MacBook Pro drive question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by playstationdork, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. playstationdork macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    These new drive options are just what I was looking for; great update Apple!

    The problem that I am having is I don't know whether to get the 200gb 7.2k or the 250 5.4k. The computer will be mainly used as my wife’s machine and she does a lot of photo work using photoshop elements and iphoto. She currently has a 120gb drive and she is totally out of space.

    I want this machine to last at least 3 years and be able to hold all of her photos (she doesn’t want to archive any old photos).

    Does anyone have any performance advice on which drive to get? I don’t even know what manufacturer/model each drive is. I looked at and they have a WD Scorpio drive 250gb at 5400 and it seems to perform nicely against all of the other 7200 drives (the largest/fastest that they had was a Seagate 160gb drive). They didn’t have any 200gb 7200 drives to compare against.

    Right now, these are my pros/cons for the 200gb drive.
    Pro – faster and most important, this is the drive my wife thinks she should get.
    Con – worse battery life and 50gb smaller.

    Any suggestions as I haven’t seen any benchmarks for these configurations as they are all of 1 day old.

  2. playstationdork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    Since I havent seen a response, can anyone help out this way? Does anyone know the make and part number for the two drives new 200gb and 250gb drives? I would like search around other sites to see if there is a comparison between the two?

  3. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    you want to replace the current laptop drive?

    I say go with the 200gb drive. You'll get better perfomance out of it. (photo editing software and OSX)

    50 gigs is no big deal. Just keep your current 120gb drive, get an external enclosure and you should be good to go. If you need more space in the future, buy another external drive
  4. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    I don't know which drives Apple is using, but the current Seagate and Hitachi 7K2 200GB drives and the current WD 5K4 250GB drive are remarkably similar in performance and energy consumption.

    All in all, it's hard to go wrong by agreeing with your wife. ;)
  5. playstationdork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    That is probably the most important factor.

    I'm going to still push her to get the 250gb drive though as I think the space will be an issue in the long run. I'm probably going to pay for my bad judgement in the long run. :p
  6. firstrest macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2006
    I have had the 250GB WD Scorpio in my MBP for the last few months and have been very happy with it. It is extremely quiet (much more so than the Fujitsu it replaced), fast and I have not noticed any penalty in battery life. I highly recommend it.
  7. playstationdork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    got the 2.2 250gb yesterday

    It's a Hitachi (Hitachi HTS542525K9SA00) and the overall machine is way faster than the 1.83 CD mbp (TOSHIBA MK1234GSX) that we bought in Feb 2006. Running xbench, it is 54% faster score (72.63->111.61).

    The surprising thing was that HD was one of the greatest improvements in speed and this was my biggest concern. xbench shows a Disk Test increase of 76% (23.81->41.92) with the biggest increase being uncached read increasing 391%.

    The drive on the original mbp was the 120gb 5.4k and the new drive is the 250gb 5.4k. The only thing that I can think that may be skewing the tests is that the smaller drive only has 15gb available and the larger drive has 149gb available. Both are running Tiger as the new one came with the drop-in disk.

    I'm glad I got the larger slower drive as it's still a huge increase in speed from the machine that we were previously using although, I wonder how fast the 200gb 7200 drive is going to be.
  8. casperghst42 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2006
    I have been though the whole thing, I got my MBP (CD 2Ghz) with a 100GB, upgraded that to a 160GB and now have a 250GB, and every time it gets faster.

    I use Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom (one library with > 5.000 photos), and for me its fast enough. I always run into an issue with diskspace, and not performance.

  9. mobydisk macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2007
    I'm glad somebody asked about this, because this is one of my biggest things stopping me from buying a MBP. It comes with a 5400RPM drive, which IMHO is completely unacceptable in such a high-end machine. No problem, they offer a 7200RPM upgrade (about 1.5 years too late, but I'll take what I can get)

    But that still isn't a very good option really. First, they charge $200 for that drive when I can buy it at NewEgg for that AND still have the old hard drive. But then, I have a 160GB 5400RPM drive I still don't want. Other companies (Dell, HP, IBM, etc.) are offering laptops with 2x160GB drives (either separately, or RAIDed) which is what I really need.

    As best as I can figure, it looks like I need to:
    - Buy a MBP with the 160GB 5400RPM drive
    - But a 200GB 7200RPM drive from NewEgg
    - Sell the 160GB 5400RPM drive (Maybe find someone with an older MB?)
    - Buy an external hard drive and enclosure

    That gives me an option that is almost as good as the comparable Dell machine, but with a lot more hassle. Apple adding a 7200RPM option seems like a pretty weak upgrade for us high-enders. Does anybody have a better suggestion? I need this system within the next 30 days, so holding out hope for a new MBP in January isn't going to work.
  10. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
    MacBook Pro drive question

    My general advise.

    I bought my MacBook Pro, with the base hard disk drive, and the base RAM.

    Apple charges are excessive for upgrades on HD and RAM.

    Then I order the RAM I need from OWC. And search the internal for the cheapest price, for the fastest HD, and biggest, 7K, HD Hitachi makes. Love Hitachi drives.

    There are the 2 things that are the cheapest way to get a great big preformace boost. More RAM and faster and bigger HD.
  11. Tadros86 macrumors 6502


    Jan 29, 2007
    New Jersey
    I do audio, and movie editing, the faster the hard drive the better performance, if she is doing picture editing she is going to be inside not out anywhere, and if she is she has 2-3 hours without the adaptor. And if she is really serious about editing pictures she is going to need an external hard drive to store them all. Don't compromise your performance for your space when expansions are always available, if you change the MBP hard drive in the future yourself you void your warranty. Go for the 7200 RPM now, it is definitely better then 5600. Besides its only 50 GB, like I said, you can get an external hard drive for like a 100 bucks, 320 GB and 7200 RPM. Performance is key!
  12. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
  13. playstationdork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    The 7200 "may" be faster right? It's got a higher RPM number right?

    It looks like apple is shipping the Hitachi drives for both the 200 and 250 model. The 200 is the Hitachi HTS722020K9SA00 and the 250 is the Hitachi HTS542525K9SA00.

    xbench results of 200gb

    xbench results of 250gb (mine; I f'd up and put it in the wrong computer type)

    Just looking at the "Disk Test" benchmark, the 5400 wins in speed.
    250gb 5.4k = 41.92
    200gb 7.2k = 41.28

    Does this mean that the larger 5.4k drive is faster than the smaller 7.2k drive? Probably not. I don't think that this test is by any means a complete benchmark and may include external factors that could skew the results. It does show that they could be really close in performance though.

    The additional drive space, for me, is important though. it's 25% larger. If you count the system and application as "fixed" space then the percentage of available space for pictures would even be greater. Archiving photos off the machine to an external drive is somewhat of a pain so I would like to postpone doing this as long as possible.

    I would be curious though, if the new larger size slower speed RPM is actually faster, will we see a RPM Myth ad campaign rivaling the megahertz myth campaign of the nineties?:)
  14. playstationdork thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2007
    I'm not sure why this is relevant as they started offering a 160gb 7.2k drive in June07. They sell a larger 200gb 7200 rpm drive as of the last update.
    Dell can go up to 640gb (2x320) and it's coming in at over 10lbs. Can you really compare that?

    I'm not sure why you wouldn't buy the 200gb 7.2k from apple. It seems like you are doing a lot of work to get to the same internals.
    If you need to go high end raid solution, you may want to go with the dell.
  15. mobydisk macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2007
    A friend of mine suggested doing that, and making it into a hackintosh if I really do want to play with Macs. Weight isn't as big a problem for me as space, since this is really a desktop replacement.
  16. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    If your going to keep your old HD, get the 200 @ 7.2k. If not get the 250 @ 5.4k

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