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5400 or 7200 rpm hd for Macbook Pro?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I will soon be replacing my 1.67GHz Powerbook with a 2.67GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro. I am trying to figure out if I should get the 250GB 5400rpm hard drive or the 200GB 7200rpm. I don't do much a lot of hard core computing. I write papers in latex using TeXshop, listen to music with itunes do some small computations in GAP/maple/mathematica, make figures for my papers in Adobe Illustator (not 3D figures though), email/web. My main concern is heat and battery life. I fly to Europe/Asia a couple of time a year and like to have long battery life for the flights. I am thinking I should go for the larger size hard drive (250GB 5400 rpm) because it will give me more space for my music. Any thoughts? Is there a significant increase in speed with the 7200rpm? I have heard that having a hard drive with more empty space is more important for actual speed than the rpm in some cases.
post #2 of 54
There should be a noticeable read/write/seek/whatever time between the two, and from what I read, the heat and battery life will be about the same, so nothing to really worry about.

But if you need size first and foremost, put that as your first priority. Heck, can't you just go onto Newegg and buy a laptop hard drive that has the best of both worlds (fast speed and storage space)?
post #3 of 54
I would go with the 7200. It shouldn't have an impact on battery life. It's faster, but a little noisier.
post #4 of 54
There are a very noticeable speed difference between 5400 and 7200 rpm disks. Especially on multiple read/write actions. Like booting the OS, compiling, ...
post #5 of 54
The Momentus 7200 RPM drives that Apple uses consume 63% more power on active idle than their 5400 RPM brethren. So you will take a battery life hit. But they're faster. The tradeoff is up to you.

I personally always use 5400 RPM drives for my laptops, primarily for the longer batter life, but also because I the combination of higher speed and higher heat generation may decrease reliability.
post #6 of 54
There is a difference, yes, but it's really insignificant on regualar bases. If it's for casual use most of the time I'd go for 5400 otherwise 7200. You'd get more battery life and space out of it if you decide to go 5400. I think that's well worth it.
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 
I think that it will break the warranty if you install a hard drive on the Macbook Pros. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Still not sure what to do. I wish I could pay people to make decisions for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule View Post
There should be a noticeable read/write/seek/whatever time between the two, and from what I read, the heat and battery life will be about the same, so nothing to really worry about.

But if you need size first and foremost, put that as your first priority. Heck, can't you just go onto Newegg and buy a laptop hard drive that has the best of both worlds (fast speed and storage space)?
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellylh View Post
I think that it will break the warranty if you install a hard drive on the Macbook Pros. Please correct me if I am wrong.
You should call AppleCare about this to get a definite answer. There is conflicting information out there on the net about this. My guess is they don't really care unless you do something nuts.

The hard drives in the regular Macbooks are definitely user-replaceable though.
post #9 of 54
i would not upgrade RAM or HD directly from apple. they are much cheaper to upgrade yourself, not to mention unbelievably easy. apple is know to rip you off in this department (last time i checked, 200 for a upgrade from 1gb to 4gb, or 50 from other shops)
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by gautam View Post
i would not upgrade RAM or HD directly from apple. they are much cheaper to upgrade yourself, not to mention unbelievably easy. apple is know to rip you off in this department (last time i checked, 200 for a upgrade from 1gb to 4gb, or 50 from other shops)
X2

It's so cheap and easy to do it yourself. No need to pay hundreds more.
post #11 of 54
Thread Starter 
The reason that I am worried about space is that I was thinking of having dual boots into OSX and Vista. Maybe I should stick with the 250GB and if I find it too slow, plan on upgrading later.

The money is not an issue since I will get it through my work. If there was an option to get a 250GB 7200rpm, I would do it. But because I may dual boot, the extra HD space would be nice. I also wouldn't have to worry about space for music as much. I just wonder if the 7200 is that much faster.

As for RAM, I will upgrade elsewhere. However, the HD replacement is not THAT easy and may (or may not, I guess nobody knows) void the warranty.
post #12 of 54
I've got a 7200 in my MBP First Gen

You won't regret it!
post #13 of 54
in my xps m1710 ive got a segate momentous 16mb buffer 7200rpm and 200gb for primary which was before some sort of 100gb 5400, it makes a difference, my second internal drive is now a 320gb 5400 WD,

so its a 500gb in total, i dont know if you can fit a 2nd hdd in a mcbook but i have mine in the optical drive bay as just switch whenever i need too
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by shellylh View Post
The reason that I am worried about space is that I was thinking of having dual boots into OSX and Vista. Maybe I should stick with the 250GB and if I find it too slow, plan on upgrading later.

The money is not an issue since I will get it through my work. If there was an option to get a 250GB 7200rpm, I would do it. But because I may dual boot, the extra HD space would be nice. I also wouldn't have to worry about space for music as much. I just wonder if the 7200 is that much faster.

As for RAM, I will upgrade elsewhere. However, the HD replacement is not THAT easy and may (or may not, I guess nobody knows) void the warranty.
7200 will have more resale value when you're trying to sell it but if it's going back as company's asset then I would just take whatever's convenient for you.

As far as the warranty goes, it says any modifications done by a third party or individual other than apple WILL void the warranty, and it looks like you do have to do some extensive work on macbook pro to replace a hard drive so I wouldn't plan on replacing it afterwards.
post #15 of 54
Thread Starter 
Well, I went ahead and bought the MBP with 250GB HD. I just thought the extra space might be handy. My current PB is so slow that I am sure I will be delighted with the speed of the MBP and not notice that the HD may be slowing it down a bit. Thanks for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by analogbox View Post
7200 will have more resale value when you're trying to sell it but if it's going back as company's asset then I would just take whatever's convenient for you.

As far as the warranty goes, it says any modifications done by a third party or individual other than apple WILL void the warranty, and it looks like you do have to do some extensive work on macbook pro to replace a hard drive so I wouldn't plan on replacing it afterwards.
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