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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Buying MBP: 7200rpm HDD or 5400?

Buying MBP: 7200rpm HDD or 5400?
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salaryman
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Oct 10, 2006, 05:45 AM
 
I'm about to purchase a MacBook Pro (really can't be bothered waiting for Merom) but I can't decide whether to go for the 100GB 7200rpm drive or the 120GB 5400rpm version.

I'd really like the extra space but what is the performance hit for having 5400rpm over 7200? Will it really be that noticable? Will battery life be improved by the slower one?

I'm also going to go for the glossy screen - good plan?
     
jamil5454
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Oct 10, 2006, 09:19 AM
 
Like always, it depends on what you're going to use it for.
     
salaryman  (op)
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Oct 10, 2006, 10:26 AM
 
Programming mainly. Surfing, listening to music, etc. Either way it's going to be fast machine and I can always upgrade the HD in the future when 200GB 7200rpm laptop drives are available

I've just noticed the refubs on the UK store: £1150 for a 2.0GHz, 100GB (5400rpm), 1GB ram MBP. V tempted.
     
pcummins
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Oct 10, 2006, 10:35 AM
 
Check out Barefeats. They have comparisons of the 7200 vs the 5400's. Apparently there's 10% more power draw on a 7200 so a 5400 would cause the laptop to run longer, and in some cases the 5400 RPM will outperform the 7200 drive (except in latency/access speeds). In terms of glossy vs matte - I recommend heading to a store to see for yourself, it seems to be bordering on religious. If you hate reflections get matte for sure. If you're doing a lot of compiles I highly recommend checking out RAM disks and boosting your RAM to 2 GB or more - disk I/O bogs down compiles something chronic, a RAM disk speeds it up 4x in some cases, much better than using the hard disk. IMHO - you may be better off saving the cash on a 7200 RPM for a 5400 RPM + 1 GB more RAM.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Oct 10, 2006, 07:40 PM
 
Just received my Refurbished 2.16 GHz 17" MBP w/ 5400 HD and glossy screen. I LOVE IT. Best Mac I have ever owned. This thing is a screamer. Can't wait for my 1 GB RAM chip to arrive from OWC tomorrow. I didn't consider the Matte screen at all. I like the look of the glossy and don't notice much glare at all.
     
MattJeff
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Oct 10, 2006, 09:24 PM
 
i have had a tough tough time with this glossy vs matte thing to and for me its 7200 rpm all the way. it Boosts your proformance a hell of a lot and if space is and issue there are hundreds of extrnal drives out there. use your laptops HD for apps and you external for storage(its a beautiful system).

Matte=
Pros:more plesant veiwing for long pirods of time(less strain), more realistic color,lot less glare.
Cons:not as rich of a display, dosnt look as impresive to friends coworkers.

Glossy=Matte's inverse

for me im leaning towards matte, i love working outside in the fresh air and i can see better with matte, i need to know that the color i choose is the color it will be(cant tell as well on a glossy) and i watch movies/tv show on mine and it dosnt hurt my eyes after an hour.
good luck
     
Burn
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Oct 11, 2006, 12:04 PM
 
MattJeff: Your points are a little off. There is no increased eyestrain if you are working with your Glossy screened 'book in a properly lit environment (compared to a matte screen) - it performs exactly the same as any monitor like a CRT, sans radiation. Looking at ANY display for long periods will cause eye fatigue however. Considering TV's and all CRT comp monitors use a glass face, I don't understand what you're sayng exactly. I can stare at TV for way too long!!

As well, your point about "more realistic color" is completely off. LCD's STILL lack in colour representation when compared to CRT's.. laptop LCD's even more so. The Glossy vs Matte is a personal preference to which your points may be valid... but they are not the 'consensus' by any stretch.

Salaryman, I got the 7200rpm drive... it's a small upgrade but I do a lot of work that it pays off. When I was deciding, what I thought was that 20GB wasn't that much of a gain with going to the 5400rpm drive and I am about to buy an external drive anyway. So, I went with the 'performance' over capacity. External drives are half the price of laptop drives (sometimes) so if you have a lot of storage needs, look for those.
     
MattJeff
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Oct 11, 2006, 04:56 PM
 
hmmm maybe its just my eyes then, but i have heard a few other talk about it to. and i really dont agree with you on the color. Glossy is over saturated and when working on a job it helps to use matte(it does). CRT's are not really that much better, a little bit but not much.
external for storage and speed in the lap
     
osiris
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Oct 12, 2006, 09:22 AM
 
I'd go with the 7200, and nix the glossy screen. I never liked the way glossys looked, reflected, felt or tasted. If you're in a dark room with no chance of reflection, then the glossy is nice, but in reality it's not for me.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
Sketchers
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Oct 12, 2006, 11:24 AM
 
I saw the glossy screen in the Apple store in Birmingham at the weekend. It looked cheap to me.
     
amazing
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Oct 12, 2006, 01:59 PM
 
I'll second the recommendation that you go see the matte vs glossy displays for yourself. Maybe some people are more sensitive to glare than other people--but in any case, excessive glare and reflections does lead to eye fatigue.

When you look at the displays, first determine how you feel about reflections; next, remember the constraints of your main computing environment (where are the windows, how's the lighting, etc.) These two variables are why nobody can make the matte/glossy decision for you. This is a much more important decision than what speed HD to choose--you're only issued one set of eyes for your lifetime.
     
pcummins
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Oct 13, 2006, 03:46 AM
 
It is possible to repolarise the LCD screen from matte to glossy and glossy to matte, it costs a bit but it's better to check it out for yourself before making a decision. It's one of those things only you can handle - just like trackpad vs trackpoint, Mac vs PC, AMD vs Intel. You have to try or assess it as best you can before making the plunge. If you went out and bought the wrong screen without checking it out first, who do you have to blame? (I can see the topic now: OMG! Bought wrong screen, I hate it! with about 10-20 posts of "I told you so" after it...)
     
   
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