11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2012 4:31 AM by Eric Spire
espion54 Level 1 (0 points)

What kind of speed increase will I see if I get the 7200 rpm drive? How much will it effect battery life?

As a side note: Will I see a performance boost in games like world of warcraft? Thanks

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • bartonb Level 1 (5 points)

    i have found in my own testing it is a 20% for 20% blade. you will loose around 20% of your battery when you switch to a 7200 rpm drive, but you will also gain a 20% performance increase as well, providing the onboard cache is 32mb or greater. i believe the fastest drive out there right now (04.20.2011) is the seagate - momentus XT drive...comes in a 320gb and 500gb flavor. honestly, i believe this is the drive that brings the barrier down between desktop and laptop speed difference drives.


    i hope this offers some insight, and it's important to know i have no empirical data to back up my claims. i am an avid macbook pro user who has had many, many, many macbook revisions and demands the fastest performance possible on WoW raid night and corporate planning sessions.


    one final tidbit, keep the receipt for your replaced hard drive as Apple will not warranty a drive that did not come with the laptop. also, changing out the hard drive and/or memory will not void your applecare.




    p.s. and yes, i have a brand new 2011 macbook pro with the AMD Radeon HD 6750M video card.

  • espion54 Level 1 (0 points)

    Do you have a 7200 rpm drive or a 5400? Do you think a 5400 drive would cause any bottlenecking? I heard with the new cpu and gpu there can be bottlenecking with a 5400.

  • bartonb Level 1 (5 points)

    i have a seagate xt 500gb 7200rpm drive. i haven't experienced any bottlenecking and i've had my new machine since they rolled out earlier this year. it was a HUGE performance boost from the 5400rpm stock drive. i push the new drive to the limit on WoW and starcraft II several nights a week.

  • espion54 Level 1 (0 points)

    What frame rate and settings do you run at in wow... also was there a noticeable heat increase and battery decrease? What about noise? Thanks

  • JasonFear Level 5 (4,935 points)

    One thing to note on those Seagate XT drives is that they're hybrid drives and cause a bit more than 7200 RPM (platter only) drives. The XT drive has 250/320/500GB models at 7200 RPM and a 4GB SSD component. I raided SSC/TK on a 4200 RPM HD on MacBook Air for a while and I never had any problems, I currently raid on two machines (one portable, one desktop) and it's a combination of 5400 RPM, 7200 RPM and SSD varieties. Personally outside of loading the game, I notice minimal difference in performance with the increased HD speed. The difference is minimal when comparing a 5400 to 7200 RPM jump, versus the 7200 RPM to SSD jump.


    The increased system RAM and GPU RAM is going to make a much bigger difference with WoW performance than a HD upgrade.

  • espion54 Level 1 (0 points)

    Is the Seagate Xt your reffering to the BTO option?

  • JasonFear Level 5 (4,935 points)

    No, it's a HD that you can purchase online or at your local computer retailer that carries Seagate products.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH &Description=seagate+momentus+xt&x=0&y=0


    They've come down in price, the 250GB when it first was announced was a $179.99

  • bartonb Level 1 (5 points)

    jasonfear is correct. thanks jason for your input.

  • ds store Level 7 (30,325 points)

    Yes, there is with 5,400 RPM drives, I have one.



    Thanks for the info fellows, looking to repalce already.


    When will Crucial get the RAM?? I need 8GB like yesterday...

  • espion54 Level 1 (0 points)

    Does anybody know what are BTO options? Toshiba maybe?

    Thanks for the input by the way

  • Eric Spire Level 1 (35 points)

    Absolutely true.


    The slowest piece of hardware in all of these systems is HDD. We've been using 15,000 Seagate Barracuda SCSI drive since the 90's for Audio and Video. Along the way, they bastardized the name, and started to produce drives as slow as 5400 RPM. Think of that as the MAX speed the drive can spin and search at. The very basics - the faster the spinning the faster there is access to the needed data.


    No matter what get a 7200 RPM drive. If you do non Apple tests that target interaction with the hard drive, the speed of the hard drive is essentially the speed of your machine. A very few apps load data into RAM, and run from there, but that is a VERY few.


    The industry has of course masked this figure with their new SSD's, making it difficult to even compare the two. I know that a SSD should be much faster, but the reality is the manufacturers are using the cheapest, oldest flash memory for these units, so you are getting short-changed at quite a premium. Anyone who claims different is either going from the sales brief, rteading specs and tests that are not hard drive intensive, or more into the tech than into the reality.


    Bottom line - The HDD is 100% controlling the speed of your machine.


    Caveat: On my AutoCAD Workstations, built with all intel, 24 GB of ECC RAM, and Dual Quad-Core Xeon's, they spit out the same speed rate at my Single Processor machines. Why - Because they ahev the exact same HDD. I upgraded the HDD in the single CPU Workstation, and it is now faster than the Dual's. This is using Microsoft/Intel/Dell reporting. I would much rather use all MacPro's, but sadly Autodesk is a crap company. They buy other great companies, pick apart their great software, give it to marketing, and split it into 3 applications that don't even like eachother. (REVIT, ALIAS, MAYA, INVENTOR, and more)... Most function under Boot Camp, most are at best a hassle under parallels, although they claim in works perfectly. Essentially, until Autodesk has had a new acquisitions product for 2 to 3 generations, it is going cause hair-pulling. When they finally convert it to their "somewhat" unified interface, it will always fail on Service Pack 1, and finally work on Service Pack 2 - right about when they release the no-new-features, break-your-current-installs latest release. The ONLY bonus - so many engineers are fed up with needing 10 products to conquer 1 problem, that Autodesk is being forced to reduce their prices by about 70%, with more on the horizon.