3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 11, 2010 8:09 AM by cornelius
Rick Wilson Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
My daughter's Macbook Pro is running out of space on my HD and I want to replace it with a larger capacity. She is an architecture student and uses photoshop, AutoCAD, etc. She also uses Parallels to run Windows and some design / rendering apps. Here are the specs of the MacBook Pro:
Processor 065-6991 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory 065-6993 4GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
Hard Drive 065-7223 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 4200

I'd like to get a least a 500 GB drive. My questions revolve around which brand would be best? Should I get a 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm? I see that Seagate has a 500GB Seagate Momentus XT 2.5" SATA 7200RPM/SSD Hybrid Drive which has 4GB SLC NAND solid state memory. Description states Best-Fit Applications are High-end laptops and workstations. Would this Macbook Pro qualify as high-end? Would she see any performance benefits with this drive?

The RAM is maxed out for this laptop. The computer really needs to last at least 1 more year. What is our best option?

G5 and MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,185 points)
    Hi Rick,

    Given that the MBP has a 4200RPM HD in it now, any 5400 or 7200 is likely to yield a significant speed increase during operations requiring HD access.

    If it is a 15" MBP, make sure you get a 9.5mm high, 2.5 inch SATA HD. If it's a 17", a 12.5mm high HD will fit.

    I don't believe any brand of current HDs is significantly better/worse than the others. That said, I think Seagate is at a low ebb of quality right now. I think Hitachi is at the top. WD blacks seem to be consistently reliable. Without question, others will have different opinions (it's like asking if a Toyota or Ford or Honda, etc. is best). I really like the idea of Seagate's hybrid drive, but there is a real mixed bag of reviews on it. It's first gen, and there are issues to be worked out/improved upon. Check out newegg for 200+ user reviews.

    AFA 5400 vs 7200, all other things being equal (rarely the case) the faster drive is likely to give better response, but don't expect night and day difference. All other things being equal, it's also likely to run hotter, reduce run time on battery, and increase vibration. There's also a bit of a cost premium.

    Whichever you end up with, remember to backup, backup, and backup (I highly recommend a clone and Time Machine).

    The odds are you/she will be happier with any of the 5400s or 7200s over the current 4200, and a new drive should easily help you/her get another year or more out of the MBP. Good luck with the decision.

    Message was edited by: tjk
  • Rick Wilson Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    It is a 17 inch. I'll go look at newegg reviews on various drives. I thought about battery life being shorter with a 7200 but didn't think about the higher temp and vibration. The laptop is 3.5 years old. Perhaps the 5400 would be best. Thanks
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    Hi Rick:

    The Hard Disk Drives available with your computer are: 200 GB (4200-rpm) 120, 160, or 250 GB (5400-rpm) 160 or 200 GB (7200-rpm). Note that the 4200 rpm drive is 200 GB. The 250 GB HDD is 5400 rpm.

    Here is a list of available HDDs for your computer at OWC. I installed a Seagate 500 GB in my computer and it has serves me well. The Hitachi is also an excellent drive. You can shop around for prices. I found some good prices at at Oyen Digital.

    cornelius