New MBP hard drives - 5400 vs 7200

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DoreanGrae, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. DoreanGrae macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2007
    New York, NY
    I'm on the verge of buying a new MBP (the 15" 2.4 Ghz, and by "on the verge" I mean I'm going to click "proceed to checkout" as soon as I resolve this question), but am hung up on what to do about the hard drive. I'm very tempted to upgrade to the 7200 RPM drive, but I'm a little worried about how that will affect battery life, heat, and noise. Can anyone offer any advice on the decision?
  2. khongaeng macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    USA or ประเทศ&
    If you are buying from Apple go with the 5400RPM drive and then upgrade yourself using this:

    You will still have your 5400RPM drive that you can put in the external enclosure, you will be able to upgrade your drive to 7200RPM, and save money from the apple price.

    I just did this myself last week (as well as picking up 4GB of RAM)

    I am not sure about whether the drive affects battery life or not, but they advertise that it uses the same amount of power as the 5400 RPM drive, so I am not sure. Maybe someone can respond with more experience. The little I used my 5400 RPM drive before I upgraded (5 days) I have noticed no difference.

    Good choice. I love my new unibody macbook pro.
  3. khongaeng macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    USA or ประเทศ&
    I forgot to mention that I think the new 7200 RPM drive I bought is quieter than the 5400RPM drive that came in the computer. Heat generated appears to be identical to the 5400RPM.
  4. islandman macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2006
    I just upgraded the same MBP to a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive and I am so glad that I did. I can't really comment on battery life, because my battery needs to be replaced (I only get 30 minutes out of it), but the heat is not noticeably different. Noise has actually gone DOWN. Performance of my MBP has definitely gone up. I say go for 7200.
  5. detz macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    I got the 5400, I'm waiting for the 500GB 7200 before I upgrade. :)
  6. Scallywag macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Get a Seagate 7200 drive. It's the quietest in my experience, and it has little to no effect on battery life. Get that, and an OWC On-the-go drive enclosure, and 4 GB's of RAM from ANOTHER VENDOR...mac sales, New Egg, whatever. That way you can return the MBP is anything is wrong with it.

    Upgrading the RAM should be the first makes the biggest difference in far.
  7. scottkifnw macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2008
    Trophy Club, TX
    What do you actually save $$ by doing this?

    what is the actual dollar savings in doing it this way vs. just letting Apple put in an equivalent drive?

    Also, just curious, was it a difficult thing to do, and what about the OS install?



  8. dkhuynh macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2008
    buy your mbp with the stock 5400rpm and upgrade to a 7200rpm yourself, will save you a lot of money and you'll have a lot more options/choices. the installation is fast and simple, they even include how to swap hdds in your apple manual.
  9. lyl macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009

    you may use the original first
    larger notebook hdd may come out later. eg 650gb
  10. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2003
    The upgraded HD option when direct from Apple costs about as much as buying a new drive separately. When you buy a drive separately, you get to keep the original drive and make use of it. When Apple sells you a computer with the upgraded HD option, you don't get a second separate HD, you just get the one built into the laptop.
  11. KapitanIksrog macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    Will the new 17" have this option (to replace the HDD) since it has a non-removable battery? I am pretty sure I read that it will but am having trouble confirming.
  12. zalves macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2008
    I bought my MBP with the 250gb 7200rpm hdd, never felt the 5400, what I can tell from my experience is that i can feel it vibrate, something that doesn't happen in my mothers non unibody MBP with a 5400... I guess the speed difference isn't that big in everyday usage.. if money isn't a problem get a SSD and you'll see a real speed improvement. those are my 2 cents.

Share This Page