better off buying a computer, be it desktop or laptop, with a slower CPU and more memory combined with the fastest harddisk you can get.

    It will result in a much snappier and faster feeling system. And that has nothing to do with Ferrari's or unnecessary performance.

    Serious, anyone who recommends getting a 5400rpm laptop drive because 7200rpm disks are "excess performance you don't need" does not have a clue. Not even close. Even the 7200rpm laptop drives are stinkin slow. Try running a pair of WD Velociraptors in RAID0 for a day in a desktop PC and then see how you like returning to a 5400rpm laptop drive.
     
  4. waywardsage macrumors 6502

    waywardsage

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    #5
    Could you be any more rude or insulting? i mean, its my opinion.
     
  5. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

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    #6
    Fast hard drives are highly recommended; as a previous poster said, hard drives are the slowest part of a computer. If you're trying to judge whether it's worth it buying a better hard drive as a build-to-order (BTO) option from Apple, just remember you can buy one and put it in yourself, it's much cheaper. (I actually don't know if you can do this for the unibody mac book pros, but I think you still can).
     
  6. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

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    May 13, 2009
    #7
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136123

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136279

    $15 premium is a small price to pay for what I believe to be the most tangible investment in any laptop. You don't have to be a pro-user to feel the difference. Just boot up OS X, or any application, with a 7200 RPM HDD and you'll see that.
     
  7. waywardsage macrumors 6502

    waywardsage

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    #8
    Why all the 7200RPM love all of a sudden? Tons of people were talking about the new 500 7.2K Seagate was JUST AS GOOD as the 500GB 5.4K Western Digital. I mean...there was an aprox 15 page argument about it earlier in the month.

    If its only $15 to upgrade, why is this guy taking the time to log onto macrumors to ask people if its worth it? It's less thank going out to eat! Go buy it!
     
  8. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

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    #9
    I had forgotten to mention that - boot up times will drop appreciably with a good hard drive.
     
  9. waywardsage macrumors 6502

    waywardsage

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    #10
    I guess i don't think of the slow boot up times of a 5.4K. It's easy to be complacent when have the beast of a 17" that I have :p
     
  10. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #11
    +1

    Seriously dude, it's just a hard drive preference...
     
  11. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #12
    if you're doing video editing, is it better to have a super fast 7200 500gb drive as your external scratch disk and have a slower 5200 rpm 200gb drive as your internal drive or the other way around?
     
  12. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Sure you are entitled to your opinion, as am I, and I gave you mine. Could I be more blunt and direct? Possibly. But rude and insulting? Where? Nowhere in my post I attacked you personally, called you names, or questioned your integrity.

    Now, with regards to the Scorpio Blue and the 7200.4, WD made a really good and fast 5400rpm drive. It is still slower than the faster rotating Seagate, but it is also $50 cheaper. Also, large hard disks are typically going to be faster than smaller specimen at the same rotational speed, as their platter density is higher, which translates in higher performance. So if you currently have a 160GB or 320GB 5400rpm drive, you will get a noticeable improvement with a 500GB 5400rpm drive.

    Fast drives are noticed whenever you access your disk. Be it to boot, start a program or load documents into a program. If you are doing memory intensive tasks where you will hit your physical memory limit and start swapping, or use extremely large files like with video editing, you will notice it even more.

    But regardless, faster drives are ALWAYS better. There is absolutely no reason at all to recommend using a slower drive at any time other than budgetary constraints.

    As far as 5400rpm or 7200rpm drive love around here, I don't know. I come from the PC world, and I would guess that world is more performance oriented whereas the MAC world typically has been more oriented to what Apple wanted them to have as there used to be not much other choice.

    With regards to DNH's question: you want both, not one. Both your options are going to significantly slow you down. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Likewise, a computer is only going to be as fast as its slowest part.
     
  13. peejack thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #14
    Thanks for the help. I ordered it with a 7200 drive :)
     
  14. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Aug 25, 2006
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    Oregon coast
    #15
    Okay, if it's not insulting to you, I'll use your own words (no offense intended): I call what you said above BS. It's just a teeny bit of a cop out to say, paraphrasing you, "That's just BS. If anyone says... blah blah, they don't have a clue... etc," when you are obviously referring to what waywardsage had just said. So, he had some reason to feel like you threw a needless swing his direction. I noticed it. Your opinion is valid, and even welcomed, but it's just your opinion. Please try to express it without a "know it all" attitude where you are demeaning to what someone else just said. Just be cool, because what you said certainly has validity, but not everyone feels that way.

    You make some good points. That's why I bought a WD Scorpio Blue 500gig drive for my MBP. It's been the best $89 I've ever spent.
    Here's where I part ways with you... because slow has a couple of meanings here. Platter rotation speed... and performance speed (access, read/write throughput, etc.) A buyer can gain lots of performance by upgrading his smaller 5400 drive, or even some 7200 rpm drives for the WD 500 Scorpio Blue and save money by getting a "slower" drive that happens to be "faster" than most other current drives out there, with only a few exceptions. So, budget is only one issue. Bang for the buck, size of data storage, vibration, noise, heat and reliability... are all issues worth considering. If speed is the only thing, then hook up to your velociraptor RAID setup on your desk and have at it, or get a 'cost is no consideration' SSD. What's a 500gig SSD with top performance going for these days?

    Anyway, just some variations on the subject of "what matters." It all will be individual, based on what's important. We know what's important to you - you told us. But you're just you, and it might not fit someone else. :)

    I'm a PC user, also lived in that world, and from what I saw it was only a certain segment of the PC world was performance obsessed. Most bought on budget, and I saw more bottom-feeder PCs desktop boxes and laptops than I did the high-end stuff. Sure, the hot rods of the PC world certainly exist, and all the custom parts at Fry's for the homebuilt crowd, but most folks I worked with just wanted their PC to get the job done, which was usually running Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.,) IE, Outlook, and other similar business or home office type stuff. They weren't running souped up gaming rigs. In fact it was amazing how non-leading edge most PC users I know really are. They liked where they were, running XP on some 2 year old machine, or a budget box from Best Buy. I think a lot of Mac (not an acronym, BTW) users aren't all that "performance" obsessed either, as long as it works reliably and is easy to use, mainly because Macs are generally good performing machines in the real world. For the performance driven Mac people, the Mac Pro multi-core machines are pretty damn good off the shelf, even just being measured strictly as Windows machines.
     
  15. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

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    Feb 23, 2008
    #16
    it would be nice to know if some other factors change, mainly temperature, power usage and noise. Hard to find out now since you bought the 7200-one,.. Have anyone tried both to compare? I saw some link to a test in macworld, but they only measured bitrate/speed for real and left the other metrics to "guesstimate"...
     
  16. peejack thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #17
    I have had a 5200 mbp so I will be able to compare. I spoke to the apple guys and they said it slightly only slightly more noise and heat isn't really an issue. I doubt battery life will be affected much.
     
  17. sfroom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    #18
    Noise, heat, performance etc. vary from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer. The good news is that drives have been improving fairly significantly in all three of these areas over the last few years, so upgrading is almost always a good choice.

    One notable difference between 5400 and 7200 rpm drives that hasn't really been mentioned here is power consumption. 7200 rpm drives do consume more power, and therefore might have an effect on battery life with heavy use, however the difference should be fairly minimal. Drives have gotten much more efficient in the last few years, so new 7200 rpm drives consume less power than most 5400 rpm drives that are more than a year old.

    A good place to review this kind of information is tomshardware. They post pretty in depth reviews of new HDs.
     
  18. showstoppin macrumors newbie

    showstoppin

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    #19
    7200 is much faster, no delay in accessing files at all. i wanted more space so went with the 5400 and noticed a slight difference.
     
  19. 01jamcon macrumors 6502a

    01jamcon

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    #20
    The difference between 7200rpm and larger 5400rpm drives these days is almost negligible.
     
  20. throttlemeister macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Only in transfer speeds, which are basically irrelevant for most uses. Access times and latency is what you notice in regular use, and those are very different. You may think what's a few ms? Well, considering the amount of file accesses these OS's do these day, they quickly adds up and becomes very noticeable.
     
  21. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #22
    Something to note as well is hard drives get slower the more stuff that's on them. That's because the inner tracks where it writes to last are moving more slowly relative to the outer tracks where data is written first. Think of it as two racers, one on an inside lane and one on the outside lane. The one on the outside moves faster to stay level with the one on the inside. A full Hard Drive can be around 40% slower than a relatively empty one. Therefore, I always suggest you get more space over faster rpm if you can only afford one or the other. Sure the access times are a bit slower, but a fast but full hard drive will be about the same speed as 5,400rpm Hard Drive with the same amount on it but extra room to breathe. Also, bigger Hard Drives are denser so more data is read in the same time and area.
     
  22. sfroom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    #23
    Perhaps things have changed, but the last time I checked, the maximum sizes of laptop hard drives were the same for 5400 and 7200 rpm. I wouldn't suggest anything less than a 500 GB drive really, since the cost difference between them and say, a 320 GB, is so small.

    So once again, it's not a matter of size, but rather of whether you want the speed you pay for with a 7200 rpm drive. Power consumption differences being minimal, I'd say that if you have the money, go with a 500 GB 7200 rpm drive. OEM of course, not from Apple.
     
  23. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #24
    My MBP has the 320 GB 7,200 RPM drive and I paid the extra $50 gladly. Had I the money, I'd be just as quick to grab a solid-state drive.

    I would hate to have a MacBook Air with the PATA drive. Really? 4200 RPM? :eek:
     
  24. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #25
    That's why I said if you can only afford one or the other. E.g. I would recommend a 500 GB, 5,400rpm over 320 GB, 7,200rpm.
     

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