3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 19, 2012 8:46 AM by OGELTHORPE
VincensoXFIN Level 1 (40 points)

Hey people.


I usually hang around the 10.6 server-section, but I had to drop by here to ask/talk about something.


I think most of you have noticed that Apple started using 5400rpm drives on MBPs as a default setting. Do you have any idea why is this?


I have around 40 iMacs at my workplace, they all got 7200rpm drives (cos they are desktops), and I have older MBPs that have 10.5 and 7200rpm drives, and I have MBP models from last two "seasons", some I use myself, others I just administer.


After I got my first Lion MBP few months back, I noticed that the response time and processing speed I was used to was gone, what supprised me, now that I had the i7 model with dual GPUs and 4 gig memory (compared to my "old" one with i5 standard gpu 4 gig ram). I researched a bit and came to conclusion that Lion was a bit slower, at least thats what people said, than Snow Leopard. I compared specs with my old laptop and noticed that both had 5400 drives. I was fine with that when I had Snow Leopard, but now the speed seemed to be a problem.


I did not even think about the drive when I ordered the new book, or the one before. Now I started to think, is there a good reason to put in the 5400 drive by default? And what are the reasons?


I also compared the specs with new and old MBPs back to 10.5 times (around 4 years timespan) and there were not so much "revolutionary" details.


I think the 5400rpm drive is huge problem for MBP, at least with Lion. Don't know what is the problem exactly, but my experience says its the combination of those two. Atleast if you want to work with the thing.


And ofcourse, I can order faster drive separately, but why would I want to do that and pay extra, when they could just design a piece that is powerfull overall (and they mostly are)?


Why wouldn't Apple put SSD drives to all their MBPs by default? If they are performance computers as they claim, then why you even want to use 5400 drive? Since they ended the era of the basic macbook and started targeting all audience with MPB, is this somekind of compromise? And if it is, why?

  • Level 8 (41,760 points)

    Not a question any of us on here can really answer since we are all fellow users like yourself.  But, some random thoughts.  A goal of a lot of computer manuvacturers is to hold the price constant in new systems, part of that constant may be the drop in prices of what were the more advanced processors and memory.  Part may be from chaniging the parts that have not had a price drop for ones that are less expensive.  That could help explain a change from a 7200 to 5400 rpm drive, if they really did make that change.  I wasn't watching the specs on the MBPs over the past few years enough to notice.


    Moving up to the SSD does increase performance, but at the expense of storage capacity and price.  There is no question there is a performance boost in any operation that reads/writes to storage.  But that performance boost is really expensive still today.


    Not sure how to respond other than more along the lines of a dialogue.

  • VincensoXFIN Level 1 (40 points)

    Thank you for the reply anyway.


    This is just on of few things that really has caught my eye when it comes to Apple's latest and new "innovations" (most of these things are about the way where OSX is going).


    SSD is, yes, expensive today, but without a doubt will be a future vision for mobile devices as they develop and become more available, and cheaper. I really, wouldnt mind paying a bit more for a ssd mac where everything is in place on the performance perstective as a default, but I really, really dont like to pay extra for ssd drive that is not in by default. There is just that, scent, of asking for extra bucks, when it all could be resolved by better design goals.


    Maybe this problem dont affect people with no more than basic needs for a computer, but people who look for performance computer cant really be too happy with this ( untill they change the default drive for better ).

  • OGELTHORPE Level 8 (45,142 points)

    In the world of large corporation retail the operative term is 'Price Point'  which is a driving factor in what is offered the consumer.  If you replace a HHD with a SDD (512 GB) you can add on $500+ to the price of a $1200 MBP.  Most consumers will opt for a $1200 outlay than $1700 (or more).  You simply represent a minority demographic group.


    However the trend is clearly on your side as represented by the Macbook Air and the retina MBP.  This certainly should help drive down the prices of SSDs and will perhaps help in the creation of ones with greater capacity (another minus for the current crop of SSDs).


    There still is life in the HDD arena since within a year there should be HDDs with capacities of up to 3 GB.  For many users, capacity is more important than speed.  It should be interesting to see if the SSDs will meet that challenge and at what cost.