Upgraded Hard Drive - diminished performance?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jimbogiant, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Jimbogiant macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #1
    Hi all-

    I just bought a Hitachi 7k500 500 GB hard drive to replace the Seagate 250 GB stock drive that came with my 13" MBP. I thought that the upgrade from 5400 rpm to 7200 rpm would result in at least a small performance increase, and the benchmarks for the Hitachi drive far surpassed the Seagate on harddrivebenchmark.net.

    However, after I installed and cloned my original drive contents to the new drive, I've noticed both longer startup and shutdown times (I've timed both drives just to make sure I wasn't crazy). In particular, during shutdown the Hitachi drive hangs on the blue screen just before powering down, and displays the grayscale "progress circle" ( don't know how else to describe this ) for 5-10 seconds each time.

    I used AJA System Test to compare write/read speed, and the Hitachi lags behind the 5400 rpm Seagate (~55 MB/s vs ~63 MB/s for the Seagate). Is something wrong with the Hitachi drive, or was I wrong to expect at least the same performance (if not better) in the bigger drive? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    James
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Try repairing permissions and verifying the disk with Disk Utility. Also, select it as the startup volume from Sys Prefs > Startup disk
     
  3. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #3
    Did you set the drive to default startup drive in system prefs?
    Also did you do a proper formatting and used GUID-partition table?
     
  4. Jimbogiant thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the replies-

    Haven't tried permissions repair (surprised I didn't think of that in hindsight), I'm gonna swap out the drives and try that shortly.

    AFAIK it's formatted with GUID - I did the clone from an image using Disk Utility and selected "Erase destination drive," I assumed that would format the disk correctly.

    Also, the Startup Disk is set to the drive.

    James
     
  5. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #5
    An increased spindle speed does not generally mean increased performance especially going to different brands. (why on earth did you pick a hitachi..... :confused: horrible choice imo) The hitachi probably has lower cache, higher seek time, and higher latency. Additional platters means higher seek time which means lower performance.

    You shoulda went with a WD drive.
     
  6. boarderb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Are WD Drives the best aftermarket ones to replace the standard with?

     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    They have the same amount of cache (16MB), read seek time (12ms) and latency (4.2ms). Hitachi has actually faster track to track seek time (1ms vs 2ms) than WD's Scorpio Black. Both are made of two 250GB platters, just like all normal 2.5" drives all.

    It could just be a bad drive, try switching it to a new one at the store you bought it from or get another brand. Even though I prefer WD too, it doesn't mean that it's the best. I deal with all brands at work and they all share the same issues. To be honest, I can't see any difference between WD and Hitachi if I have two systems side by side
     
  8. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #8
    Hitachi 7K500 is regarded as the best all-round 500GB laptop HDD.
     
  9. Jimbogiant thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #9
    I bought the Hitachi because it was reviewed and recommended on Storagereview.com , had good benchmarks on harddrivebenchmark.net , and was well regarded on newegg.com's user reviews. Also, it was on sale for $70 a few weeks ago! You're the first anti-Hitachi sentiment I've come across on MR.

    After a permissions repair, AJA System Test shows ~90 MB/s read and write speeds for the Hitachi, but the slow shutdown persists. Does anyone know what the extended blue screen with the spinning progress circle means?

    James

    *Quick Update*
    Is there a better (free) hard drive benchmarking alternative to AJA system test? I only ask because my results after multiple tests have not been very consistent- after a permissions repair and restart, I got only 30 MB/s on the same test parameters.
     
  10. Inside_line macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #10
    I've got this drive too... it benchmarks well but I hate it! Seems very laggy just loading apps. Something is up with these 500GB 7200RPM drives... they are probably too dense and too fast and probably miss their read points too often. Not sure why WD took so long to get to 500GB.... maybe this has something to do with it?
     
  11. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #11
    Yeah IMO it is. Seagate is also decent.
     
  12. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    Hitachi is known to overblow their drive specs. Just like fan companies do to their rated dba and cfm.
    Anyways, i'd never get a hitachi again. 4/5 of them failed on me over the years in my macs.
    There would be a difference between the two, but not to the average consumer.

    Heres another thing, have you tried seeing if there is a firmware update for the drive?
     

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