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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Need to Upgrade HDD - Suggestions?

Need to Upgrade HDD - Suggestions?
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drnkn_stylz
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May 21, 2009, 04:26 PM
 
I have a unibody MacBook with the stock 250gb 5400rpm HDD. I am currently at just under 200gb full. So I was thinking it might be time to backup some stuff lol.

I have decided I should take this opportunity to upgrade the internal HDD, then use the stock drive for backup using an external enclosure.

So I have picked out an enclosure from OWC, as well I think I would like to upgrade to a Western Digital Scorpio Black 320gb 7200rpm drive. I have seen some pretty good benchmarks on barefeats.com.

What I would like to know is if anyone has any other HDD suggestions, possibly from Seagate, or any other brand? Does anyone have this HDD and can comment how you like it?

Thanks!
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
reader50
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May 21, 2009, 04:36 PM
 
No comments on other drive models, just a comment on capacity. You're already at 200 GB on a 250 drive. Upgrading to a 320 only gives you ~65 GB more space.

In your shoes, I'd go for a 500 drive, even if it means staying at 5400 RPM. There is one 500 @ 7200 RPM, but it costs ~50% more.
     
mkerr64
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May 21, 2009, 04:43 PM
 
newegg.com -- has some great deals
or
tigerdirect.com
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drnkn_stylz  (op)
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May 21, 2009, 09:08 PM
 
I believe you may have overlooked the fact that I will be using the stock 250gb for backup.

So stuff like movies, pictures, music, etc. will be backed up on there, and the new 320gb (potentially) would be used for new/current stuff I am actively using.

I have seen the 500gb 7200rpm (so nice!), but it is quite a jump in price. I can use the extra cash to upgrade my RAM to 4gb for example.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
indigoimac
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May 21, 2009, 10:37 PM
 
I think that you would really benefit from the 4gb of ram (or more) more than you will from a 7200. Though, of course, that depends on what you do on a daily basis.

I did basically what you are looking at, upgraded my internal from a 120 to a 320 and bought an OWC enclosure for the old one. Actually, at the time it was cost beneficial to buy an enclosure from them w. the drive already installed then swapping the drives, though I did void the warranty. (Just throwing that out there)
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
Simon
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May 22, 2009, 03:30 AM
 
I'm a great fan of the Seagate Momentus 7200.4 drive. At 7200 rpm and 500GB it's both the fastest and biggest notebook drive around.

However, I agree that the money's probably better spent getting the 5400 rpm version of the drive (Momentus 5400.6 for $90 shipped) and instead upgrading to 4 GB RAM. In my own experience serious work on Leopard with 2 GB results in sub-par performance. And even at 5400 rpm, the 500 GB drive will be faster than your 250 GB drive.
     
drnkn_stylz  (op)
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May 22, 2009, 01:29 PM
 
The 500gb would be faster even in 5400rpm, so it is an option. How would the performance be on a 500gb 5400rpm versus a 320gb 7200rpm?

Since I will use the stock drive for backup, performance (for the price) would be more important.

I do want to upgrade to 4gb RAM as well. I'm sure I will notice that upgrade more so than the HDD, but I feel both are necessary at this point.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
reader50
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May 22, 2009, 05:29 PM
 
Benchmarks are more accurate, but let me try some simple speed calculations.

Going from 5400 -> 7200 = 1.33x speed boost for the same drive size.
Going from 320 -> 500 GB = 1.56x density -> 1.25x linear speed boost.
Combined number: 320/5400 -> 500/7200 = 1.67x speed boost.

These calculations are for sequential transfer speeds. Seek times will improve with higher RPM but probably won't with increased drive capacity.
     
OreoCookie
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May 22, 2009, 07:26 PM
 
I second the suggestion to look into even a 5.4k 500 GB drive. Only then would you have a significant increase in capacity.
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Simon
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May 23, 2009, 04:31 AM
 
Yep. If you have 250 GB now, you should upgrade to 500 GB. Of course the 7200.4 would be a great choice, but if you can't afford it at least get the 5400.6. It doesn't make any sense to go from 250 GB to 320 GB just because of the rpm.
     
cgc
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May 23, 2009, 01:07 PM
 
There isn't much difference in performance between a name brand 5400 or 7200 rpm hard drive (according to BareFeats).
     
Simon
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May 23, 2009, 04:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
There isn't much difference in performance between a name brand 5400 or 7200 rpm hard drive (according to BareFeats).
Those numbers actually show gains between 0% and 62% depending on what you do. Pretty much in line with the estimate reader50 supplied above.
     
cgc
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May 23, 2009, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Those numbers actually show gains between 0% and 62% depending on what you do. Pretty much in line with the estimate reader50 supplied above.
But unless you work with large files, the advantage of the 7200 rpm drives is mostly negligable. Day-to-day usage will be about the same. I'd be curious what the power consumption and heat generation of 7200 rpm versus 5400 rpm drives is.

Originally Posted by BareFeats
1. The 7200rpm internal drive is NOT significantly faster than the stock 5400rpm when doing small RANDOM reads and writes. That implies that it won't give you much advantage for booting and normal operations.

2. Internal drives exhibited higher random write rates than external FireWire drives.

3. If you work on audio or video where large blocks are captured or played back, the 7200rpm internal drive of the MacBook has a clear advantage over the stock 5400rpm internal drive.
     
Simon
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May 24, 2009, 02:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
I'd be curious what the power consumption and heat generation of 7200 rpm versus 5400 rpm drives is.
It's a myth that 7200 rpm drives run significantly hotter or use more power than other drives. In fact the Momentus 7200.4 is one of the lowest power 500 GB drives available.
     
drnkn_stylz  (op)
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May 24, 2009, 08:41 PM
 
I supposed I could be more specific with what I do to help with picking a drive lol.

I use my MacBook as a media center mostly. So I have a lot of mp3s and movies (both standard definition and 720p high definition). I also do photo editing with Adobe products. So I use a mix of large and small files. My libraries of these files change fairly often from using them and backing up.

To me I feel like I will notice a 7200rpm HDD performance increase, and since I am using the stock 250gb HDD for backup, I am gaining 320gb, as opposed to just 70gb.

Ideally a 500gb 7200rpm would be the best, but I wont really need my 250gb for backup as much, and I will not have money left over for a RAM upgrade either.

I think I have decided on the WD Scorpio Black in 320gb 7200rpm. Unless someone has something similar they can suggest that would be better?
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
dimmer
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May 24, 2009, 09:34 PM
 
"Backup" -- a second copy. If you move stuff off to an external drive, and remove the original, you don't have a backup. If you just intend to archive stuff, using the SuperDrive to burn some DVD's makes more sense.

Nothing wrong with using an external drive for storage of course, it's just not a backup.
     
OreoCookie
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May 25, 2009, 03:47 AM
 
You won't really feel a difference. The 500 GB drives have larger data density, so it's about as fast as a 320 GB 7.2k drive -- and if you have filled 70-80 % of the 320 GB drive, it will be slower.* I'd always go for capacity in notebooks. I've gladly switched from a 100 GB 7.2k drive to a 250 GB 5.4k drive.

* That depends of course on the precise make and model. You can find benchmarks here and here. Not only that, but if you have to use the outer 20-30 % of your 320 GB drive, it will be slower than the 500 GB drive: the last GB are saved on the inside of the platters (which have a smaller circumference, so less data flies by per revolution). The last 50-60 GB on your 320 GB are far more on the outside than if you put the same amount of data on the 500 GB drive.
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Simon
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May 25, 2009, 03:49 AM
 
Dimmer makes an excellent point. In addition to those two drives you of course need a dedicated backup drive. A disk you'd use with TM or something similar.

Also, it's very good Oreo brings up a disk's available capacity. A 5400.6 will start at roughly the same speed as the 320 GB 7200 rpm WD Black. But they will only remain similar in performance as long as you put less than 200 GB on the drive. Once you fill up beyond that the 320 GB will take a significant performance hit. The 500 GB will retain high transfer speeds for a longer time simply because of the additional capacity. What you end up with is paying a mere $10 extra for much more capacity and overall better performance. And comparing the 5400.6 to the WD Black, you'd also get a lower power (less heat) and more quiet drive.
( Last edited by Simon; May 25, 2009 at 03:55 AM. )
     
drnkn_stylz  (op)
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Jun 6, 2009, 08:29 PM
 
I forgot to follow up with this thread.

I made a decision and found some really good deals as well.

*All prices are in Canadian dollars.

Western Digital Scorpio Black 7200rpm 320gb - $85.
4gb kit (2x2gb) Crucial DDR3 PC-8500 RAM - $110.

Since the WD was on sale for the best price I have seen yet, I jumped on the deal and had enough cash left over to upgrade my RAM as well. Can't wait to get these upgrades and put them to good use =)
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
Simon
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Jun 7, 2009, 02:29 AM
 
Well, you already heard what we had to say about the disk. However, that RAM is terribly overpriced.

Newegg has 2x2GB DDR3 Crucial for $58 shipped. In Canadian Dollars that's 40% less than what you paid.
     
drnkn_stylz  (op)
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Jun 28, 2009, 06:45 PM
 


Man that is a really good price on the RAM! I wanted to order from the same place to save on shipping.. Oh well.

I actually sold my MacBook with the RAM, but kept the HDD.

So now my WD is residing in my new 13" MacBook Pro (2.53gHz), came with 4gb RAM so I didn't need the stuff I bought. I kept the original 2gb kit. Might use it for a RAM buy pack program and save some money on a future purchase.

As for the WD, it is awesome. Although the Seagate is a bit faster, the WD uses less power during idle (0.8w vs 1.5w of other brands) which was a selling feature I liked. I found some really good comparasons on Tom's Hardware which helped in my decision (along with all y'all in here too ).

The drive is whisper quiet. Everything loads very quickly (boot up, programs etc). WD didn't make a 500gb version, which is a selling feature for Seagate. I don't mind though, I use the stock 250gb HDD for backup/storage. Important stuff is backed up, other stuff like movies I just keep on the drive if I wont watch it anytime soon.
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
[MaC]BoOk[PrO]
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Jun 30, 2009, 01:09 AM
 
Well... there are 2 ways to fix this.... get an external harddrive and use bootcamp to back up your data, something like that OR take it to a apple store or the geek squad dudes at bestbuy and have them make it a friggin 500gb harddrive hahaha, but the thing about that is that it may not fit inside of it, which is why they put the big harddrive in the 17in. Macbook pro. Good Luck though
     
mackandproud
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Jul 9, 2009, 01:50 AM
 
I am disappointed with newegg. If you have a problem with a defective unit, you will have to pay a restocking fee, as well as incur charges for the original shipping, plus return shipping. Also, newegg charges you if you want to print out a UPS label.

Furthermore, when you process a return RMA, you have to fill in six different identifying pieces of information about the order.

It is a tremendous hassle, and I suggest you look into alternatives, especially amazon.com which has a much more customer friendly return policy in the event of any issues.
     
indigoimac
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Jul 9, 2009, 11:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by mackandproud View Post
I am disappointed with newegg. If you have a problem with a defective unit, you will have to pay a restocking fee, as well as incur charges for the original shipping, plus return shipping. Also, newegg charges you if you want to print out a UPS label.

Furthermore, when you process a return RMA, you have to fill in six different identifying pieces of information about the order.

It is a tremendous hassle, and I suggest you look into alternatives, especially amazon.com which has a much more customer friendly return policy in the event of any issues.
BS, newegg has some of the best customer service in the industry. You will rarely have to pay a restocking fee if you call or go on the online chat thing and say you don't want to. And having to pay return shipping is pretty common practice though I have had newegg waive that as well. Or they have just told me not to bother shipping the bad unit back.

They will bend over backwards for their customers, you must have been very unlucky.
15" MacBook Pro 2.0GHz i7 4GB RAM 6490M 120GB OWC 6G SSD 500GB HD
15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz C2D 2GB RAM 8600M GT 200GB HD
17" C2D iMac 2.0GHz 2GB RAM x1600 500GB HD
     
   
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