should i put a 7200rpm drive in my black macbook?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by bob2131, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi, i bought high spec black macbook refurbished which came with a 5400rpm drive inside it.

    Im using logic pro, and its been running fine with small projects, but when i have a medium sized project using several vst instruments and exs24s using many audio samples, all of which are running off the internal.... i get error messages, system overload messages...and i am unable to bounce to audio file (in logic pro)

    im thinking its the slow hard drive which is causing the main problems.
    I have 2gb ram. It also takes sometimes over 5 mins to open this logic file.

    Or is this poor performance par for the course, if using just one internal drive, for both system files and audio storage....... ?

    Are there possible probs which may arise from taking out the 5400 drive and fitting a faster 7200 drive in to my macbook? I hear it will heat up could this mess with other macbook componets?? the excess heat...... or are macbooks bulit to handle 7200rpm drives too??? dont remember is 7200 was an optional upgrade with my model or not......

    2.4ghz intelcore2duo.

    Anybody fitted a 7200 drive into their macbooks???? all running ok??

    Would i simply put the new hard drive in..... and then boot up from boot dvds and my time machine have a full up to date system, all apps and file intact as they are now???? Im worried it will get messy and problems...... my current drive is packed to rafters with apps and files and work i have done......i dont want to lose a thing.....would it be a simple easy fool proof transition to faster hard drive????

    And could i still use the current hard drive? With an enclosure??
    Ive heard people have ripped out the opticla dvd drive and fitted ANOTHER hard drive into their macbooks, so the laptop housing two hard drives..... that sounds good...but crazy..... maybe later ill do i hardly use the cd/dvd drive...... and you can always hook it up with wire if need be......

    any tips or advice....would be most kind and helpful.

  2. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    didn't read all your post, but i kind of suspect you could do with upgrading your ram.

    also, it may be to do with recording onto your system hard drive, it may be better as you start recording more tracks to use an external to record onto.
  3. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i have 2gb ram.....

    im not recording audio into just using software vsts and audio samples..... all via logic internal midi sequencing......

    i already have an external for pro tools.... i dont want to have to use an external for logic pro also....... i want laptop to be portable and so i tend to carry my laptop around the bed..... etc......

    so all serious and professional logic not use the internal drive solely? they use 2 drives (one for system and one for audio data storage) ....?
  4. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    sorry didn't read your full post, my bad.

    ignore what i said about the external drive, thats only really used to record onto.

    but, like i said, i imagine it will be your ram at fault. either that or your processor, which you cant really upgrade.

    have you tried getting in contact with apple though? they might be able to tell you more specifically why these error messages are appearing.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The way to figure this out is to look at Activity Monitor. Look at the I/O rate in MB/Second.. When the system is running slower then you'd like, if this rate is lower than your current 5400 RPM drive can do then drive speed is not the bottle neck. It other words if the driive is not running as fast as it can getting a fast one will not help

    Also when you buy a new drive you should not care to much about RPM. The spec you need to read is "sustained I/O Rate". RPM is only one half of it. It tells you how long it takes the drive to spin once around. Also what matters just as much is how many bits are packed into that one revolution. What a car analogy? RPM is what your car's tachometer reads out. What you care more about is the what the speedometer says. Same exact thing here.

    The first thing to do is max out the RAM, put in as much as will fit.

    If you want a fast drive get a "full sized" external. None of the notebook drives are all that fast. But then you'd need A/C power and you ould not be portable. But I suspect the guitars, keyboards and amps and whst not need power too so requireing power to record is not all that bad
  6. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    very interesting...thankyou..... check my that the section you are talking about in activity monitor?
    how do i find out what rate my internal drive can do??
    so how do i check to see if the drive is running up to its speed limit?

    i got menu meters app....and it doesnt tell you this.... i think.

    yeah i will get 4 gb ram soon ....i dont want to have to get an external just for logic...just yet..... as alot of songs and stuff are using samples and sounds stored on will be move samples and data and relink etc.....

    so running slightly bulky logic songs off mac internal drive is not too stable? even with fast spec internal hard drive?

    Attached Files:

  7. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    upgrade both

    from my noob experience with my first macbook, it's no different then pc laptops. if you run intensive apps then you should upgrade to 4gb ram and 7.2k drive that your macbook supports.

    the memory and say, a 200gb drive are relatively cheap online nowadays.
  8. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i dont suspect its my ram or menu meters...these figs are not super high when i have logic sluggishness..... i have 1gb ram on my desktop pc and its never been as slow to open up even bigger songs in logic on tehre...

    could be a logic buffer setting or something... i increased related figs in preferenes tho too......

    and even the NI batterys im using...ive unloaded all unused samples from purge sample function.... to free up ram and resources....
  9. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    i'd just recommend following chrisa's instructions and make a mockup of when it's sluggish, so maybe bouncing down a track in logic, and watch activity monitor for what's the cause.

    also, how'd you get logic on your pc?
  10. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i dont understand activity monitor in pages are not the best either....

    when i load the song....the ram is not maxing out...neither is the CPU....
    but disk activity is all over the place i think....

    PC emagic logic... came with my second hand pc bought second hand years ago....logic 5....

    shall i buy RAM from uk or usa?
    (i live in UK)
    (but i know someone going to states soon)

    newsegg & OWC sites i know about..... UK doesnt have companies like this.

    shall i just get the same as i have now....but 4gb of it?
    eg...i have DDR2 SDRAM
    Speed: 667 MHz

    or can i get better specd ram?

    i have to buy 4gb ram, 2 x 2gb sticks right? so then what do i do with my current 2 x 1gb sticks? sell them on ebay?
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    "all over the place" does not say much. What are the numbers. The graph re-scales automatically so that th lines are always full scale. So of course the lines always go to the top because they move the "top" to match the lines. Look at the numbers to the left of the box and see if they come close to the specs listed for your drive. You will need to look up you drive on the manufacture's web site.

    Likely when loading large files the drive IS the bottle neck. Look while you are using the system, after it loads. RAM will always help because the system ill use it for a disk cache
  12. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    this is my drive:
    apple menu>about this mac>more where i am looking for specs, correct?

    someone said its important to see the sustained I/O rate of drive....but it doesnt say this on the drive site....or does it.....i dont understand the techie measurement scales theyre using........

    (im learning alot from this situation, thanks. )
  13. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    abit of help on the ram, try for the uk part, 4gb is about 40 odd quid nowadays, and crucial is quite variable.

    for a cheaper option you could try they have there own branded 'value' ram or kingston 'value' ram for 34 quid for two 2gb sticks.

    if you're serious about your music i'd recommend going for a 7200rpm drive and 4gb ram.
  14. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    The OP said "my current drive is packed to rafters with apps and files and work i have done......i dont want to lose a thing.....would it be a simple easy fool proof transition to faster hard drive????"

    How much free space does your current hard drive have? A drive that is nearly full will cause problems as files become fragmented when the os tries to fit them onto the empy spaces left on the drive.

    You do have a backup of your current drive? Machines, even new ones can go bad at any time. Hate to see you lose your work.

    I've never used logic pro so I don't know what kind of resources it needs to run effectively. If it's taking 5 minutes to load a file then just getting a 7200 rpm drive isn't going to help all that much. Maybe now it only takes 3 minutes... still not good.

    When you run logic pro, can you monitor your memory usage? How much memory are you using? Take a look at the page faults and swapping. You need to find where the bottleneck is before you spend money on more memory and a faster disk when we don't know for sure if that will significantly speed things up for you and get rid of those error messages.
  15. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    yes mate thanks...i bought the 4gb ram bundle off crucial UK today + the screwdriver! lol.... i wouldnt want to be lost looking for a screwdriver when they arrive. yeah around £40 is a bargain.

    yeah after the ram is installed..... maybe the internal drive will be next purchase. Gotta buy an external too to backup. Comon pay day....
    Im learning things using activity monitor, menumeters, memory stick.... in the meantime......... looks like i DO need more when i use logic...and have other apps open.....pageing and swap files go to 6... and ram is pretty maxed out..... and so closing all other apps when playing big logic songs helps ive found.....
  16. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    my internal mac drive has around 15gb free space now. (but it was way more full before i freed some space up) Dyou think i should free some more space up? (total capacity is around 200gb for mac, 50g for bootcamp)

    I just use time machine to back up on external usb OLD drive. But am now planning on buying a 1TB external and use superduuper or CCCloner to create a bootable clone..... in addition to the TM drive.

    Im using activity montor (but its so damn complicated) ...memory stick app...and menu meters...... all these apps dont agree with figs.... some are quite diff.....if im reading them correct..... one app says theres alot more RAM left compared to another app. But paging activity and swap files go haywire i think...... when pushing resources......more ram will help this (i ordered 4gb today) ..... the lagging time to load logic may be to do with a plug in vst im using, ive been told....possibly.....

    i can monitor memory when using activity monitor...but i dont understand it.....terms like real memory, virtual memory, system memory, free wired active inactive page in out swaps......

  17. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    altho time machine doesn't create a bootable drive, is something goes wrong and your hard drive totally screws up you can reinstall leopard and use time machine to get your system back to exactly how it was.

    i was considering doing the same until i realised time machine had this feature
  18. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I can boot from a USB drive (250GB Western Digital Passport).
    A 200GB drive with only 15GB left... while a lot of room it really isn't. It's not 15GB of contiguous space, but the free disk space is small chunks spread out on the drive. When the OS wants to write a bigger chunk back to the disk it has to break it into several smaller pieces so it will fit. This causes the reads and writes to the disk to not be as efficient as possible. So if you replace the internal disk, get a bigger one and realise that filling it almost full effects performance. Like another poster suggested get a large firewire external drive and use it to store your data.

    PS: Be sure you have a backup drive to save a copy of all your work. Machines do go bad and even new disk drives can fail.
  19. lacassius macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2009
    why not run that external hd you said you had through logic also and see if the problem corrects itself. if it doesnt you can be pretty sure its not the hd.
    if you only have 15gb open on your hd than id say thats the problem.

    I use a white macbook 2.0/5400hd 80gb free/3gb ram and when my session gets to big the bottleneck is the processor. Ram isnt even close and neither is disk space.

    with that said if your hd was empty i'd bet it would work fine(make sure your not running other apps while using logic)

    a little something i learned is when my hd gets around 20gb free then it starts lagging and having system overloads just like you.

    Im no expert but thats my 2 cents
  20. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    i dont want to have to use an external for logic, if i can help it....
    bought more that will help no doubt... im haing multiple swap files and lots of page outs i believe.

    So 15gb free hard drive space is not good??????
    man...i was runnin the mac with less than a gb for a while!!

    ive noticed my virtual memory size is 45gb.... in activitiy montor....

    if hard drive empty it would work fine? but.... say if i have hundreds of apps and files doesnt make a diff does it? if i am not accessing or running those apps/files when i am using logic.... the other stuff is just left alone.....right?

    yeah i had some success with logic when i shut down all other apps.... it def helped....

    thanks... learnt that when ram gets low = starts storing stuff on hard drive = page outs = swap files = slows down things.... the spinning cursor icon show up.....strain on system ..... more ram DEF will help.....
  21. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    interesting.....shoud i be defragging my internal drive?
    if i buy a new bigger inernal....and i clone my old one to the new....would the new one have EXACTLY the same holes and placements of files? eg...all over the place? or would it nice and compact?

    yeah nice big external is the way to go....but thats for desktop.....
    point of my laptop is i can move around and set up quick anywhere.....

    computer technology think you are set.... then realise you need to make changes or buy more add ons.....

  22. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Jun 6, 2005
    According to this white paper from the makers of SuperDuper, cloning and then cloning back can "defragment" your drive. Don't know if that's true, but it might be: :eek:

    fragmentation white paper
  23. lacassius macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2009
    I should clarify:

    I recommended you hook your external up for logic just as a test. not permemant. pull up that session that causes the problems with the external being the hd and see if the problem is still there. If it isnt than you know its the hd. If it is than you know its not the hd

    having under 20gb is ok but not if you plan on using it for logic, pro tools etc.
    if your just using it to download songs and store files its fine. but using a DAW is alot of strain on the unit so having enough empty hd space is important.

    honestly i think your ram could use a boost to at least 3gb but 4 would be better (I dont know if the black macbook can process 4. I know my white macbook can only process 3.3 so I have 3gb in mine and it works great).
    but i think the main problem is your hd

    **you dont have to be running the apps for the apps to be a problem. If there stored on your hd regardless if there running or not its going to cause a lag & overloads if theres not enough free.

    example: if you have a 250gb hd but only 20gb free you will have lag running a DAW most likely. If you have 250gb and 125gb free, sure you used 125gb but theres still enough room on your hd to not cause problems.
  24. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    mmm.. i hear ya... just testing that song off an not as straight forware and simple.... alot VSTs are internally stored on mac drive.... i cant just move them over to external....i can only move the battery samples probably....unless logic has a kind of collect all samples into a folder archive and move around....running the song will HAVE to access the internal drive...for logic things..... it wont be a true test.....

    yeah i think i am going to buy at least a 500gb internal mac drive later on.....
    i have an external for pro tools already.....
    ... ive purchased 4gb ram...comes this week.....that should help....
    ...someone said the problem is NI battery....its not solid with logic....its a NI problem....not my problem...... possible.....

    really? about lots of apps installed but not running still has affect on mac....?
    but they are not loaded up into ram... you mean by the fact they eat up hard drive space? surely 15 or 20gb if more than paging activity eats up half a gig or 1gb max..... more ram will good no doubt.....

    yeah i did notice a slight lag in mac.... from when i had it brand new and no apps when i started installing dozens of BIG apps..... it kinda felt a little rough round the edges, visually too.......

    thanks. ...good info.
  25. jayeskreezy macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2005
    I'm in the exact same situation as you and I think I'll try the RAM first since it's $36 shipped on newegg for 4GB...cheaper than a HD.

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