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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > To upgrade or not to upgrade: 7,200 rpm hard drive

To upgrade or not to upgrade: 7,200 rpm hard drive
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jmolin8808
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Nov 10, 2008, 02:56 PM
 
Hello everyone,

I am in search of a 7,200 rpm hard drive to replace my 5,400 unit on my Al MacBook.

Only thing is I am always on the go with my Mac so battery preservation is my main concern (no I can't afford SSD so that is out of the question).

With that in mind which 7,200rpm hard drive would you recommend and is battery life drain really worth the increased performance*?

Also, I read somewhere before there were 7,200rpm units that only require the power of a 5,400rpm unit. Anyone know what these drives are?

Thanks!

*p.s. my typical usage is as follows: itunes open, safari with 15-20 tabs (playing at least one youtube video), mail, ical, and the iphone SDK. I currently have 4GB of ram.
     
angelmb
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Nov 10, 2008, 04:28 PM
 
Hi, jmolin8808. Well, given the apps you mention I wouldn't upgrade the hard drive… it is not like those are demanding apps, and besides the battery preservation I would say the 7200 rpm unit would be noisier than the 5400 rpm which, to me, is always a NO NO. Just my humble opinion.
     
jmolin8808  (op)
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Nov 10, 2008, 05:24 PM
 
I didn't think the noise would increase very much, thank you for the heads up.

I always see comparisons on youtube where the 7,200rpm drive rapes the 5,400rpm drive on start up times and thought the same logic would be applied to all programs.

What would you recommend as the minimum usage before really needing a full speed drive like that?
     
mduell
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Nov 11, 2008, 12:21 AM
 
There's little variation in power consumption or noise production between any modern 5400 and 7200RPM drives. I'd suggest the Hitachi due to their strong IO performance.

For less than $100 on a machine you've already spent $$$$ on, I'd just do it.
     
angelmb
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Nov 11, 2008, 03:23 AM
 
What would you recommend as the minimum usage before really needing a full speed drive like that?
Pro apps like Adobe CS, Quark, music or video stuff… but anyway, if mduell says 'do it', then do it :-D
     
jmolin8808  (op)
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Nov 11, 2008, 04:03 PM
 
Ha, thanks for the approval angelmb

Screw it, ill just upgrade and if I cant tell a difference I'll just put it into my AppleTV (Boxee can use it).

Thanks again guys..
     
Bearsfan34
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Nov 16, 2008, 01:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
There's little variation in power consumption or noise production between any modern 5400 and 7200RPM drives. I'd suggest the Hitachi due to their strong IO performance.

For less than $100 on a machine you've already spent $$$$ on, I'd just do it.
I concur with this statement 100%. I have a 200GB 7200rpm HDD in my MacBook, and have seen z-e-r-o changes in battery life and heat; it's seems to act exactly the same as the 120GB 5400rpm stock HDD that came with my MacBook. Accessing files seems a bit faster.

Bootup times are much faster, to me in my un-scientific observations; I don't notice any heat differences at all. The one I have is a Hitachi also, of which I'd be skeptical given its history personally (several friends I know have had their Hitachi drives die frequently, sometimes repeatedly)...but it was a freebie, so I took it; I just run Time Machine a LOT.

Otherwise, IMHO, you really can't go wrong with a 7200rpm drive.
-Core i5 MacBook Pro, 500GB HDD, 4GB RAM; iBook G4 1.2GHz, 1.25GB RAM
-5G white iPod 30GB; original U2 iPod 20GB mono; now on 32GB Black iPhone 4
-...oh, and a PC too.
     
   
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