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  1. #1
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?

    Member Since
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location
    London, UK
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    3
    Specs:
    13" MBP Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, iPad original 64GB 3G, iPhone 4 32GB
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?
    Hi,

    I am new here but I've been reading this forum for a while. I need a bit of advice regarding my MacBookPro 5,5. I have the base model with 2GB ram and 160GB 5400rpm hdd, and I will be upgrading to 8GB ram for a programming project (to run the whole thing in a ram disk).

    My question is - doesn't it make sense to upgrade my hard drive as well? I might get 2-3 more years of life out of my MBP. My current drive is about 2/3 full as I store a lot of my things in an external disk. Say if I get a 500GB 7200rpm drive, would I get significantly better performance (considering that I am also upgrading the ram)? I mostly do web browsing, music/video and office stuff, with occasional programming. I regularly use like 4GB of swap so I know the ram upgrade will help a lot. I guess what I really want to know is whether a hard drive upgrade would be worth the extra performance.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?
    northrnchimp's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    217
    Specs:
    rMBP 13 2.5GHz 121GB SSD
    Not really, unless you want to pay the extra for an SSD. A 7200rpm drive will create more vibration, more battery drain, more noise, and a very slight speed boost.

  3. #3
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?

    Member Since
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    3
    Specs:
    13" MBP Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, iPad original 64GB 3G, iPhone 4 32GB
    Thanks. I presume you have had experience with 7200rpm drives on your MBP then. Would the noise be noticeable if I have music playing?
    I might upgrade the hard drive somewhere down the road if I really feel I need more space.

  4. #4
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?
    19birel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 02, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    222
    Specs:
    Late 2011 13" MBP 2.4 GHz i5 16gb RAM, Early 2008 Mac Pro 2.8Ghz 8-Core Xeon 6gb RAM OSX 10.9.x
    With the battery drain factor and the lack of extra performance a 7200 RPM drive probably wouldn't be worth it. If you need more space a 5200rpm 500gb would work great. If you want speed, buy an ssd.
    I MISS SNOW LEOPARD ;(

  5. #5
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?

    Member Since
    Aug 31, 2009
    Posts
    304
    I have a MBP mid 2009 too. Bumping to 8 gb ram is quite cheap these days. It also cuts virtual memory swaps to the hard drive. Some Apps tend to be memory hogs over time, like Safari.

    I also loaded in a 750 gb XT a short time later, the one with the 8 gb SSD cache to help out. The two mods helped the laptop immensely. All of my common apps load in about one "dock hop". About 95% as fast as an SSD for booting as it pins those files. This HD behaves way quicker than the 7200/5400 speed ratio would suggest. Another option is the 1 Tb 5400s. WD's run about as fast as a premium conventional 7200/750gb due to the data being packed closer together.

  6. #6
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?

    Member Since
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    3
    Specs:
    13" MBP Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, iPad original 64GB 3G, iPhone 4 32GB
    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will go with a 5400rpm 1TB

  7. #7
    Upgrading MBP ram, should I upgrade hard drive as well?

    Member Since
    Aug 31, 2009
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by disillusion22 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I think I will go with a 5400rpm 1TB
    Yeah that is a fast drive. See the graphs in this test:

    A Terabyte For Notebooks: WD Scorpio Blue 1TB Drive - HotHardware

    I wonder if it may prove more fragile than average though. That's why I selected 750 gb for now as my internal. I use the WD 1 tb as my external back up drive though. Through FireWire it does about 62-67 mb/sec per Activity Monitor.

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