New MBP. Will 5400 vs 7200 HD speed be noticeable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DaveN., Jul 9, 2011.

  1. DaveN. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    #1
    For a non-gamer mainly surfing the web, using excel and word will I notice a difference between the two? I'd love SDD but they are too small/expensive for me. My last MBP died, it had slower HD. Need to get a replacement but I need some advice to choose wisely.
     
  2. mfram macrumors 65816

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    Jan 23, 2010
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    San Diego, CA USA
    #2
    I think the 7200 drive is worth it. Will make the whole computer seem faster since all disk I/O will go faster. SSD is faster yet.
     
  3. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

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    Prescott, AZ
    #3
    For your specific needs, I don't feel that it will make an impressive amount of difference. The only time you'll notice a difference would be during opening apps. And if you only open 4 applications when you're using your computer, you won't notice it. It's still a nice upgrade for sure, but I wouldn't get it if I had your needs.
     
  4. jdsmoooth macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #4
    A 7200 RPM drive upgrade is inexpensive... If you are looking for the extra speed and don't mind it slightly shortening the battery time.
     
  5. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
    #5
    My review shows the real world differences between 5400rpm, 7200rpm, Hybrid and SSD drives. It covers Windows but in OS X you'll see similar differences.

    A few examples:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seagate Momentus XT is my favorite, it's the one I use right now.
     
  6. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    San Clemente, CA USA
    #6
    Going to an SSD, you will notice a dramatic difference. 7,200 vs 5,400? Eh... you might notice a bit of difference, but I don't think it will be anything worth getting excited about.
     
  7. DaveN. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 16, 2010
    #7
    Very nice article. Opinions appear split but I'm leaning towards 7200.
     
  8. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
    #8
    WD Scorpio Black 750GB is the best conventional 7200rpm HDD.

    The Seagate XT hybrid is faster when it can use its cache, like for booting and application launching.
     
  9. DaveN. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 16, 2010
    #9
    I'm ordering a new MBP from Apple. There is no price differential between the two speeds but the capacity is cut by a third. Any idea what brand is in the MBP?
     
  10. redsteven macrumors 6502a

    redsteven

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    #10
    my current 15 inch MBP (just a few months old) came with a 750GB Toshiba drive running at 5400rpm


    hm.... now you guys have got ME thinking about upgrading to a 7200 rpm lol
     
  11. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #11
    Not sure it matters...

    Yes, the 7200 drives to spin faster, but the 5400 RPM drive has more storage and the platter should be denser so in the end, they may be very similar in speed. (Similar as in you won't really notice a difference.)

    If I recall correctly for the same speed drives, the higher the storage, the faster it should appear due to platter density.
     
  12. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #12
    7200 rpm drives are louder than 5400 rpm drives.
     
  13. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
    #13
    The WD Blue 640GB 5400rpm is higher platter density than the 500GB Black 7200rpm. The Black is way faster.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. zflauaus macrumors 65816

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    Nov 19, 2004
    #14
    The Black is faster because it has the hardware to back it up. Not counting the RPM difference here but the Black has 32MB of cache while the Blue has 8MB-16MB. That also makes a difference in speeds.
     
  15. zilchie macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2011
    #15
    I have the 750gb wd Scorpio blue 5400 rpm (9.5mm)
    Everything runs awesome, quiet, cool, and battery lasts just as long

    Won't be as fast as 7200rpm or ssd but I just need the space and battery, when SSd prices drop I would definitely get it but for now I'm happy with the price/value of wd Scorpio blue 750gb
     
  16. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #16
    Looks like the decision isn't as much between 5400 and 7200 but between 5400 and SSD.
     
  17. redsteven macrumors 6502a

    redsteven

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    Aug 22, 2006
    #17
    Well you can get SOME increase in speed by going from 5400 --> 7200, and it won't cost you that much.

    You'll get a SIGNIFICANT increase in speed with an SSD of course... but it'll probably take a significant chunk out of your wallet, too.

    I'd love to get an SSD, but there's no way I can afford it.
     
  18. model citizen macrumors member

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    Oct 25, 2009
    #18
    I noticed a significant difference in speed, none in heat or battery life with my 7200 drive in a Macbook Pro, mid 2010. Would definitely recommend this as an alternative to the admittedly faster but far more expensive SSD.

    I use it mainly for audio work.
     
  19. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #19
    Also depends on the amount of RAM you have. With less RAM you might see more of a difference.
     
  20. tombubi macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #20
    I personally would go for the 7200 one as 5400 ones seem a bit slower and SSDs are far too expensive.
     
  21. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 1, 2011
    #21
    I have a Momentus XT (Hybrid, 4GB NAND) on one of my PC laptops and it's pretty decent in terms of overall speed however...

    You can't really judge its performance based on a chart, it's performance is very inconsistent. If you're the type that tends to use different apps, the performance will be not much different than any other 7200 drive due to how the NAND Flash works. I wouldn't say that it operates anything like a true SSD drive, rather like a HDD with a very big cache.

    For example if you constantly reboot your machine, eventually the NAND stores data regarding most recently used apps and your boot times will progressively improve. However when you start to vary which apps are used, for example you boot into OSX, then open Photoshop instead of opening your browser which you normally do, the NAND realizes that this is different from the "usual routine" and can't provide you much of a performance boost until it notices that the usual routine has changed.

    So the Momentus XT is perfect for those who always do the same thing, log into the computer and launch World of Warcraft all the time for example. However if you're savvy using a variation of apps, it's not that impressive with its performance.

    Bottom Line: Don't expect miracles from the XT, it's not going to act like an SSD at any point, however the good news is you can find a 500GB model for around $150 give or take so the risk is small. In the worst case, it'll seem like a very efficient 7200 rpm HDD.
     
  22. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #22
    My stock 5400RPM is louder and vibrates more then my current 7200RPM drive in my MBP. Dunno why, but ever since I changed it, the vibration went away.
     
  23. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #23
    If you already have a 5400, I don't think the 7200 is worth it. If you need more speed, just go with an SSD, even though it will cost more, it will make a much more noticeable difference.

    I don't think upgrading from a 5400 to 7200 would be worth the money for most.
     
  24. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
    #24
    What brand / type was your stock drive?
     
  25. Philflow macrumors 65816

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    May 7, 2008
    #25
    In certain situations you can see dramatic differences between 5400rpm and 7200rpm, like shown here, between Scorpio Blue and Black:
    [​IMG]
    http://www.laptopmag.com/review/storage/intel-x25-m.aspx?page=6

    If you'd upgrade from a 250GB per platter 5400rpm drive to the WD Black 750GB you can see even larger differences.
     

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