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wirelessmacuser 02-18-2010 10:31 PM

5400 vs 7200 rpm Unibody MBP HDD
Thinking ahead to my next new Mac Laptop, I'm planning on buying a MacBook Pro 17".

Is there a significant difference in speed between a 5400rpm vs 7200rpm hard drive?


TheGreatApple 02-19-2010 02:17 AM

I really think that it depends on what you're trying to call up. Some people care, some don't.

Personally I've worked with both on the MBP and honestly yes there is a difference between the two and so I went with the 7200rpm.

The price jump is very small indeed, so if you can afford it I wouldn't even question it...get the 7200rpm.

chscag 02-19-2010 01:22 PM

I agree. You'll notice the difference between a 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM drive. And since the newer 7200 RPM models run cool and quiet, there's no reason to go with a slower drive.


wirelessmacuser 02-19-2010 01:39 PM

Great feedback! One of the major reasons I asked is the potential issue of heat. In numerous tests I've performed between 5400 & 7200 rpm laptop drives in the PC space, I've noticed that surprisingly some of them offer only a small speed increase. That said, other 7200rpm drives have demonstrated a very beneficial speed increase. The same goes for the heat issue. Some run warm, others not so much. Since the MacBook Pro does not have large ventilation slots on the side or rear of the computer, my first concern was with potential heat issues. In addition, recently I read a review of a mid-2009 MacBook Pro 2.66 / 4GB / 320GB @ 5400. They were very impressed with the speed of the 5400 as compared to other 5400's they had tested. Finally, last night I was at the genius bar, at my local Apple store. When I asked them, they suggested the 5400, which truly surprised me. Especially since I put the emphasis on speed. So it was taking those things into consideration that caused me to ask about it.
I'd try an SSD, but since its a very expensive option, and not easily user replaceable without voiding my Apple Care warranty, I will wait till prices come down and capacity rises.
Since I've always preferred a 7200 rpm drive, I'm going to stay with that choice as I go forward with my MacBook Pro purchases.

TheGreatApple 02-19-2010 03:02 PM

Good choice on your part! You'll def. be happy that you did!

On the heat and noise issues, I have NONE of those issues, you can barely hear the drive spin, and the only time the notebook starts to produce enough heat to notice is when I'm REALLY pushing it with some serious media editing and both the cpu and drives are very hard at work. And I'm on the 15 inch MBP unibody so less space than a 17.

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