Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MacBook 160GB @ 5400 rpm vs. 200GB @ 4200 rpm

MacBook 160GB @ 5400 rpm vs. 200GB @ 4200 rpm
Thread Tools
jaba813
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2007, 02:23 PM
 
I'm about to pull the trigger on a new MacBook and want to make this computer purchase the last one I make for a while. With that being said, I want to make all the desired upgrades now rather than later.

My question for the board is: will I notice a difference between the 160GB HD and the 200GB HD. They obviously have different RPMs but I would be inclined to spend the extra $90 to upgrade the 40GB, but I want to have the best system at the same time.

Thanks in advance,

Chris
     
SLiMeX
Senior User
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Darien, IL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2007, 02:47 PM
 
I would buy the lowest hard drive they have, then upgrade. Seagate is going to push out a few very high capacity laptop drives in the very near future with decent RPM's. Wait until they are released, then upgrade yourself.
BlacBook | 2.0ghz core duo | 2x320gb | 2gb ram | mba superdrive
     
jaba813  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2007, 03:11 PM
 
I'm not the most technically savy person, so I think that I would prefer to have Apple do all the technical work for me. I know that is probably a bit financially stupid, but I don't want to mess anything up.

With that being said, should I go with higher RPM and a lower capacity or a higher capacity and a lower RPM?
     
SLiMeX
Senior User
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Darien, IL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2007, 03:23 PM
 
Lower capacity, higher RPM.
BlacBook | 2.0ghz core duo | 2x320gb | 2gb ram | mba superdrive
     
peeb
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 14, 2007, 03:55 PM
 
Weeeell - it kind of depends.... All things being equal, a faster drive will be faster than a slower one, but a full drive is slower than an empty one, so if you are going to be filling it up immediately, you might actually be better off with a slower, slightly emptier one. What will you use it for? You will notice the drive speed primarily on booting, application launch, and saving / loading large files as well as paging to and from the disk, so ask yourself how you will use the machine. You might think about a fast 7200 FW800 external if you use adobe apps as a scratch disk.
     
mfbernstein
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Jose
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 15, 2007, 09:44 AM
 
Or you can now buy a 7200RPM 160GB drive if speed is the sole concern. Unfortunately, it's even pricier than the 200GB 4200RPM.

(And no, I don't think it's worth the price premium, but it is an option).
     
jamil5454
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Downtown Austin, TX
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 15, 2007, 11:41 AM
 
If you can tie your shoes you can install a hard drive into a MacBook. It's really that easy. Check here for a guide:

iFixit: iPod, iBook, & PowerBook Parts and Accessories
     
Klipse
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 15, 2007, 09:33 PM
 
well its not exactly advised to get a 7200RPM 2.5" HDD for your macbook, as it consumes more power i guess..
     
post_break
Forum Regular
Join Date: Mar 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 15, 2007, 09:37 PM
 
Cmon solid state drives..... anyways I personally would stick with 5400.
     
vwgtiturbo
Forum Regular
Join Date: Feb 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 16, 2007, 11:07 PM
 
Look, I fully understand the argument for upgrading via the aftermarket to save some cash. However...

BUY THE LARGEST HDD YOU CAN. Forget the RPMs. Simple physics tells us: even though the larger drive has a slower RPM, it's areal density is higher, and even at a slower RPM, will have the same throughput as the higher RPM drive. Think of it this way... although the actual area scanned per second may be smaller with the slower drive, that area may be twice as populated with data as the area on the faster drive (due to it's larger total capacity over the same size platter), therefore, the actual amount of data read is the same or greater.

Does that make sense or does it only make sense in my head?
Black 13" Widescreen MacBook
2.0Ghz C2D, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD
Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard
     
MrMacbookMan
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 17, 2007, 02:04 PM
 
I personally upgraded my 60 gig for the 160 gig 5400 rpm and have been very pleased with it. I would suggest the 160, if you really need more space, you can pick up a very large external hd for relatively cheap (for example buy.com has 500 gig external for $120). Also, I replaced my hard drive, and it really is very simple, but you don't want to chance it, that's understandable to.
I was able to pay for my new macbook
just by trying out products from home.
The pay is great and it's free to join.
Sign up here.
     
PacHead
Baninated
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Capital of the World
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 17, 2007, 03:29 PM
 
Screw the larger drive, that's my 2 cents !

When i upgraded a powerbook a while ago from a 4200 to a 5400, the speed improvement was very apparent, and the whole machine seemed much faster, obviously a 7200 would be even better ! Screw 4200 drives, I wouldn't even consider one anymore, regardless of the size. If you need to store that much stuff just get an external or something. And especially since the choice is between a 160gb 5400 or a 200gb 4200, screw that, get the 160 gig, it's not like 40 gig means that much.
     
vwgtiturbo
Forum Regular
Join Date: Feb 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 17, 2007, 03:53 PM
 
If you went from a 100GB 4200 to a 120GB 5400, then naturally, I wouldn't expect the speed of the slower drive to be the same as the faster drive, seeing that the density is close. If you doubled your drive capacity, and went to a faster drive, does that mean that the INSANE speed difference is due to the faster spindle, or a combination of the spindle speed and density?

Personally, I bought the 200GB, and even doing some fairly intensive stuff, I haven't noticed any slow-down, even relative to my 7200rpm desktop drives (SATA3gb/s).

The only valid argument I see against the larger drive is the cost. The speed difference isn't noticeable to me (coming from an X2 powered SATA3gb/s machine, I know speed), much less, noticeable enough to do without the extra capacity. All that being said, maybe the better option is to go for the lowest HDD available, then go aftermarket for a monster drive that IS screaming fast. At least that way, there isn't any room for discussion

Oh, and carrying an external drive is a pain in the [email protected]@, much less for a measly 40GB. This is especially true if you are quite mobile (verus MILDLY mobile). Each unto his own, I suppose.
( Last edited by vwgtiturbo; Apr 17, 2007 at 04:07 PM. )
Black 13" Widescreen MacBook
2.0Ghz C2D, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD
Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard
     
PacHead
Baninated
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Capital of the World
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 17, 2007, 04:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by vwgtiturbo View Post
The speed difference isn't noticeable to me (coming from an X2 powered SATA3gb/s machine, I know speed), much less, noticeable enough to do without the extra capacity.
I don't know how fast the new 4200 notebook drives are, but the difference between my SATA desktop drives (10k,7200k) and my notebook 5400 drive is like day and night. The thought of even using a 4200 notebook drive scares the hell out me.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:48 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,