Drive Decisions

by Derrick Story


I just read a pretty good article on Swapping Hard Drives on the 13-Inch MacBook, and it got me thinking again about the decisions I wrestled with when I bought my 17" Pro.

I'm amazed at how small hard drives are these days for these powerful computers. The stock drives I had to choose from for the 17" MacBook Pro were only 120 GB (5400 rpm) and 100 GB (7200 rpm) -- MacBook owners can get something as small as 60 GBs... ack!. I reluctantly chose the 100 GB because I'm a heavy Aperture user and needed the fast disk speed. But what I really want is a 250 GB internal hard drive that spins at 7200 rpm. Or maybe a bank of 100 GB drives spinning at 7200. I'd be willing to give up the optical drive to make room.

Tempting... very tempting.


2006-06-02 14:48:27
Sounds to me as if you're not looking for a notebook HD you can use in the first class cabin, but rather a portable HD to expand your disk space. Why not a small-ish form factor external drive that you can take with you when you travel? The MBP 17" has a Firewire 800 port, so you'd get pretty good performance without having to deal with the consequences ot introducing more heat into the MBP, if you take a portable Firewire 800 disk with you.
2006-06-02 15:40:12
External is the way to go for data. Has anyone done any serious measurement on the claim that there is a gain in having two HD anyway (i.e. making sure that the HD used for swap file, etc, isn't the same one you are using to read/write video).
2006-06-02 20:30:16
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've had a 15" MBP for a few months now and it's such a fine machine that I sold my PowerMac G5 dual this week. What I did have in the dual was about 400gb of storage that I used for video etc. Now I really could use some space for video, Parallels VMs, and the like. Firewire 400 or USB2 is nice, but I've been thinking about the sweet 2-drive swappable SATA enclosure and Exp/34 card from Seritek. It's a bit pricey but . . . I haven't pulled the trigger yet but I am awfully tempted.
2006-06-03 00:15:06
Perpendiculer bits are giving us some 160GB laptop drives, 250GB ones at 7200RPM though . . . . I wouldn't hold your breath.
Will Macdonald
2006-06-03 03:09:55
Has anyone tried upgrading to a 7200rpm drive in a MacBook. Were there any problems with excess heat, or extra power drain ?
2006-06-03 07:49:59
External drives... yes, I am using them and have been for a while. I have a 80GB LaCie that's small enough to fit in my laptop bag and doesn't require additional power. It's nice and I like it, but I only plug it in when I need it cause it's a hassle working on the couch and having the drive accidently disconnect if I move wrong. I also have larger drives that I offload to weekly. I seem to have drives everywhere, and I understand that comes with the type of work I do. But having more space in the laptop itself would make all of this so much easier :)

BTW: I have the 7200 rpm drive in my MBP 17", and it's great. Haven't really noticed any downsides to it.

Timothy Brown
2006-06-03 12:57:03
7200 RPM 250 GB laptop drives won't be around any time soon. 100 is about as big as they come.

What I'd really like to find is a nice, small external drive that's powered via the MBP's USB or Firewire buss and doesn't need external power. It would be nice if I could find a chassis like this that would take 3.5" drives.

2006-06-05 11:27:17
What about picking up a wireless external enclosure? Sure you'll have to plug it into the wall, but then you can leave it there and access it anywhere in your house.