MBP Hard drive upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ZLMarshall, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. ZLMarshall macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    My iBook died this morning :(, so it's time for a new laptop... :)

    I'm going to sit on my hands until the announcements Monday, just in case, but when I do get a new MBP, I'm wondering about upgrading the hard drive. The options are 120 GB (from 100) or 7200 RPM (from 5400).

    A lot of what I do is scientific computing that's i/o intensive (that's the main bottleneck for many of the programs, and it would be nice to run 64 bit versions of the apps, btw), so I'm inclined to get a faster HD. At the same time, the files we work with are around 2 GB each, so I'd like a bigger drive.

    Are there any other factors that I should be thinking about before I leap? Hard drive lifetime (that's what died on my iBook), heat, noise (not a big deal, but good to know about), or something else that I wouldn't expect? Will I be able to see the HD speed difference, or do they not all take advantage of it for one reason or another (we're having this problem with single threaded programs running on multi-threaded CPUs - no help there!)?

  2. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Hopefully the new MBPs will come with a FW800 port so you can plug in an external drive for your IO intensive needs. I'd go with the 5400rpm drives personally, the 7200 ones drain battery and they aren't that much quicker. YMMV
  3. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    Not to disagree with you generik, just wanted to mention that in a few benchmarks I've read recently, a lot of the 7200RPM drives don't really drain battery any worse than 5400RPM ones so I would base your decision on speed vs capacity.

    I went with capacity on my MacBook Pro and got the 120GB drive as benchmarks by barefeats.com showed the 7200RPM 100GB drive to only really be faster in heavy activities such as video editing - in normal usage there was next to no difference. Compare that to an extra 20GB of space, you'll notice that every single day!
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    "Heavy activity" includes scientific computing. 7200 RPM will probably make a significant difference here.

    If you are going to have your MBP plugged into the wall power socket then you'll be fine, but battery life will be siginificantly shorter if you try to do your scientific tasks on the go.
  5. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    I'm hoping that Apple include a perpendicular 160GB 5400rpm drive option in their next MBP release.

    The power consumption is similar to a 5400rpm drive, but because the storage is perpendicular (bits are vertical and therefore more compactly stored) the read/write speed is closer to a 7200rpm drive. And most importantly you get 160GB of storage.

    I have 120GB at the moment and it's not enough, especially when your MBP is your primary machine. So if Apple only offer a 120GB drive i will probably seriously consider opening the machine up and replacing the drive myself.

Share This Page