General Question

richardhenry's avatar

Upgrading my Macbook Pro hard disk...

Asked by richardhenry (12692points) January 31st, 2008

I’m looking to upgrade the drive speed of the HDD in my brand new Macbook Pro. I currently have a 120gb 5200rpm drive installed. I’m more bothered about having a faster disc than one with a bigger capacity… which drives do you recommend?

I’ll be fitting the drive myself. Thanks!

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12 Answers

drive_by_dev's avatar

are you looking for higher spindle speed? A FireWire800 external, out of the question?

richardhenry's avatar

Internal disc. Higher spindle speed, ideally 7200rpm or above. I’m currently looking at this:–16

Any 2.5” laptop SATA drive is compatible, just looking for recommendations really.

richardhenry's avatar

Yeah, it’s the boot disc that I’m bothered about, looking to increase responsiveness for file activity (I do a lot of photo editing in Aperture, which writes to the disc very often).

drive_by_dev's avatar

Seagate is the only other maker I see for 7200 RPM 2.5in. drives (which is a brand I like). Hitachi has always served me well for notebooks, though. I’m in the US and normally go to for the price and shipping (the there-day is like next day for me).
Always could go with an SSD if you got the pounds sitting around :)

richardhenry's avatar

Unfortunately I do need a fairly reasonable capacity (minimum 120gb… 160 would be better…) and SSD would probably require me to remortgage a house or something.

Cheers, I’ll probably go with Seagate or Hitachi. :D

sndfreQ's avatar

I’d try researching other users who do apertureon MacBooks as with an external HDD the data write/read would be just as fast if not faster than the internal bus (SATA); the 5400 rpm is only agoung to slow you down if you are using your ‘only’ drive for running the OS (UNIX utilizes system RAM, CPU and the system HDD together for processing and caching), the Application (Aperture in this case), and graphics rendering (the CPU handles the Graphics as there’s no on-board GPU). Lumping data read/write for your RAW files is happening as a result of disk caching and graphics.

If your workflow is conducive to adding a FireWire external HDD, you would in fact be distributing resources to the additional hardware which may in turn have greater benefit than a faster internal. I know this to be the case in audio and video, where rendering is happening constantly as the playhead is engaged when playing media files.

If I were in your shoes I would go to Apple’s support forum and other Aperture user forums to see what others are saying about Aperture on MacBooks. As you already know MBPs are not as susceptible to bottlenecking on the bus due to a slightly different architecture and dedicated GPU.

Hope this helps.

sndfreQ's avatar

Or you can contact a Genius at he Genius Bar for a 3rd opinion (if you’re in the vicinity if an Apple Retail Store).

Bri_L's avatar

@ Drive by – I just recently had to replace a hard drive in a Mac Book (38 screws). I myself and 3 others I spoke with had nothing but trouble with Hitatchi.

I have never had problems with Seagate. Also, NewEgg rocks. And Seagate has come down in price. The used to be insane compared.

chaosrob's avatar

Just to add in a late comment, NewEgg is amazing, and I almost always have the best luck with Western Digital. I just dropped a WD 120gb 5400 SATA into a MacBook Core Duo for about $70US, and it cut the OS X Leopard boot time by about 20 seconds.

benseven's avatar

@Bri_L – This is a misleading answer. It takes four screws to remove a Macbook hard-drive, because they’ve actually made it a user-replaceable part in newer portables like the Macbook.

38 screws sounds like a powerbook or ibook, old-school inaccessibility style.

Bri_L's avatar

@benseven – Your 100% right. I wasn’t thinking when I typed that. My apologies to richardhenry. a good chap whom I wouldnt want to misslead. Thanks for catching that.

Boy I am glad they fixed that.

benseven's avatar

Yeah, it’s good they’re not being so obstinate about user-upgradeable parts now, though I’m sure I spend much more money on frequently upgrading the HD as a result ; )

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