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  1. #1

    Stetwin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 08, 2007
    120GB 5400rpm Vs. 160GB 7200rpm
    Is paying the extra 150 to go from a 120BG 5400rpm HDD to a 160GB 7200rpm HDD worth it? How much faster is it? And is the difference greatly notable? And what part of the performance will I notice the effect in the most?

    The reason I ask is because I do Photography and will have thousands if not tens of thousands of photos stored on my Macbook, will I notice the HDD speed difference and is it justifiable paying that 150 extra for it or would I be better just looking for an external HDD?

    Also is it worth taking the 200GB 4200rpm drive in to consideration due to the larger capacity?

  2. #2

    Fatboydim's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 30, 2007
    Westport / Ireland
    MacBook Pro
    get an external usb drive for around the 100 mark or less. They come in all flavours but you can usually get a 500g 7200rpm hdd for about that. A bit more will get you a terrabite. Then you can store the photos you ned on a daily basis on the laptops local drive and have everything backed up to the usb HDD. I have a 400gb USB HDD that I use for both laptop and desktop and that works fine.

    For 150 it offers far better value and gives you security if something went wrong with your Macbook. Other than that I would say you really wouldn't notice much of a difference between 7200 rpm and 5200rpm.

  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c
    I have to disagree with not noticing the difference in speed.
    I have not changed out my 5400 drive in my MBP, (maybe there is someone out there that has and can provide us with some speed tests before and after).

    What I have done is test speeds between my MBP and my 3 1/2 year old desktop. With it's slower optical drive and processor it beats the MBP in all my tests related to reading and writing to the drive and not by just a small margin. Here are those tests. My best guess was that it had to be the difference in the drives.

    I also have posted some speed tests between USB, FW400 and FW800. Do not use USB for large files unless you just cannot afford a better enclosure. Here are those tests - scroll to the end of the thread.

    I could not in good conscience recommend the 4200 rpm drive. If you are going to have that many pictures, I think even the 200GB drive will ultimately be too small for you. Even though it is slower, I think I would recommend the 5400 drive for the internal and then get a good external FW800 or eSATA drive (500GB-1TB) for your work. You should also take into consideration how to back up all of these pictures (just in case).

    Since this is for work - and time is money - do not skimp on the items that will save you time in your work. they will pay for themselves over the life of the equipment several times.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  4. #4

    Village Idiot's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 04, 2007
    Durtburg, WV
    Sooper Fast!
    I swapped a 5400 out with a 7200 in my Dell notebook. It made a big difference when loading widows. It may be cheaper just the buy the 7200 after your purchase, swap it out, and have the 5400 in an enclosure for storage...that what I did/will do
    Chaotic Evil, Level 1 IT-Tech

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  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2006
    G4 Cube
    Yes, go with 7200rpm if you want speed. The difference is noticeable. OS X boots faster and programs launch quicker. Keep a 2.5" USB or Firewire drive around if you want added capacity. You can buy a 250gb 5400rpm drive for under $200 USD to use as backup:
    Mac Sites - down for reconstruction

  6. #6

    Fatboydim's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 30, 2007
    Westport / Ireland
    MacBook Pro
    Surely Ram has a bigger impact on performance and speed than HDD. After all it's only when you're loading programs and files or saving them that you will note hdd speed. Of course a 7200rpm is a third faster than a 5200 but unless you're really impatient is it worth the extra $300 because I don't think it is. I would also imagine that it would delay delivery of the MB because it's not standard spec... and user lives in UK so we don't get the same speed of service as US. - Indeed my MBP is apparently manufactured in Cork / Ireland - sent over to the US and then was sent back to Cork and on to me in Westport / Ireland - at least according to my dealer.

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