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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 750GB 7200RPM vs 1TB 5200 RPM

750GB 7200RPM vs 1TB 5200 RPM
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davidflas
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Feb 7, 2011, 02:23 PM
 
I'm planning on buying a 17" Sandy Bridge Mac Book Pro as soon as they drop. I'm looking to maximize my internal storage capacity as I have a lot of photos A LOT. I plan to buy one of the 2 HDs in the title, but being used to a 7200rpm drive, I'm worried about the performance hit I'd take with the 1TB drive. I know there are a lot factors such as data density etc.. Does anybody have personal experience with this? Thanks!
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PB2K
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Feb 8, 2011, 04:22 PM
 
you do the math
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SierraDragon
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Feb 11, 2011, 06:17 PM
 
It is not math so much as usage pattern because a 1-TB 7200 rpm drive with 900 GB data will be slower than a 2-TB 5400 rpm drive would be; plus we do not know what the upcoming purchase options will be. Personally (and for me a typical shoot is 5-40 GB) i will buy a matte 17" with SSD plus a fast drive. On my current 17" MBP the upgrade to 7200 rpm was a significant improvement.

If you shoot a lot of images you should own Aperture and reference Masters on external drives, which keeps the internal drive underfilled and fast.

HTH

Allen Wicks
     
davidflas  (op)
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Feb 12, 2011, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
It is not math so much as usage pattern because a 1-TB 7200 rpm drive with 900 GB data will be slower than a 2-TB 5400 rpm drive would be; plus we do not know what the upcoming purchase options will be. Personally (and for me a typical shoot is 5-40 GB) i will buy a matte 17" with SSD plus a fast drive. On my current 17" MBP the upgrade to 7200 rpm was a significant improvement.

If you shoot a lot of images you should own Aperture and reference Masters on external drives, which keeps the internal drive underfilled and fast.

HTH

Allen Wicks

Thank you for the helpful post. I shoot a lot of images and like to have them with me at all times. People are always wanting to see images from a couple of years ago, etc... I had heard that filling an HD past 90% of its capacity is a no-no.
If the new MBP harddrive options are similar I'll probably go with a 7200 RPM 750GB HD plus a nice external drive. I still need an internal optical drive, so two internal drives is out for me at this point. I guess we'll have to see what happens when the new Mac Book Pros come out.
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SierraDragon
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Feb 14, 2011, 06:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by davidflas View Post
Thank you for the helpful post. I shoot a lot of images and like to have them with me at all times. People are always wanting to see images from a couple of years ago, etc...
A Referenced Masters Library in Aperture lives on an internal drive, and by setting Previews to be the size of the MBP display you can view all images even when the full-original-size Masters are on drives not currently connected to the laptop. That way there is no issue of overfilling the internal drive.

Originally Posted by davidflas View Post
I had heard that filling an HD past 90% of its capacity is a no-no.
Correct. In fact drives slow down as they fill so stay below 70% full.


Originally Posted by davidflas View Post
I still need an internal optical drive, so two internal drives is out for me at this point.
My expectation (hope?) is that new 17" MBPs will allow two internal mass storage devices.

-Allen
     
justinkim
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Feb 19, 2011, 10:21 PM
 
I had one of those 1TB 5200 RPM drives in my 15" unibody and found it incredibly slow. I replaced that with a TB 5400 RPM drive as soon as it was available (check newegg) and have found that to be very slow, too.

I may just be off my rocker (a possibility never to be underestimated), but the new 5400 RPM drive seems much slower than the old 5400 RPM 500GB drive I had in my machine before.

I'll be getting one of the new machines as soon as they're announced and am planning on putting an aftermarket 7200RPM 750GB drive in it.
     
davidflas  (op)
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Feb 20, 2011, 05:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
A Referenced Masters Library in Aperture lives on an internal drive, and by setting Previews to be the size of the MBP display you can view all images even when the full-original-size Masters are on drives not currently connected to the laptop. That way there is no issue of overfilling the internal drive.

My expectation (hope?) is that new 17" MBPs will allow two internal mass storage devices.

-Allen
Thank you for the advice. I just downloaded Aperture from the App Store and plan to learn to use it, hopefully a better image management strategy will help me keep my internal drive from filling up. It would be cool if Apple somehow found a way to have two mass storage devices plus an optical drive. I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if they did away with internal optical drives though. I could just get a slim external one and put it in my laptop bag.
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tooki
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Feb 20, 2011, 04:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Originally Posted by davidflas View Post
I had heard that filling an HD past 90% of its capacity is a no-no.
Correct. In fact drives slow down as they fill so stay below 70% full.
Uh, neither is correct, as far as speed is concerned. There's no threshold of speed. It's as simple as this: the beginning of a disk is the fastest part, the end of it can be easily 50% slower. Everything in between is on a fluid scale of speed.

Why? Simple geometry. The areal density (and consequently the linear density) of a hard disk platter is constant. The data on a hard disk is in concentric rings ("tracks"). A linear inch of track contains a constant number of megabytes. However, because outside tracks are longer, they contain more data. OK, that's fine and dandy. The hard disk spins at a constant velocity, so each track is read in one revolution, regardless of how much data it contains. That means that in one revolution, the outermost track reads/writes significantly more data than the innermost track. One in the middle is somewhere in the middle.

There are good reasons to never, ever let your startup disk get completely full. Things like making the OS crash. For data disks, it's not a big deal, other than not being able to save anything more to the disk.
     
SierraDragon
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Feb 24, 2011, 04:03 AM
 
70% full was not meant as some kind of absolute number,it was meant as a guideline for maintaining speed and stability while doing work that is i/o intensive, like moving batches of largish digital image files. Especially on single-internal-drive MBPs, overfilling the internal drive should be avoided.

-Allen Wicks
     
SierraDragon
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Feb 27, 2011, 09:45 PM
 
David-

Since Apple did not give us dual mass storage my plan for my new MBP will be to select the no-additional-charge 7200 rpm drive, use the box until the drive appproaches approx. 70% full and then replace the stock drive with whatever larger drive OWC
2.5" Laptop Hard Drives & SSD for MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and PC Laptop/NoteBook systems Serial ATA & IDE/ATA
has available at that point in time. Note however that using an Aperture Referenced Masters Library with Masters on external drives one may never reach 70% full on the internal drive.

I have never yet had a new computer that did not need a bigger internal hard drive at some point, but Thunderbolt and Aperture's Referenced Masters Library may change that.

I will also replace the optical drive with an SSD, but I think I better let the sticker shock of buying a new MBP wear off first. And SSD prices are falling.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Feb 27, 2011 at 09:54 PM. )
     
davidflas  (op)
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Feb 28, 2011, 06:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
David-

Since Apple did not give us dual mass storage my plan for my new MBP will be to select the no-additional-charge 7200 rpm drive, use the box until the drive appproaches approx. 70% full and then replace the stock drive with whatever larger drive OWC
2.5" Laptop Hard Drives & SSD for MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and PC Laptop/NoteBook systems Serial ATA & IDE/ATA
has available at that point in time. Note however that using an Aperture Referenced Masters Library with Masters on external drives one may never reach 70% full on the internal drive.

I have never yet had a new computer that did not need a bigger internal hard drive at some point, but Thunderbolt and Aperture's Referenced Masters Library may change that.

I will also replace the optical drive with an SSD, but I think I better let the sticker shock of buying a new MBP wear off first. And SSD prices are falling.
Thank you for the advice, but I'm way ahead of you! I kept the stock 750GB drive in my new MBP and ordered a 7200RPM 750GB kit from OWC. I'm going to immediately swap the HD and put in 8GB of RAM while I'm at it. I like the OWC kits, HD, tools, and an enclosure for a reasonable price. .....Now I just have to wait for my MBP to be delivered...March 2nd by 10:30am I just checked and my current internal 500GB HD has 48.91 GB free, it's time to change my photo storage method so that this doesn't happen to my new internal drive.
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