new hard drive = speed increase for mbp?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jmeaux6, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. jmeaux6 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #1
    Hi all, I wrote a really detailed question and submitted it but it didn't go through. So, here is a summary.

    I have an early 2009 17" mbp.
    It keeps getting slower. I have 75% of hd space left. I have done hard drive utiity checks etc etc. It is still slowing down and i have no idea why. It does that constant clicking thing by the way, I've read that some of you are experiencing the same thing.

    I brought it to Apple and the genius told me it was fine and, "if it poops out come back and say I told you so and we'll replace it";) gotta love those guys

    My question is: If I replace the HD and install snow leopard without restoring all of my files from time machine, is it hypothetically like getting a new computer?
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    It should be the same. You'll also need to reinstall your iLife apps (from Disk 2 of the DVDs which came with your machine).

    Have you run Disk Utility to check the SMART status? You might get some insight on what's going on with the drive from that - especially if the sound you're hearing is read retries. I'm not sure which "clicking" you're referring to - there's a periodic sound of head unloading, then there's a repetitive (several times a second) click of retrying a sector read. If the latter, you probably have a dying drive.

    If you don't already have an external drive for backup (Time Machine, at a minimum), get one immediately. Then, if the drive fails, you can restore back to where you are without installing SL or iLife. If you want to start fresh, then you can use the Time Machine to migrate your user, data, and apps, back to a clean install of SL.
     
  3. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    I have never heard of a HD "slowing down". They either spin at their rated speeds or die. And if they're own their way to the graveyard, it's usually a quick trip.
     
  4. jmeaux6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the info so far.

    I thought the same thing Richard which is why I don't understand the slowing down... Btw i installed 3 new widgets recently, is it possible that they would be the reason for a decrease in boot times?

    Yes to SMART status. I think it is doing the head unloading thing you are talking about. I can hear the area to the left of the trackpad click every 15-30 seconds or so... The geniuses called it "usual disk chatter" but my better half has a 2009 macbook that is completely 100% silent all the time. I know they are two different machines but it seems everything except performance/graphics/etc. would be almost exactly the same.
    Yes to time machine as well.

    gr8tfly, when you said, "it should be the same" did you mean the same as it was before the new hard drive or the same as getting a new unused mbp?

    Thanks again
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #5
    Same as getting a new MBP.

    It sounds (no pun intended) like you're hearing the normal head unload sound. If you're accessing the drive continuously, it should go away temporarily (such as copying a large file).

    That said, it doesn't seem like your slow down is because of HD retries. Take a look at your memory usage - specifically pageins vs pageouts over time. If your combination of usage and apps results in large numbers of pageouts, it might be noticeable as a "slow-down".

    The other MB (or Pro) might have a different model drive. The head unload sound seems to be more noticeable on the newer 7200 RPM drives; and even with those, they vary from unit to unit. One of my WD 7200RPM 320GB drives was a bit too loud for me, and WD swapped it no questions asked. The one I currently have [in my ubMBP 17"] is barely audible, even in a quiet room.
     
  6. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Shows how much you know. Data is recorded on HDDs from the center of the platter outward. As the te radius increases, it takes longer for the head to read from a larger surface area. So naturally, a full HDD is slightly slower that a new one.
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #7
    Radial velocity increases with the radius and the areal density is kept the same by increasing the number of sectors on the outer tracks. That means the data rate is kept [more or less] constant. There's no way a drive designer would waste precious media.

    But, the OP's problem isn't the drive "slowing down" anyway. The only thing that could slow down access is if it were having trouble reading or writing to the drive.
     
  8. jmeaux6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #8
    nice pun thanks gr8fly i think ill go ahead and get a 7200 and start fresh.

    sneak like i said i have 75%-80% space remaining so it's odd i am seeing a big decrease in speed when opening apps

    thanks again everybody
     
  9. vant macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    No they don't.

    My 7200.4 has no increase in either, its just as quiet and no perceptible increase in vibration.
     
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #11
    Same here.
    My WD Scorpio Black is almost totally quiet (MUCH quieter than the 5400 that shipped with the machine), and zero vibration.
     

Share This Page