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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook - 4200rpm vs. 5400rpm


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Burton8219

 
Member Since: May 08, 2007
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Is there a point in me getting a reduced capacity 160gig HD with 5400rpm or get more space and less speed with 4200rpm? Does the ectra rpm really make that much of a difference? If someone could explain what I should get and why that would be great(ha office space reference...love it)
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Burton8219
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giulio

 
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Hi Burton,

What is the difference is storage space? And would you need that difference?

I'd go for the faster drive if you don't need the extra storage. On a modern computer, where the hard drive is usually the bottleneck, a faster drive makes a faster computer.

schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
Cherokee This gets my vote for most innovative thread on Mac-Forums... ever.
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Burton8219

 
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I guess the extra space isn't necessary but i wouldn't want to get a 160gb HD and then run out of space wishing that i got the 200gb. Is the speed a considerable and noticable difference? If it is then I would get the 160gb.
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bobtomay

 
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Yes the speed will be noticeable.
Take a look at your current computer and see how much space you have used there. Add 20% and this can be a guide to what you may expect to use on the new one.

In all likelihood, if you are putting things on your computer that would fill 160GB drive - like a bunch of audio or video files - the extra 40GB would probably not be enough space to prevent the need of an additional external drive for storage.

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Burton8219

 
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Thanks guys i was gonna buy a BlackBook with 2gb ram and a 200 gb HD but now im gonna get the 160gb.
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Burton8219
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giulio

 
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You made the right choice.
My G4 MacMini has a laptop (slow) hard drive. I hate it. I just sit there sometimes, starting and waiting for the HD light to stop, while the machine is locked up and choking.

schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
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Benjamindaines

 
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I went with the 200GB drive (4200rpm) in my MacBook and I'm fine with it. I needed the extra space for my massive iTunes library and everything else I have (Aperture library etc). Both of those things do not require an exceptionally fast hard drive.

The only bad I notice from my decision: start up times are slower than a machine with a faster drive, and I can't use my internal drive as a Final Cut scratch disk (you really can't use anything under 7200rpm, so I have an external FW drive).

--Cheers

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caribiner23

 
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On a related note:

I'm in Tokyo right now attending the 2007 Fujitsu Forum, where they just made this announcement: the release of a 250 GB/2.5"/SATA 2.5/5400 RPM SATA hard drive. This is a drive that uses perpendicular recording.

I attended a preview today and spoke to one of the product managers, who said these drives are already in the channels for PC manufacturers and that they should reach the US by August or September (i.e., at places like newegg.com). I did not learn the price of the new drive.

I asked him about the 5400 vs. 7200 RPM issue that I've seen here and on other forums: he said that in their tests the performance gain of a 7200 RPM drive over a 5400 is outweighed by increased power consumption, so they usually recommend 5400 RPM drives for notebooks that will be run on batteries more often than connected to AC power.

I give this statement a lot of credence, as Fujitsu makes hard drives (of all form factors, interfaces, and speeds) and they manufacture laptops and desktops among a lot of other hardware. (As an aside, the product manager also told me they source hard drives for their systems from one other vendor aside from themselves.)

Then I asked if I could get a sample drive to put in my MacBook; he smiled politely and said he wished he could give me one. :-)
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Igantius

 
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Barefeats ran some speed tests on internal drives which people might find useful - http://www.barefeats.com/mbcd7.html

It found differences between manufacturers and in terms of energy consumption, 5400rpm drives were most efficient. Also, it concluded that as drives were filled up, 4200rpm drives became comparatively faster.

I know that they were tested on MBP, but I don't think it was off tangent to post here - and any case, i'm a first time poster so cut me some slack
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DoubleCap

 
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I was just going to say what caribiner23 said about battery hogging. Simply put, a faster drive will take more resources to run. If it's on a tower, you'll have that power to supply all the time, so a faster drive is obviously a better choice, but with a laptop - go for the lower one.
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