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mshale 09-21-2007 03:14 PM

Upgrade Hard drive question
 
Ok, I did some searching and all i could find was some how tos... not wat i need exactly, they were helpful, but i need other info. I have a 200 GB 4200 rpm hardrive in my black macbook. I would like to upgrade and my choices are as follows:
  1. To upgrade to a 250 GB 5400 drive
  2. or upgrade to a 200 GB 7200 rpm drive

The main thing i wanna do is to increase the speed at which my mac can get and write data. in other words, a size increase is not that big of a deal for me. but a capacity ncrease would be nice though :) Can someone had me down some advice? Thanks a ton!

amrk47 09-21-2007 03:22 PM

size and capacity are the same thing
the speed difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is barely noticeable

mshale 09-21-2007 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by amrk47 (Post 489280)
size and capacity are the same thing
the speed difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is barely noticeable


right, i was trying to say that it would be nice to have a size/capacity increase, lol. what about 4200 to 5400, or 4200 to 7200, would i notice that difference? If not, then i will just stick with my 2GB ram upgrade...

kao 09-21-2007 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mshale (Post 489286)
right, i was trying to say that it would be nice to have a size/capacity increase, lol. what about 4200 to 5400, or 4200 to 7200, would i notice that difference? If not, then i will just stick with my 2GB ram upgrade...

You would probably notice going from 4200 to 7200, not too sure about much difference going to 5400.

mshale 09-21-2007 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kao (Post 489314)
You would probably notice going from 4200 to 7200, not too sure about much difference going to 5400.

Would it be worth spending $200 dollars? I think I'd rather get the 250 GB if it's not gonna be that noticeable, because at least with that i can put more movies on here, lol.

Thanks for your input.

bobtomay 09-21-2007 07:32 PM

Whether it would be worth it for you to upgrade to a faster drive is really a personal matter. Would say that if you are frequently writing large files (> 2GB) it may be advantageous for you to upgrade the internal drive.

As far as speed goes, which will ultimately be the fastest really depends on how much free space you maintain on the drives. Ex. If you are using 175GB of space - the slower 250GB drive will actually be faster with its 75GB of free space than the 200GB 7200 drive with its 25GB of free space.

However, at $200 that money would probably be much better spent for an external 500GB FW400 drive. A 500GB drive attached as an external will meet or beat the speed of one of those smaller drives installed as an internal drive on your MacBook as the fastest part of an internal drive is already taken up by the OS and your apps.

The best way to decide is to start researching and reading reviews and speed tests of the drives in question. This really is the only way to know if replacing your internal is right for you or not. Here's a place where you can start. (Just as an FYI, learned long ago, not to use more than 50% of the space on the drive that holds my OS. I know this was true with drives up to the 120GB size, but may be moot with today's large drives. However, write times definitely will become slower the more data you have on them.)

Geeky1 09-21-2007 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by amrk47 (Post 489280)
size and capacity are the same thing
the speed difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is barely noticeable

I strongly disagree. My Dell XPS came with a Hitachi 7k60 (7.2k 60GB) drive; I upgraded to a Seagate 160GB 5.4K drive with perpendicular recording, figuring that the dramatic increase in areal density would offset the lower rotational speed's impact on sustained transfer rates and seek times.

Hoooo boy was I wrong. The 5.4k is noticeably slower after downgrading from a 7.2k. Given the OP's situation-with a 4.2k drive-he'd notice a decent increase in performance either way. But honestly, I cannot recommend that anybody get anything other than a 7.2k drive at this point unless they have an older notebook and all they want to do is make it run.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobtomay
A 500GB drive attached as an external will meet or beat the speed of one of those smaller drives installed as an internal drive on your MacBook

I'm not sure I agree with that assessment either. Firewire 400 has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 50MB/s. Firewire is much better at coming close to its theoretical maximum than USB 2.0 is, but you still can't expect anything more than 50MB/s out of it, and realistically it'll probably be closer to 45 tops. The 7k60 was one of the first 7.2k laptop drives and even it was hitting about 45MB/s sustained in HDTach and ATTO. The newer drives with larger buffers, SATA, perpendicular recording and more than 3x the areal density aren't going to be slower. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a modern 7k laptop drive benchmark faster than a desktop drive handicapped by a firewire 400 interface.

There's also the portability issue of a firewire drive... It's basically a non-starter.

The OP stated he wants speed. If he wants speed, the 7.2k is the only realistic choice.

bobtomay 09-21-2007 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geeky1 (Post 489429)
I strongly disagree. My Dell XPS came with a Hitachi 7k60 (7.2k 60GB) drive; I upgraded to a Seagate 160GB 5.4K drive with perpendicular recording, figuring that the dramatic increase in areal density would offset the lower rotational speed's impact on sustained transfer rates and seek times.

Hoooo boy was I wrong. The 5.4k is noticeably slower after downgrading from a 7.2k. Given the OP's situation-with a 4.2k drive-he'd notice a decent increase in performance either way. But honestly, I cannot recommend that anybody get anything other than a 7.2k drive at this point unless they have an older notebook and all they want to do is make it run.

I'm not sure I agree with that assessment either. Firewire 400 has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 50MB/s. Firewire is much better at coming close to its theoretical maximum than USB 2.0 is, but you still can't expect anything more than 50MB/s out of it, and realistically it'll probably be closer to 45 tops. The 7k60 was one of the first 7.2k laptop drives and even it was hitting about 45MB/s sustained in HDTach and ATTO. The newer drives with larger buffers, SATA, perpendicular recording and more than 3x the areal density aren't going to be slower. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see a modern 7k laptop drive benchmark faster than a desktop drive handicapped by a firewire 400 interface.

There's also the portability issue of a firewire drive... It's basically a non-starter.

The OP stated he wants speed. If he wants speed, the 7.2k is the only realistic choice.

I don't think anyone here will deny that the faster rpm drive is going to typically benchmark faster than the slower drive. That is a no brainer. If mshale was only looking for the best speed, there was no real reason to post the question to begin with - he could have just gotten the 7K drive.

Rather than just creating posts to state your disagreement with others, how about some actual input for the OP. And rather than showing off your knowledge, how about some real world advice and your opinion for the OP's questions.

The questions were:
1) Can someone hand me down some advice?
2) Would it be worth spending $200?

And the only real info we've been provided is that he stores movies on his drive.

As to my point - I have done many timed tests between USB, FW400 and FW800 on my MBP and have posted some of them on these forums.
What I'm talking about is in response to the above questions and comparing spending $200 for a new internal drive, with the result of now having a 200GB drive that requires a further expenditure for an enclosure for it - or spending about $175 on a good external 500GB drive with FW400. He now has a total of 700GB storage space and my best guess is that the new, empty 500GB drive will be, real world speed, about as fast as his current 4200 rpm internal drive that is probably starting to get filled if he has very many movies stored already.

And bottom line - as I pointed out in my previous post - the difference in cost is really relative to each individual and what they are looking to achieve. In time, we all learn that exploring multiple options is the only way to know that the current choice we're about to make is the correct one for us. The answer for one user is not necessarily the same as for another.

Geeky1 09-22-2007 12:23 AM

The OP asked for an opinion on whether to go with a 7.2k or a larger 5.4k drive. Based on my own experience there is a dramatic, very noticeable difference between the two. If all the OP is after is outright speed-which he said plainly was the main goal in his first post-then the only real option is a 7.2k internal drive, unless he gets an expresscard with FW800 or SATA and an external enclosure with a 7.2k or even 10k desktop drive. And the speed increase, in my opinion, is very much worth $200. Program load times are greatly reduced, boot time is reduced, etc. It makes an enormous difference.

I'm really not sure what your issue with my post was. *shrug*

Mac_OS 09-22-2007 09:48 AM

black macbook only support up to 200gb of internal storage anyway...

bobtomay 09-24-2007 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mac_forums (Post 489726)
black macbook only support up to 200gb of internal storage anyway...

and exactly where did you get this info?

unless you are referring to the fact that Apple only sells up to 200GB drives pre-installed - this would have nothing to do with what the macbook can support

tmorgan1689 09-24-2007 09:30 AM

^^ Agreed, is there a size limit on laptops? I've never heard of anything like that, as long as its the right drive size you should be able to go up pretty high.

mshale 09-27-2007 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobtomay (Post 491003)
and exactly where did you get this info?

unless you are referring to the fact that Apple only sells up to 200GB drives pre-installed - this would have nothing to do with what the macbook can support

@ all others: Thanks for your input, it is helping me decide :)

as for the quote... I heard that there is a 2GB Ram limit... (i also heard that it is actually 3GB) maybe it is possible that the combination of Intel and Mac in these new macbooks might actually have a storage limit... that would suck!

Right now, it seems the best option for me is an external drive... but i wouldn't mind upgrading to the 200 GB 7.2k drive and an external ;) wish i had the extra money! lol

XJ-linux 09-27-2007 09:47 AM

I upgraded from the stock 120GB 5400 to a Seagate 160GB 7200. The 7200 beats the 5400 hands down. Most noticable to me when ripping video to iTunes, at boot up, opening apps and the like. Remember, OS X is UNIX. UNIX relies heavily on paging space. Faster HDD = faster paging space. Xbench showed improvements for me, but bottom line is I rarely see beachballs anymore.

mshale 09-27-2007 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XJ-linux (Post 493091)
I upgraded from the stock 120GB 5400 to a Seagate 160GB 7200. The 7200 beats the 5400 hands down. Most noticable to me when ripping video to iTunes, at boot up, opening apps and the like. Remember, OS X is UNIX. UNIX relies heavily on paging space. Faster HDD = faster paging space. Xbench showed improvements for me, but bottom line is I rarely see beachballs anymore.

That's the stuff i needed! Thanks

Oh, happy day!! well, sort of... I have a new option now as I recently had a desktop PC bite the dust (recent lightning storm) and i'm very sure something was fried. now when i boot the PC it tells me that there is no operating system, and when i try to install windows, the whole computer turns off 1/4 throught the install. So i could just upgrade my macbook drive to the 200GB 7.2k and get an external case for the other 2 drives that were in my tower PC. now, the question is what external case is the better choice... time for some research!


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