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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2007
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    Replace original HDD - max possible?
    Hi,

    I want to upgrade my feeble 120GB drive to something a little more substantial.

    It *SEEMS* that 500GB is the consensus in terms of maximum drive size.

    Does that sound right?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Kash's Avatar
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    Yes, 500GB is that largest drive currently available for Macbooks and Macbook Pros. However, it is only a 5400RPM drive, if you want a 7200RPM drive, then you're limited to a max size of 320GB.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  3. #3

    lifeafter2am's Avatar
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    BUT, makes sure it is the right size drive. I believe only Samsung makes a 500GB that will fit in the MB and the 15" MBP.
    masakatsu agatsu

    @lifeafter2am

  4. #4

    bad.heron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    Yes, 500GB is that largest drive currently available for Macbooks and Macbook Pros. However, it is only a 5400RPM drive, if you want a 7200RPM drive, then you're limited to a max size of 320GB.
    Carrying on from what Kash said.. I'd recommend a 7200RPM drive unless you require the 500GB storage space.

    If you require a large amount of space why not invest in a Western Digital External Drive?

    Heres a link: My Book Studio Edition 1 TB Hard Drives ( WDH1Q10000 )
    15.4" Apple Unibody Macbook Pro Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.4), 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1066Mz DDR3 SDRAM (2x2GB), 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB, SuperDrive 8X - Apple Remote Infrared (IR) - Logitech MX Performance 2.4 GHz Wireless - Apple Keyboard Bluetooth - iPhone 4 32GB, Black

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2007
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    Expressing my ignorance here - does the drive speed make a big difference then?

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2008
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    Hard disk drive speed is VITAL. 10000>7200>5000 RPM. For the 10000 option you would be looking at a western digital VelociRaptor or sorts. I would consider drive speed over capacity, as ultimately the loading times of applications is dependent on the drive speed. Also drive speed is important when backgrounded applications start to get cached to the "page file". Basically the faster the drive the faster the overall perceived system performance. Also don't bother with solid state drives yet, not worth the high price point and lack of performance. In the future they should exceed any manual drive, but not yet. Also to consider the time value of reinstalling an operating system, it is justifiable to choose the right drive the first time, hence if you are going for power 10000 RMP is the only drive to really give you the edge.

  7. #7

    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isanderthul View Post
    Hard disk drive speed is VITAL. 10000>7200>5000 RPM. For the 10000 option you would be looking at a western digital VelociRaptor or sorts. I would consider drive speed over capacity, as ultimately the loading times of applications is dependent on the drive speed. Also drive speed is important when backgrounded applications start to get cached to the "page file". Basically the faster the drive the faster the overall perceived system performance. Also don't bother with solid state drives yet, not worth the high price point and lack of performance. In the future they should exceed any manual drive, but not yet. Also to consider the time value of reinstalling an operating system, it is justifiable to choose the right drive the first time, hence if you are going for power 10000 RMP is the only drive to really give you the edge.
    Umm no I don't think so. There isn't a 10,000 RPM HDD for a notebook because they require a heat sink, which aren't 9.5 mm anymore with the heat sink attached.

    Secondly there are SSD that perform better than the HDD that are out now. They just cost as much as a MB right now. The only real advantage of an SSD now is that they don't use up a lot of energy while they are idle, plus they don't have moving parts and are generally faster in reading, seeking, and writing.

    To the OP, I wouldn't buy the 500GB 5400RPM Samsung HDD because it's super slow with the seeking and writing. Plus it uses more energy than some of the 7200 RPM HDDs that are out now.

    I wouldn't pay for something that sucks more than a 7200 RPM HDD and drains my batteries faster.

    Go with the 320GB 7200RPM HDD by Western Digital or Seagate that are both available for $109 USD at newegg.

  8. #8

    Kash's Avatar
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    I wouldn't call it super slow, but rather a tad bit faster than a typical 5400RPM drive as the drive heads have to travel less to access the data on the platters since it's more condensed.

    I personally upgraded from a 5400RPM to a 7200RPM drive and the difference was certainly noticeable. My Mac boots up faster, applications load faster, it's just so much faster after the upgrade. I also upgraded my memory to 3GB, but I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have noticed even a fraction of the speed bump that I got had I not upgraded the hard drive as well. This is coming from a guy who uses 10,000RPM drives in his desktop, so I know a thing or two about performance improvements resulting from faster rotational speeds.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2007
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    Looks like the 320GB / 7200RPM is likely to be favourite then!!!

    Thanks all for your help

  10. #10

    B&O's Avatar
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    May 18, 2007
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    I will be going 7200RPM too in the very near future as soon as I get my MBP replaced this month I hope.
    MacBook Pro 2.66Ghz i7. Mac Mini 2.26Ghz C2D
    iPhone 3G 16GB iPad 3G 64GB
    Check out my flickr

  11. #11

    MacBurg's Avatar
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    Chiming in a bit late here but I just wanted to add that I think there is a noticable difference in 5400-7200rpm. My previous Macbook Pro was 5400, my new one being 7200, and it's amazingly quick at booting up, launching apps, reading files and shutting down, highly recommended.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Dec 30, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
    Umm no I don't think so. There isn't a 10,000 RPM HDD for a notebook because they require a heat sink, which aren't 9.5 mm anymore with the heat sink attached.

    Secondly there are SSD that perform better than the HDD that are out now. They just cost as much as a MB right now. The only real advantage of an SSD now is that they don't use up a lot of energy while they are idle, plus they don't have moving parts and are generally faster in reading, seeking, and writing.

    To the OP, I wouldn't buy the 500GB 5400RPM Samsung HDD because it's super slow with the seeking and writing. Plus it uses more energy than some of the 7200 RPM HDDs that are out now.

    I wouldn't pay for something that sucks more than a 7200 RPM HDD and drains my batteries faster.

    Go with the 320GB 7200RPM HDD by Western Digital or Seagate that are both available for $109 USD at newegg.

    Newegg.com - Seagate Momentus 7200.3 ST9320421AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive (Bare drive) - Laptop Hard Drives

    this one?

  13. #13

    Kash's Avatar
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    Yea, that looks about right

    June 2007
    July 2009

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2008
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    5
    I was wondering if apple can change the hdd in the store and not invalidate the apple care warranty? Or is it possible to change the drive, and then if there is a problem put the old one back so it looks like there was no change?

  15. #15

    Kash's Avatar
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    If you have a regular Macbook, then there's no need to take it into the store as doing it yourself won't void the warranty. However, if you have an older Macbook Pro, then you'll have to get it done in the store as it's not a user replaceable part. If you have a new Macbook or Macbook Pro, then you can replace it on your own without voiding the warranty.

    June 2007
    July 2009

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