MBP HDD upgrade: wait for 500GB 7200rpm?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jeffy.dee-lux, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #1
    Hi, I'm planning on upgrading from my original 120GB HDD some time in the near future. I've been eyeing the drives for sale from CanadaRAM.com
    http://www.canadaram.com/2_5_sata_hard_drive.htm

    I was looking at 500GB at 5400rpm or 320GB at 7200rpm, and then I decided to look on the Seagate site, and they seem to have a 500GB 7200rpm drive that's 9.5mm thick. Did this drive just come out or something, cause it doesn't show up on some of the retailers i've checked out.

    I'd also be happy to get any sage words of advice from people who've done this upgrade before. I'm pretty good with my hands, but I'd like to know if there's anything in particular to watch out for that might not be covered in some of the online guides.

    I was also thinking of upgrading to 4GB ram. If my MBP shipped with 2GB, does that mean the easier to access slot next to the battery should be available?
     
  2. tsvb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #2
    With day to day use you really aren't going to see any significant performance increase by jumping to a 7200rpm drive unless you are using apps that access the disk constantly.

    If and when they come out I don't think the slight increase in speed will justify the extra cost.

    Upgrading RAM will give you the most noticeable boost in performance. Max it out.
     
  3. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #3
    oh really... Okay, well that's good to know. What about something like starting up iTunes. Now that i've got 30GB of music, i find it takes a pretty long time for iTunes to start up, same deal with iPhoto. Wouldn't the drive speed help with that? Or is this another issue.
     
  4. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    I've had a different experience with 7200rpm drives. My first MBP was a unibody with the 2.4 processor and 250gb stock 5400rpm hard drive. I upgraded it to a Western Digital Caviar black 320gb and was astounded by the improvement on how much quicker apps loaded. I then upgraded to a 2.8 MBP and the hard drive upgrade was more noticeable to me (I edit lots of RAW camera files/edit video also) than the cpu upgrade.
     
  5. nicfargo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    Nebraska
    #5
    Well yeah, editing RAW camera files accesses the HDD a lot, so you'd probably notice a decent difference there. If all you're doing is surfing the web and what not, well you shouldn't have bought a MBP! Also, if you are editing video, you're scratch disc should be external anyway...which a 7200rpm would be sweet.
     
  6. SoybeanStasher macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2008
    #6
    Hold out for a 500GB SSD. I'm sure it'll only cost 5 arms and 3 legs.
     
  7. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #7
    what i'm doing with my computer on a daily basis is itunes, iphoto, safari and email, but also running real time Labview modules, Matlab/Simulink simulations, and occasionally some Garageband recording, thinking of getting Logic Express sometime soon as well.

    SSD would be sweet but I think that'll wait till I get a new computer 3-5 years down the road. ;)
     
  8. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    Coming from someone who has owned both a 5400rpm and 7200rpm HD, I can definitively say that the 7200rpm does make a noticeable difference. In particular, boot times and cold-starting apps were much faster. Now, some may think that this performance increase is negligible, but it definitely makes your computer feel a lot snappier!

    I'm in a similar situation, but I'm going to hold out for the SSD (kind of). I can get a free copy of SL when it's released, so with the money I'll save, I'm going to buy an Intel SSD 150GB(ish) around the same time. Hopefully by that time the drives will be somewhat reasonable in price (still unlikely). I think I'll just bite the bullet with the cost, but after that upgrade, my MB will be perfect :D
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    This is random access, where 7200rpm pays dividends.

    If any of that in bold requires lots of disk access (e.g., the aforementioned random access) then a 7200 rpm drive is handy to have. But for the rest, 5400 will be fine. Either way, I'd avoid being a beta tester for Seagate's 500/7200 drive if I were you. I did it with their 1.5TB desktop drive and one of the two I bought was RMA'd.

    What was the capacity and age of the 5400 rpm drive and what is the make/size of the 7200 rpm drive? Notebook drive technology has improved dramatically in the last two years. Comparing a 120 gb 5400 rpm drive from two years ago to a contemporary drive isn't really noteworthy.
     
  10. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #10
    well, I finally got my hands on the tiny screwdrivers required for the upgrade. Anybody know anything about static prevention stuff? I don't have an anti-static wrist band, but I was planning on leaving the computer plugged into a power bar with the bar switched off. This leaves the grounding wire plugged in without giving power to the computer. Does this sound sufficient?

    I guess at this point, i'm still torn between 320GB 7200rpm or 500GB 5400rpm. Maybe I should make a poll!
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    Never felt a need for it doing this kind of thing (drive replacement).

    What grounding plug? The power brick here in the States is two pronged - hot and neutral. Just set up on a table and make sure your feet aren't on carpet and you should be ok. Don't go prodding around or anything.

    Decision is yours. Relying on polls is the same as flipping a coin, except the coin is faster. If you need random access, get the 7200; if you need sustained read/writes, the better value is usually the higher-capacity 5400.
     
  12. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #12
    yeah i think I've decided on the 500 gigger. Something about stepping up to the next prefix pleases me. At this point, 320 and 500 both seem out of this world, but we all know how that game works.... "Who could possibly need more than half a terabyte???" We'll see where we're at in 5 years I guess.
     
  13. Saiz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    #13
    I actually just threw the seagate 500 gb drive in my macbook pro (late 2008) last night to replace the 320 gb 5400 drive in it due to the fact I need to switch back and forth with windows. It was relatively easy to swap out just make sure you have the correct screw drivers before doing it. A small Phillips and a small torx t6 type will do the trick on the newer ones, but I am not familiar on what you would need on the older pro's. But so far in I know this drive is still 5400 rpm but in vista the hd rating went from a 5.3 with the stock drive to a 5.8 with the 500 gb drive.
     
  14. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #14
    yeah I got the screwdrivers. T6 and a phillips #00 for the older MBPs too. What is the hard drive rating in Vista?
     
  15. Saiz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    #15
    On the stock drive i got a 5.3 and on my new drive it gets a 5.8. It is just a vista performance rating that rates hardware from a 1.0-5.9.
     
  16. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #16
    at this point, i've decided to wait until the 7200.4 drive comes out. I've been following this thread about it's upcoming release, which should be late January:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=271131&page=26

    Please feel free to let me know if you think this is a bad move! All this talk about beta testing scares me a bit.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    Nothing wrong with being a beta tester, so long as you have a backup strategy (i.e., Time Machine) and are prepared to deal with the hassles of RMA, etc.
     
  18. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #18
    yeah, I'll make sure to keep backing up regularly, thanks for the advice. Of course I also have to be ready to deal with the high price and waiting times associated with an anticipated product like this. But I just know that a couple years down the road, I'd probably be kicking myself in the pants for being impatient or stingy and getting a lower end drive for one reason or another.
     
  19. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #19
    Both ram slots in your MBP will be full with 2x1GB chips. You need to buy 2x2GB to upgrade. Since you are already going to have it apart, I would do the ram at the same time.
     
  20. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #20
    oh really! damn, i thought I would've had one slot free with 2GB in the other slot. I was all set to buy one stick of 2gb, but it looks like i need to buy two! that's annoying. Is there a market for 1GB MBP ram?
     
  21. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #21
    i think a few years ago:) next year 2 will be the standard
     
  22. dopeytree macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    I got fed up of waiting so bought a 500gb @ 5400rpm it's still good but next year I'm hoping to upgrade to the new macbook pro 17" (currently on a 1 year old macbook pro 15")

    it cost me £120 for the disk and its pretty easy to put in. I have to say I though apple might have made the new 500gb @ 7200pm available in their notebooks
     
  23. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #23
    Late January seems so far away :p.

    500 gigs of internal space at that speed will be sweet.
     
  24. consumedsoul macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #24
    Owc

    OWC has pre-orders now, they indicate shipping in mid-Februaryish. :(

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/ST9500420AS/

     
  25. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #25
    Did anyone else pre-order it?

    I already did! :)

    With overnight shipping!! Waiting 37 days is long enough haha.

     

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