speed of 7200 vs 5400 notebook hds

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 2ms, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Does anyone have experience with the differences in speed between the 7200rpm and 5400 rpm hds in Mac notebooks? How noticeable is the diference?

    Are there any other factors I might want to consider beside whether or not any differences in speed are worth the cost? For example, do the 7200s run noticably hotter or louder or anything like that?
  2. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I am also doing research. It seems like the two speeds can vary in terms of heat, vibration, noise, and battery consumption. How they differ, I am still researching. You could do some researching too (search function) as it all depends really on the person and how picky they are.
  3. fleshman03 macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2008
    Sioux City, IA
    7200 is faster. Having gone from a desktop with lesser internals except the HD, you can notice it. (GPU, CPU, RAM was all at a lower speed/size. Bus was the same. The HD was a 7200, my MBP is a 5400.) You'll get better transfer times and faster loading of programs. It's noticeable, but the 5400 is livable.

    The reasons to keep the 5400 is better battery life (~10 minutes if doing HD intensive stuff) and a higher capacity. More heat will be generated with the 7200 because it is spinning faster.

    I miss the 7200 from time to time, but I live with it. For $100-$150, go for it - if the ~10 minutes of battery isn't going to bother you.
  4. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Ah, good conversation to jump into with my own question. I'm about to sell my iMac with a 500GB hard drive (haven't used it nearly as much as I did before I got my new MacBook). Therefore, I want to have a similarly sized drive in my MacBook (it now has a 250GB drive). So yesterday, I went looking for a 500GB 2,5" hard drive. But, and here's the catch, I want one that spins at 7200rpm. Searching all over the web, my conclusion is that they simply do not exist. Yet. Are they coming soon? I'm ready to jump the boat and go for a 320GB drive (which isn't such a big step from the 250GB I have in my MacBook now), but I'd much rather wait for a 500GB drive if they were to come out over the next few months.

    Does anybody here know how long a wait it will be for 2,5" 500GB 7200rpm drives?
  5. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I read that they should be at the end of this month. Let me see if I can find something to back that up though.
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i replaced a 250GB 5400 rpm HD with a 320GB Seagate 7200 rpm HD. On both HD's OS X was a fresh install. I have about 120 GB on my HD. iPhoto needed 6 sec. to start on the 5400, now it needs 4 sec on the 7200. This is certainly an effect of the 7200rpm and the density of the data on a 320 GB HD. So if you go with a 7200rpm go with the largest (320GB) version.
    Vibration is much stronger on the 7200RPM. I don't see a temperature difference. Can't say anything about battery life but certainly no dramatic changes.
    In general a lot of tasks feel a bit faster (saving files, open files, finder tasks).
  7. Foxglove9 macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2006
    New York City
    I've been using a 7200 drive in my macbook for about a year now. And really the only time I notice a performance change is when working in photoshop. I'm still glad I upgraded the drive, especially for the price I paid at the time.
  8. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    I just set up a new MBP (Late 2008) with a 5400 drive running beside my FS SR MBP with the 7200 drive. You do notice a difference. I would get the 7200 drive if you can. Its not life changing but every extra little bit of performance is always good.

    Hope you enjoy the new MBP!! :)
  9. bielen macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    New Jersey
    I too am looking to upgrade to a 500gb hard drive on my MacBook Pro. OWC has Hitatchi and Samsung 5400rpm drives. I don't believe I'll find much benefit going to to 7200 given I primarily do web development. I feel the 7200 would cause additional vibration with a minimal speed increase. Any recommendation on either Hitachi or Samsung?
  10. jcure macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2008
    Newegg has the Seagate on sale this weekend for $119. There is also the Western Digital Scorpio Blue for $139. Free shipping on both. Can't speak for the Hitachi or Samsung, but I've heard good things about the Seagate and WD. Both are 5400rpm.
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    The Hitachi will only fit in the 17" MBP.
  12. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Tom's Hardware has a good article about the four main competitors in the 320GB 7200rpm 2,5" hard drive range. Both the Seagate 7200.3 and the Western Digital Scorpio Black are rated as excellent (with the Seagate coming out on top, because of it's excellent low power consumption). The Hitachi Travelstar 7K320 is an okay third, but the Samsung Spinpoint MP2 is only a very distant fourth.
  13. kvasir macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2007
    I just replaced the hard drive in my 1st gen MBP with a Seagate Momentus 7200rpm 16mb Buffer (320 gb drive). I can say, it is MUCH faster on boot and for loading apps from the drive. I do notice a slight vibration which could be caused by my haste to throw that baby in there and also I noticed a temperature increase by the palm rest. Overall, I'm happy with all the space and with the speed of the drive. Makes my MBP like new again.
  14. senorfrog97 macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    it'll be slightly noticeable, but nothing like the effect of going for a ssd drive, which I'd wait and save for instead.
  15. ref26 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2008
    I've heard that Seagate's next generation of 7200rpm drives (7200.4), including a 7200rpm 500gb model, is coming out by mid-December, and may have even already been released to corporate customers (read that in a thread here, you can search for it).

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