MBP 5400 vs. 7200 RPM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hancock, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. hancock macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #1
    Hi I am preparing to buy a MBP when they are updated and assuming the drive RPM's will remain the same I am wondering if it is worth the $275 to upgrade the hard drive. Also what will i really be able to notice from the upgrade. I am asking this because in other threads some have said that it makes more sense to upgrade RAM and HD than the processor, I already know the benefits of extra ram and I plan on maxing it out with 3rd party ram when my machine arrives but i dont no much about the benefits of an upgraded HD.
    Thanks in advance for your answers! :D
     
  2. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    It will only make a difference if you editing video or doing very intensive tasks and if you do get one buy it from third Party and install it yourself.
     
  3. hajime macrumors 68030

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    #3
    I tried both and did not notice any different. 5400rpm drives are good enough.
     
  4. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #4
    I disagree. The 7200RPM makes file operations faster, which means even simple tasks like opening a new folder will feel alot snappier. Its a worthwhile upgrade if you can afford it.
     
  5. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #5
    There's no point in getting a 7200 drive unless you
    use final cut/rendering it'll only make your machine hotter for no reason
     
  6. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #6
    I also disagree with this. A Hitachi 7200rpm 2.5" drive is as cool or in some cases cooler then a stock macbook pro 5400rpm drive.

    If you don't believe me, feel free to google it. There is no temperature difference if you're using good drives. Its a worthwhile upgrade, I'd put it 2nd to 4gb RAM and ahead of a faster CPU.
     
  7. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

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    #7
    It's not worth the price for that use Wow guess what my file opened in 0.6 seconds instead of 1 second Big deal.
     
  8. TheBigApple2006 macrumors regular

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    Feb 20, 2006
    #8
    I've always questioned the impact on battery life a 7200 RPM harddrive would have versus a 5400 one. Is it correct to assume that the former will consume more battery than the latter, since it's spinning more?
     
  9. hancock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #9
    How hard is it to install a third party HD in a MBP? And how much would you expect to pay for the correct sized 7200 RPM 200gb drive?
    Thanks for your fast response.
     
  10. gotzero macrumors 68040

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    #10
    I think it is a worthwhile upgrade. Doing it yourself is not hard, but will void the warranty, which I find annoying.

    I upgraded mine to a 200GB travelstar. I cannot tell any difference in temps, performance is great, and I love the storage space!

    Choose speed over size in this case...

    EDIT: Installing HDD: You need a Torx T6, and a small phillips screwdriver. There are many accurate guides about how to take an MBP apart. The first time you do it, it will probably take 15-45 minutes. I can have mine apart and back in no time now since I am always upgrading something.

    I paid ~$200 for my 200GB traverlstar 7200RPM drive in October. I love it and have no complaints.
     
  11. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #11
    Can you point me to some benchmarks as i cant find any, i have a second macbook pro i sometimes use at work and i do some video editing(has a hitachi 7200) even when im not using final cut the temps are higher than the pro im using now
     
  12. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #12
    Sorry but your wrong on this one it only voids your warranty if you screw
    something up
     
  13. Plutor macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2007
    #13
    I'm wondering the same question as the starter of this thread, and yet, it seems almost impossible to get a straight answer on performance between 5400 and 7200. Everyone always seems to be guessing/gutting out an answer instead of having straight facts and data on this topic.

    Are there any technophiles out there that can dig into this? Anyone know of any legit performance/comparison charts on this stuff?

    Thanks!
     
  14. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #14
    Takes about 15mins
    http://www.ifixit.com/
     
  15. gotzero macrumors 68040

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    #15
    I agree, legally. However, if you march into an apple store or send something back with third party parts they will make you get the lawyer...

    I have never bought applecare because of this. These computers are beautiful inside and out. Cramped, but generally a joy to work on. The only bad thing is when things are glued...

    EDIT: As far as a side by side test, it is probably because most of us do not have two identical computers. I have a 2.33 Ghz 4GB RAM 200GB 7200RPM HDD and 10.5.1. If anyone has the same setup minus the HDD I would be happy to run some tests to compare. I would like to know too before I upgrade some of the other computers in the house.
     
  16. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #16
    Just go to a hard drive manufacturer's website and compare a 5400 vs 7200RPM drive. Here's a Hitachi example.

    While both share the same SATA transfer rate, look at the media transfer rate difference. Of course, this 7200RPM drive also has larger cache buffer but that's also typical of 7200RPM drives.
     
  17. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

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    #17
    I upgraded to the 200 GB Hitachi 7200 RPM drive and noticed a substantial performance boost for basic computing activities. In most cases, the HD is the biggest bottleneck in the computer, so naturally a faster drive will make a difference.
     
  18. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #18
    I agree also but you could replace the 3rd party parts with the original parts
    then take it in
     
  19. lekun macrumors regular

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    Jan 5, 2006
    #19
    7200 RPM drives are faster, but...

    Barefeats.com has a lot of tests on the subject.
    7200 RPM drives are faster. Is it a speed difference you will notice? I can't say, and I don't think benchmarks really show.

    People on the web seem to be split on the battery and heat. With many saying less and many saying more to both of those issues. Hard to know what to believe.

    I installed a 7200 RPM Seagate 200 GB but the noise and vibration were VERY noticeable, so I sent it back. Can't decide whether or not to get a 5400 RPM 160 GB from Seagate which I know to be silent or to risk getting another 7200 RPM (probably the Hitachi).
     
  20. bplein macrumors 6502

    bplein

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    #20
    OK, so let's say I did get you real numbers from a synthetic benchmark. What does that tell you about what your experience will be with YOUR file system that will be filled differently from mine, with YOUR applications which are different from mine?

    Synthetic benchmarks have their place (believe me, I am in Technical Marketing for an enterprise storage company) but they aren't the final answer.

    Many people don't understand that throughput isn't the most important measure of hard drive performance. You need good throughput with good seek times. On top of that, these numbers by themselves don't mean diddly in the real world because laptops are doing many threads at once, even if you think you are using only one application. NCQ was designed to fix a deficiency in SATA when compared to FC and SCSI drives.

    You can have 2 drives, one SCSI and one ATA (non NCQ), with similar throughput and seek times, and similar benchmarks using IOMETER. The SCSI drive, all things being equal, will do a better job when the system starts thrashing with multiple threads, multiple apps, etc. Heck, ATA and SATA drives stink when doing mixed read/write workloads, and a SCSI or FC drive will just eat them alive.

    So don't go by XBENCH or IOMETER or other synthetic benchmarks as the end-all-be-all of driver performance. Get opinions from people you trust. If you don't trust anyone, get better friends (grin).
     
  21. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

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    Oct 1, 2006
    #21
    And if you do indeed decide to get a 7200 RPM drive, don't get it built-to-order. Upgrade the HD yourself or get a friend to do it for you.
     
  22. McGiord, Feb 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #22
    Does the HDD replacement procedure may leave any trace that it was removed?
    I just want to be sure before doing it.
    ________
    Ford Model C Ten specifications
     
  23. Plutor macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2007
    #23
    So, according to you, there is no way of knowing which serves up better performance? Thanks anyway, but I'll take the suggestion of a few of the other replies and check out barefeats.com
     
  24. sfs macrumors member

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    Jan 24, 2008
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    Texas
    #24
    Disclaimer: I have not tied this on an MBP. However, I have seen several other laptops and desktops from various manufacturers as well as custom-built to compare 5400RPM and 7200RPM drives. In virtually every instance, the 7200RPM-equipped machine felt more responsive and lagged significantly less when playing videos or rendering. The only case I remember a 5400RPM machine beating the 7200RPM was when the processor was almost 600MHz faster.

    If all you'll do is open Word docs all day, stick with 5400RPM. It's cheap and easy to replace cheaply should the need arise. If you'll edit video, or do a lot of Camera RAW or high-end Photoshopping, get the 7200RPM. Just remember to put the original drive in if you have problems while it's under warranty and you decided to upgrade it yourself.
     
  25. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    Canada
    #25
    What apps will you be using on your MBP? Don't listen to noise about comparing SCSI vs SATA drives - unless it has changed MBP's don't use SCSI drives so it's worthless mentioning.

    I've always upgraded my RAM first, once this is maxed then the next best upgrade is the hard drive - this is because you don't want operations writing to virtual memory which is slower than RAM. Take a look at the apps you're using on the MBP and watch activity monitor and see how hard your hard drive is being hit. If it's grinding away then 7200RPM will make a difference.

    I do a lot of video rendering and MP4 work with my camcorder and the 7200RPM drives make a big difference. When I'm just watching a video or surfing the web, working in Word/Excel then no 5400RPM is fine.
     

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