Planning 17" purchase, couple of questions.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Spandexman, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Spandexman macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    Hello everybody, this is my first post, so here goes.

    As stated, I'm planning to update my July/August 2006 Macbook (2 Ghz Core Duo, 1Mb RAM, 80Gb) to a spanking new 17" MBP once the next updates come out(Jan/Feb?), and I was wondering about the difference between the 5400 and 7200 RPM harddrives. Is there really that much difference between the two (i'm not exactly a power user...), and how much extra battery does the 7200 take? I mean, if it's 30 mins off of 5/6 hrs(I think I read that this was about the real world life battery life), that's not really a big deal, but if it's a couple of hours, then that's serious!

    Also, could Apple seriously not include the new Arrandales into their next updates? If they didn't, surely they'd need to beef up the new release with other extra features to make it a meaningful update (i'd love Bluray, but I accept that's unlikely).

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA

    From my experience going from a stock 5400rpm drive from apple to a 320gb western digital scorpio black 7200rpm made a difference. to me it was more noticeable than a ram upgrade. the boot up times were faster and programs launched a little bit quicker. i wouldnt say it was a dramatic difference but i did notice the difference.

    you also need to be aware 7200rpm drives in some laptops will be louder.

    as for battery life you are correct. i think 30 mins would be the max it would decrease the battery life but i think in most cases it shouldnt be the reason not to upgrade.

    fyi i did end up getting an SSD and needless to say it blew away the 7200 rpm drive. the jump from the 7200 to the ssd was way more dramatic than the jump from 5400 to 7200.
  3. Spandexman thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    Thanks for the information. I take it the scorpio is better than the apple stock 7200 option? Has anyone tried both the apple 5400 and 7200 HDDs? It sounds like opting for the 7200 would be preferable, providing it's not much, much noisier.
  4. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502


    May 21, 2009
    The actual performance difference between the 5400 and 7200 rpm drives will be small for normal, everyday use. If you really want performance you would go with an SSD anyway.

    There is evidence pointing to a refresh in the coming months. References to an unreleased Macbook Pro 6,1 and 6,2 were alluded to, and the fact that Arrandale is less than a month away all suggest something on the horizon. If Apple does bring Arrandale, it will probably be only in the 17" and maybe the high end 15" models. This particular topic has been covered at0 length here:
  5. Spandexman thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2009
    OK, so the performance upgrade would be minimal? elfxmilhouse seemed to think it was significant, but perhaps he's a more hardcore user than I am. I'm not considering the SSD because that'd be another £160 for the smaller option, whereas the 7200 is only another £40.

    I've been reading the other thread over the last couple of weeks, and someone posted a link to something today saying that Apple might shun the Arrandale processors, so I thought I'd tag the question on the end of this post, but you're right, i probably should have posted the question on the other thread.

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