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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Need a new HD in my MBP and I have questions.

Need a new HD in my MBP and I have questions.
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Jul 26, 2008, 09:14 AM
 
My HD is nearing capacity and I've offloaded everything I could to an external disk. This has bought me some time but it still looks like I need a larger drive.

I have a 150gig in there now, so I'd prefer something over 250gig. This seems to limit my choices over which manufacturer Here's my questions regarding replacing a drive.

To put everything in context, I use my MPB for vmware, aperture and music. Some Photoshop and some web development (more of a hobby). My aperture library and music library push me well over the 100 gb mark and leave little else for my windows disk image. I travel and so I do need everything on my local drive but I have moved my music off temporarily

Here's my questions.

1. What manufacturers are good and which ones to avoid. I'm partial to seagate but I don't think they offer a drive that will work in my MBP in anything larger the 200gig. Is hitachi or seagate any good. I thought western digital had a bad rap, is that accurate?

2. What interface to buy for sata 1.5gb or sata 3.0gb

3. I think I saw somewhere I need a slimline is there any other limiting factors?

4. Cache. Does it really matter if I get 8mb or a 16mb cache drive?

5. Speed, is it worth the extra expense on the larger drives? The 320gb western digital drive is only 5400rpm.

6. installation, I went over to ifixit and it doesn't look terrible, can anyone chime in on the actual experience
     
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Jul 26, 2008, 10:12 AM
 
Hitachi and Samsung both do 500GB notebook drives, however you'll need a 9.5mm (height) drive - for 500GB the only option is the Samsung.

A lot of people have had success buying a 320GB Western Digital passport drive and transplanting that drive into their MB/MBP.

SATA is SATA, ignore the speeds.

I think speed is generally touted as being worth is, so look for a 7200rpm drive where possible. I however chose capacity over speed so went for a 5400rpm 250GB Fujitsu to save money.
     
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Jul 26, 2008, 11:14 AM
 
I am using the WDC WD3200BEVT-22ZCT0 in mine and it does feel faster and of course I got the room now. I did not try any disk performance testing but Vista under Bootcamp doesn't show the drive as my weakest link anymore.
24" iMac 2.8 C2Ext,15" MBPro 2.2 C2D,20" iMac 2.0 G5,12" iBook 1.2 G4
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Maflynn  (op)
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Jul 26, 2008, 11:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
SATA is SATA, ignore the speeds.
But if I buy a 1.5gb sata drive and place it in my MBP, won't I run into issues, conversely if I buy a 3.0gb sata drive and my MBP actually has a 1.5gb sata controller, I'll be wasting my money.

bottom line, is that I don't know what flavor of sata I have.

Thanks for the input and advice - I'm trying to increase my knowledge so that I can make the best purchase for my needs and budget.
     
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Jul 26, 2008, 01:13 PM
 
It doesn't matter. As mentioned, SATA is SATA. Any 9.5 mm SATA drive will work. It will operate as fast as it can.

Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
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Jul 26, 2008, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
1. What manufacturers are good and which ones to avoid. I'm partial to seagate but I don't think they offer a drive that will work in my MBP in anything larger the 200gig. Is hitachi or seagate any good. I thought western digital had a bad rap, is that accurate?
2. What interface to buy for sata 1.5gb or sata 3.0gb
3. I think I saw somewhere I need a slimline is there any other limiting factors?
4. Cache. Does it really matter if I get 8mb or a 16mb cache drive?
5. Speed, is it worth the extra expense on the larger drives? The 320gb western digital drive is only 5400rpm.
1. I like Hitachi and Seagate. I recommend WD only when someone has a capacity/performance point that makes them necessary. I'm not a fan of Samsung, mostly due to a lack of experience.
2. Doesn't matter.
3. 2.5" drives can come in 12.5mm and 9.5mm thickness, Mac laptops only support the latter.
4. No.
5. I'd suggest a faster drive since you use VMware and Aperture.

Originally Posted by seanc View Post
A lot of people have had success buying a 320GB Western Digital passport drive and transplanting that drive into their MB/MBP.
Unless you find an incredible deal on the WD Passport, this approach rarely makes sense. No only can you usually buy the drive and an enclosure for less, but the Passport dis assembly voids your warranty on both the drive and the enclosure.

Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
But if I buy a 1.5gb sata drive and place it in my MBP, won't I run into issues, conversely if I buy a 3.0gb sata drive and my MBP actually has a 1.5gb sata controller, I'll be wasting my money.

bottom line, is that I don't know what flavor of sata I have.
1.5Gb/s and 3Gb/s drives and controllers work fine together and the performance and price differences are non-existant.

We can't tell you what SATA speed your MBP supports since you haven't told us which MBP you have.

The Hitachi 320GB/5400RPM drive is a great deal for $90 ($120 less MIR) with IO performance better than most (all?) 7200RPM laptop drives..
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Jul 26, 2008, 03:08 PM
 
I have the 2.4 Ghz June 07 Core 2 duo version of the Macbook Pro.

Thanks for the link, I've often heard not too pleasant things about WD, which is why I asked that question. I'll probably give the Hitachi drive a serious look, the price cannot be beat with the rebate.
     
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Jul 26, 2008, 04:08 PM
 
I just ordered the Hitachi drive, thanks for all of your input and advice.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
I just ordered the Hitachi drive, thanks for all of your input and advice.
I recently purchased that exact hard drive off Newegg, the HITACHI Travelstar 5K320 320GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive. I had an apple authorized dealer install the Hitachi drive in my 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro. The hard drive itself has about 298 GB of available space. I partitioned the hard drive and allocated 120 GB to Windows Vista. It replaced a Fujitsu 120GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive.

Compared to the Fujitsu, the Hitachi runs faster in my opinion. It's just as quiet. The only Con is the Hitachi seems to produce significantly more heat than the original Fujitsu hard drive. Overall, I'm happy with the purchase.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by ailema0 View Post
woh theres lots of acronayms that i dont know like FD MBP, SATA etc
Google is your friend.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The Hitachi 320GB/5400RPM drive is a great deal for $90 ($120 less MIR) with IO performance better than most (all?) 7200RPM laptop drives..
So the RPM of a drive doesn't necessarily mean it is faster?
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Jul 27, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
So the RPM of a drive doesn't necessarily mean it is faster?
Define "faster." Are you measuring sequential reads, random writes, seek time, transactions, etc?
The only thing you can say about higher spindle speed (RPM) drives is they'll have shorter seek times; everything else depends on other factors.
     
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Jul 27, 2008, 07:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
My HD is nearing capacity and I've offloaded everything I could to an external disk. This has bought me some time but it still looks like I need a larger drive.

I have a 150gig in there now, so I'd prefer something over 250gig. This seems to limit my choices over which manufacturer Here's my questions regarding replacing a drive.

To put everything in context, I use my MPB for vmware, aperture and music. Some Photoshop and some web development (more of a hobby). My aperture library and music library push me well over the 100 gb mark and leave little else for my windows disk image. I travel and so I do need everything on my local drive but I have moved my music off temporarily

Here's my questions.

1. What manufacturers are good and which ones to avoid. I'm partial to seagate but I don't think they offer a drive that will work in my MBP in anything larger the 200gig. Is hitachi or seagate any good. I thought western digital had a bad rap, is that accurate?

2. What interface to buy for sata 1.5gb or sata 3.0gb

3. I think I saw somewhere I need a slimline is there any other limiting factors?

4. Cache. Does it really matter if I get 8mb or a 16mb cache drive?

5. Speed, is it worth the extra expense on the larger drives? The 320gb western digital drive is only 5400rpm.

6. installation, I went over to ifixit and it doesn't look terrible, can anyone chime in on the actual experience
Someone needs to pay http://www.tomshardware.com a visit and check out the 2.5" HDDs and look at the benchmarks. After looking at that you should be able to get an idea of what is best for you.

CoughSamsung http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...ng/HM500JIMU2/ Cough >_>""
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 12:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Define "faster." Are you measuring sequential reads, random writes, seek time, transactions, etc?
The only thing you can say about higher spindle speed (RPM) drives is they'll have shorter seek times; everything else depends on other factors.
You're technical expertise is well beyond mine. Though I see how faster can be a broad term. In my original quote, you state that the Hitachi drive at 5400 RPM exceeds a 7200 RPM due to IO performance, so my question mostly relates to that. Often, most believe that faster RPM's equal a faster drive.
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Jul 28, 2008, 10:40 PM
 
At the end of the day, most things you do (which is what most people care about) which are limited by your hard drive (if you're encoding video, it probably doesn't matter what disk you have) are either going to be throughput bound or IO bound. Throughput is how much data you can pass in a second; if you're copying a big file from one disk to another or reading/writing a file into/out of memory, you're throughput bound. IO is how many different things you can do in a second; if you're reading thousands of images to generate thumbnails or reading a small piece of data, doing a trivial calculation, and writing the result, you're IO bound.

Throughput is mostly about how many bits you can get under the read head, so it's mostly a function of density (which you can approximate from capacity/platters) and spindle speed. The disk controller also has an influence here (everywhere, really), which explains why different brands (or lines from the same brand) have marginal differences with the same density and spindle speed. IO performance depends mostly on spindle speed and the disk controller; the different manufacturers have different priorities for their controllers (including cost).
     
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Jul 29, 2008, 04:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Rumor View Post
Often, most believe that faster RPM's equal a faster drive.
People also tend to forget that on the market there is a trade-off between capacity and spindle speed. The biggest 7200 rpm drive you can by right now is 320 GB IIRC. At 5400 rpm you can already buy 500 GB drives. Now, if you have 280 GB of data you will easily see the 5400 rpm disk outperform the 7200 rpm disk in everyday tasks simply due to the larger capacity (data density, free space, fragmentation, etc.).
     
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Jul 29, 2008, 08:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
Someone needs to pay http://www.tomshardware.com a visit and check out the 2.5" HDDs and look at the benchmarks. After looking at that you should be able to get an idea of what is best for you.

CoughSamsung http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...ng/HM500JIMU2/ Cough >_>""
I had forgotten about Tom's Hardware, I'll have to keep that in mind in the future. Thanks for the link.

As for samsung, as Mduell posted, they don't have enough of a track record for me to take a chance on them.
     
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Jul 29, 2008, 09:05 AM
 
Right now if you're on a Mac and you want maximum capacity you have to go Samsung. Hitachi also has a 500 GB notebook drive, but theirs is not thin enough to fit a MB(P). If you're OK with 320 GB you can of course get a Seagate, WD, or Hitachi instead of a Samsung.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Jul 29, 2008, 10:02 AM
 
For me the 320 hitachi will fit my needs now and the foreseeable future. I'm squeezing everything into a stock 150 (160gb?) drive so I'll be effectively double my capacity without markedly increasing my storage usage. By the time I outgrow the 320, It will probably be time for a new laptop anyways and the choice of large capacity (greater then 320) will be larger. Plus I'll have gotten a better feel for samsung by then
     
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Jul 29, 2008, 04:29 PM
 
My new HD came in the mail today WOOHOO, so once I wrap up work, I'm going to dive in and perform some surgery on it. I've been reading and rereading the guides on the ifixit and other sites to make sure I'm not going to miss anything.

They're pretty consistent with the steps needed except for iFixit which has you remove the keyboard/trackpad cable, others have you just prop up the keyboard assembly to work on that area. I'm not sure what I'll do. It will be one of those game day decisions. I'm also a little concerned about front bezel sticking a bit because of the plastic clips, many sites provide a heads up on saying that its a bit tricky to get that done.
     
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Jul 29, 2008, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
My new HD came in the mail today WOOHOO, so once I wrap up work, I'm going to dive in and perform some surgery on it. I've been reading and rereading the guides on the ifixit and other sites to make sure I'm not going to miss anything.

They're pretty consistent with the steps needed except for iFixit which has you remove the keyboard/trackpad cable, others have you just prop up the keyboard assembly to work on that area. I'm not sure what I'll do. It will be one of those game day decisions. I'm also a little concerned about front bezel sticking a bit because of the plastic clips, many sites provide a heads up on saying that its a bit tricky to get that done.
After you give it a test run please post your findings.

IE if it's louder than stock and if there is vibration.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Jul 29, 2008, 08:59 PM
 
I'm loading my software on as I type. I opted to do a full install instead of a TM restore or a CCC restore. The reason being there's a lot of crap that ended up in my ~/library folder so this will keep fairly in order for the time being.

As for the installation, iFixit's guides was extremely helpful, though I did veer away from them a bit. They had me remove all of the cables from the mother board instead I was able to get it done w/o doing so.

I ran into two sticky areas, first removing the top keyboard assembly, as noted above, it is difficult to remove and needed to some force and the second sticky area was removing the delicate ribbon cable that was glued to the drive itself. Over all the installation was seamless, knocks on wood.

I've not noticed any marked increase in heat or vibrations yet. I'll wait till the HD is fully broken in before making any final judgments on that.
     
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Jul 31, 2008, 08:08 PM
 
You will find one of the big storage users is the aperture file which can be put on another drive and accessed by changing your preferences. Equally you can store pictures by reference which save a lot of space. Have a look at at some of the aperture user sites like
http://www.aperweb.org/index_uk.html
for some tips. I also use whatsize to learn what is eating up my disk capacity
Harry
     
   
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