what to look for when buying a new hdd?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Trance, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Trance macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    i want to upgrade my 320gb for more space what specs to look for when looking for a new hdd for a 13"?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Assuming you get the right connector (it's hard not to these days) all that matters is capacity (whatever you want), disk speed (5400 or 7200 rpm, probably), and whether or not you want an SSD (in which case disk speed doesn't matter). Other than that, pick you budget.
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    1. Speed
    How fast do you want your platter to be? Most of the time, a higher RPM means a speedier drive, but that is no longer true. What also factors into speed is data density. A single-platter 1TB hard drive at 5,400RPM will be just as fast as a single-platter 750GB hard drive at 7,200RPM because more data is squeezed into the same space.
    Another factor is the I/O interface. SATA 3Gbps and 6Gbps may affect drive speed, especially in hybrid drives such as the Momentus XT.
    My rule of thumb is to consider capacity before speed.

    2. Capacity
    This is self-explanatory. How much space do you need? Obviously since you're in the market for a hard drive, you need much more space than the 64-128GB that SSDs provide. The most common capacities nowadays range from 320GB to 1TB in the 2.5" 9mm form factor.

    3. Size
    Laptops use a 2.5" hard drive, but even with this standard size, the thickness may vary. Some 1TB drives are 12.5mm thick while others are 9mm thick; this matters because for some people the 12.5mm barely fit and pose a threat to the drive's safety. So generally 9mm drives are better than 12.5mm drives, and as an added bonus, they offer higher data density than 12.5mm drives and are faster.

    4. Durability
    Hard drive durability has improved tons over the years, but it does not change the fact that they will someday fail. So, you'd want a drive with the most safety features, right? Consider those as well as the warranty which the drive is under; free replacements are always better!

    5. Write cache
    Generally, more spacious the write cache is, faster the drive becomes. Scorpio Black drives offer a more-than-average 64MB of cache, while Momentus XT provides 32MB. Also, do not be confused with a "hybrid SSD" which is completely separate from the write cache.

    6. Price
    Because of the Thai floods, hard drive prices have skyrocketed. It might not be the best time to upgrade.

    7. Noise
    Does the hard drive noise bother you? If so, then look for a drive with low decibel ratings.

    Consider these things when buying a hard drive.

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