Upgrading macbook pro 13.3 Hard drive 250GB@5400 -> 500GB@7200 - my experience

jamesraward

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2009
123
7
I have just upgraded my Unibody MBP 13.3 from 160GB to 500GB and I thought I'd share my experience.

Opening her up:



It's a really easy process, careful of the ribbon cable, but I managed to take it out, replace it with a:
Seagate Momentus 500GB 2.5" Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache G-FORCE
Which is nice, however I forgot to take off the screws from the stock HD, meaning that when I closed her up and turned her over I heard a lovely clunk, as the new drive wasn't secured, so be careful of that (rookie mistake).

HOWEVER

Just to let you know, although the drive states that there's only a 0.2Ah increase in power consumption, it gives you a much bigger hit on your battery. Even though the performance is better, I'm not sure it's worth it.

So there you have it, in case anyone was interested :)
 

jamesraward

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2009
123
7
You might run into problems with the drive's anti-shock system (G-Force) and Apple's own Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS, 1 , 2), like undesirable pauses.
No pauses yet, in fact it removed some of the issues I was having before, which was handy, but I'll bookmark that link to rectify the problem if it does arise.

PS: You have used the word "upgrade" twice in your title.
Yet another rookie mistake, cheers :)

EDIT: Changed :)

I might take this drive out and replace it with a 5400 WD Scorpio Blue to get my battery performance back, but get the increased storage. Does anyone have any experience with the WD compared to the Hitachi 500GB drives?
 
No pauses yet, in fact it removed some of the issues I was having before, which was handy, but I'll bookmark that link to rectify the problem if it does arise.



Yet another rookie mistake, cheers :)

EDIT: Changed :)

I might take this drive out and replace it with a 5400 WD Scorpio Blue to get my battery performance back, but get the increased storage. Does anyone have any experience with the WD compared to the Hitachi 500GB drives?

I've got a hitachi 500GB in my 15" Late 2008 Unibody MBP. It's done quite well so far (upgrade from the original 250GB which I still have floating around somewhere)
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,199
16
KY
I might take this drive out and replace it with a 5400 WD Scorpio Blue to get my battery performance back, but get the increased storage. Does anyone have any experience with the WD compared to the Hitachi 500GB drives?
Not the same caliber of drive of course, but when I replaced the stock 120GB (5400rpm) drive from my wife's early 2008 white Macbook with a 200GB (7200rpm) Seagate Momentus, I lost almost an hour of battery life and also got an annoying keyboard/wrist rest area vibration. Too bad I had already given away the original 120GB - I had to buy a new 5400rpm (160GB this time) because it annoyed me (and more importantly, my wife) so badly that we couldn't stand it. There was a performance boost form the 7200, but it was worth the trade-offs, IMHO.
 

jamesraward

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2009
123
7
There was a performance boost form the 7200, but it was worth the trade-offs, IMHO.
that's what I'm thinking, I'll give it a couple weeks and then decide, I'll probably end up changing for a lower power one as battery is more important for me. It's interesting to see just how much of a difference it now makes. Is there a special way to reconfigure the battery now that the hardware has changed?
 

929406

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2009
102
0
I might take this drive out and replace it with a 5400 WD Scorpio Blue to get my battery performance back, but get the increased storage. Does anyone have any experience with the WD compared to the Hitachi 500GB drives?[/QUOTE]

They are the best value drives on the market in my opinion. I replaced two machines with the 500 WD and they work perfectly. I do not intend to change to SSD anytime soon as these seem plenty quick enough for my purposes
 

Takashi

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2009
203
0
They are the best value drives on the market in my opinion. I replaced two machines with the 500 WD and they work perfectly. I do not intend to change to SSD anytime soon as these seem plenty quick enough for my purposes
True that. I used WD drives for a while and they seem to work for me. They are a little bit more $$ than IBM (Hitachi) drives.
 

jamesraward

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2009
123
7
I do not intend to change to SSD anytime soon as these seem plenty quick enough for my purposes
Yup, it'll be a while before a general storage SSD (>250GB as opposed to a travel work computer 60 - 160GB) is priced reasonably. I'll be there when they do though.

I'll be selling this one and getting the blue, makes no sense having this performance increase if it results in my train trips to London being only half as productive.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,743
162
The comment above in regards to the shock sensors. Does that mean you shouldn't replace drives if you want Apple's shock sensors to work ????

THanks.

Would all 7200 RPM drives use more battery?
 

CJS7070

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2008
755
0
Chicago, IL
Just wondering, did you have trouble putting the bottom case screws back in? Since I upgraded my HDD it seems that none of the screws are in flush and that they are all sticking out a little bit.
 

jamesraward

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2009
123
7
The comment above in regards to the shock sensors. Does that mean you shouldn't replace drives if you want Apple's shock sensors to work ????
That I'm unsure about, I figure if it's a reputable make and it's got a shock sensor, then I'm covered, not that I wrench my mac about anyway.

Would all 7200 RPM drives use more battery?
Generally they will, yes, the Seagate Momentus definitely does

Just wondering, did you have trouble putting the bottom case screws back in? Since I upgraded my HDD it seems that none of the screws are in flush and that they are all sticking out a little bit.
Mine are all in fine, there are a trio (iirc) near the hinge that need to be in at an angle, if they're the ones poking out still, that'll probably be it.

They also have locktite on them, so they'll be a little stiff and could probably be screwed in a little more
 

rekhyt

macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2008
1,127
78
Part of the old MR guard.
The comment above in regards to the shock sensors. Does that mean you shouldn't replace drives if you want Apple's shock sensors to work ????

THanks.

Would all 7200 RPM drives use more battery?
Was also wondering about the shock sensors if you replace the drives with something other than Hitachi. (Apple's default drives I think.)
 

whitemacbook

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2009
60
0
Just to let you know, although the drive states that there's only a 0.2Ah increase in power consumption, it gives you a much bigger hit on your battery. Even though the performance is better, I'm not sure it's worth it.

So there you have it, in case anyone was interested :)
Interesting...
is that why my 17" gets about 2 hours less battery?
It was a refurb and I got a processor and HD size bump and I only noticed earlier tonight that it was a 7200 rpm HD.
It also gets noticeable warmer on the left palmrest above the drive.
Should I switch back to a 5400 drive to improve battery life?
 

ermir4444

macrumors regular
Oct 25, 2009
208
0
Toronto On
Hey im about to do the same with but with a WD scorpio black 320 GB. I was wondering how did u transfer the data from ur previous hard drive to the new one? Like how are u supposed to get the OS and the data you had?
 

rekhyt

macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2008
1,127
78
Part of the old MR guard.
Hey im about to do the same with but with a WD scorpio black 320 GB. I was wondering how did u transfer the data from ur previous hard drive to the new one? Like how are u supposed to get the OS and the data you had?
Think you have to do the Migration Assisant in the reinstallation of the OS. I'm not sure how it works though-I don't want to see my stuff in "oldfolder" on OS and all my settings gone. I'd rather have it all reimaged onto it.

Also wondering about this.
 

Romanesq

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2003
905
68
Hoboken
Western Digital 640GB

Hey im about to do the same with but with a WD scorpio black 320 GB. I was wondering how did u transfer the data from ur previous hard drive to the new one? Like how are u supposed to get the OS and the data you had?
The WD is a a 5400 but it seems to do better than the Hitachi 7200k for some reason. After an initial slow startup, it's been smoother, faster and more responsive, not sure why. It may be the 2 partition setup: 200GB and 440GB.

Carbon Cloner is a good utility to copy over the drive. I've used it and also the disk utility to copy the internal to an external. Then just install reboot off the external and copy all the contents back to the internal. OWC also has a cheap piece of hardware to attach bare drives. You can copy to it from the external to the bare drive before install.

The Western Digital 640GB has been not only faster but it runs much cooler and battery life is better too.
 

DoNoHarm

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2008
1,122
12
Maine
Was also wondering about the shock sensors if you replace the drives with something other than Hitachi. (Apple's default drives I think.)
the shock sensors are independent of the hard drive. in fact, i read that if you get a hard drive with it's own shock sensors, that can trip up your Mac.
 

GeekAtBirth

macrumors member
Mar 21, 2009
56
0
I would go for 5400 RPM drives in a notebook, 7200 will cause too much vibration in the wrist area and decrease the battery life. Go for a nice Western Digital 320gb 5400 drive.
 

macrem

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2008
1,397
66
Yup, it'll be a while before a general storage SSD (>250GB as opposed to a travel work computer 60 - 160GB) is priced reasonably. I'll be there when they do though.
I'm waiting for this to happen too, in the meantime don't think I'll buy another HDD.
 

firesong

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2007
48
0
There was a shootout of various laptop drives done on TechReport.com that's worth a look.

IMHO, after reading that review, the Seagate 7200.4 drives are not really worth the money - performance seems very much below par for a 7200RPM drive. Best bets right now would be the WD Scorpio Blue 640GB (which apparently performs better than the 500GB in the above-linked shootout and consumes even lesser power).
 

whitemacbook

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2009
60
0
I switched to a 500gb 54K Hitachi drive in my MBP and put the 72K Seagate in an ext enclosure

I get around 8 1/2 hours battery now and the left palmrest gets nowhere near as hot as the Seagate.
The encolsure got kind of warm though during a time machine backup.
 
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