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Thread: MacBook Pro: HDD larger than 500GB @ 7,200rpm

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    MacBook Pro: HDD larger than 500GB @ 7,200rpm

    I have a MacBook Pro 17" (mid-2009 model).

    It came with a Seagate ST9500420ASG hard disk (500GB @ 7,200rpm), which also features Seagate's 'G-Force Protection'.

    I'm finding these days that 500GB simply isn't enough, and at some stage I'd like to replace my hard disk with a larger-capacity model.

    It seems that until fairly recently, it was not possible to buy a 2.5" (ie, laptop) hard disk which offered a capacity larger than 500GB as well as 7,200rpm speed. I don't consider 5,400rpm or 5,200rpm to be acceptable for my needs, so I want 7,200rpm.

    I recently discovered the existence of the Seagate ST9750420AS, which is a 750GB hard disk with 7,200rpm speed.

    While this model is the largest-capacity 7,200rpm laptop disk Seagate presently offers, it doesn't offer G-Force Protection.

    Whether or not I actually need that feature is debatable, as I am careful with my laptop and it's generally unlikely to cop a jolt or drop while the read/write head is above the disk platter.

    Do I need that feature? Is it recommended or even essential?

    750GB is about the minimum capacity I'd want. 1TB would be ideal.

    Have any MBP owners replaced their HDD with a larger-capacity model (ie, 750GB or greater) which offers 7,200rpm speed? I'd be interested to hear which makes and model(s) you've used.

    I am partial to Seagate disks, and having used them in a service provider environment some years ago, I found them to be very reliable; I trust them. Yes, I've had two of my personal disks fail, but any hard disk can fail. However, I am not unwilling to run with another brand.

    I did look at Western Digital's offerings, but unfortunately its 2.5" disks greater than 500GB only offer a maximum speed of 5,400rpm.

    I have a feeling that finding a 750GB or 1TB disk @ 7,200rpm isn't very likely at this stage, and so far only the Seagate I found suits my requirements.

    The question is whether or not the G-Force Protection is essential.

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    I think for any traveler/photographer the G Force Protection is very important, if I were shooting tethered for client or backing up wedding files onto it during a wedding having the GFP would give me greater peace of mind. I dont really know your style of work and approach and how rough and rugged you are so I cannot comment further.

    So important for me that I opted to switch from a normal HDD to a Solid State Drive as I found myself using the Mac in all sorts of working environments, even having it lying sideways or upside down, or getting the MBP passed around or moved when its inside the Lowepro Computrekker - I didnt have to worry about damaging it anymore.

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    Ah, I neglected to mention that I've been using laptops as desktop replacements since 2006, and don't often take it anywhere.

    To that end, the G-force protection is probably not so critical.

    I have a suspicion at this rate that the Seagate drive I mentioned, as well as a similarly-kitted WD drive, is my only option at this point.

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    I survived a good nine months since posting this thread, until I took the plunge today and finally bought a bigger disk for my laptop.

    I am down to around 41GB of spare space on my 500GB disk, so the time for some very decided action was imminent.

    Today I picked up a Seagate Momentus ST9750420AS 750GB hard disk -- the same model I was considering back in January.

    It seems that there still isn't a 1TB 2.5" hard disk which does 7,200rpm (a necessity in my book), so 750GB it is.

    I've swapped disks in my laptop and I'm in the process of restoring from a Time Machine backup I made just before shutting the machine down.

    The extra 250GB of space the new disk provides should hopefully see me through another 18-24 months -- even longer if I'm lucky, and if I prune some decidedly old images that will never be used.

    I also picked up a 1TB Western Digital My Passport SE as a replacement off-site backup disk. My 500GB off-site backup from which I'm currently restoring will be quarantined for a while before being re-formatted and kept as a spare for whatever may come up in the future.

    Knowing my luck, now that I've replaced my main disk, disk manufacturers will probably announce a 1TB 7,200rpm model, and/or the price of the disk I just bought will drop. :-)

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    Damn!

    missed this one by 'that much'!!

    WD(Scorpio Black 750), Seagate(Momentus 750) and Hitachi(TravelStar 7K750) have 7K 750G notebook drives.
    Way back when when I got my Samsung 640G, the Samsung was a wee bit faster but more importantly easier to find cheaply, and the WD(black) didn't exist.

    WD is a wee bit faster than the Samsung again, but all in all, they're not too different in real world speeds.
    The only reason that I got the Samsung is that MSY were selling them cheaply, I wanted one NOW!! .. and so I got it based on those specific varaiables.
    (MSY premises are literally only minutes away from where I both work and live, so this was an important factor)

    Had I seen this thread earlier, I'd have notified you of this info

    I'm currently in the process of creating a Windows system image on my(kids) new laptop, where I'm going to remove the slow 5400RPM hdd and restore the image onto the Samsung drive for a bit more responsiveness. Not that the drive is that slow as the laptop is only a few hours old, and so still quite nippy.

    Sorry for not seeing this thread earlier .. as in a few months ago, when I was looking for my larger hard drive.

    FWIW: I thought about going with a SSD for even nippier performance too, but the laptop I originally had the Samsung planned for was an old handmedown, and absolute brute performance wasn't a priority.
    I eventually killed the old laptop well and good, so I've had this Samsung drive sitting idle for maybe 2-3months new.. so it's good to get it up and running now.

    The hdd drive from the new laptop is now going to be 'archived' in a nice safe place so that when the kids kill the laptop, I have an instant backup to access, instead of going through the drudgery of installing and reinstalling and so on and so forth.
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    No worries, Arthur.

    I knew 750GB disks existed in 7,200rpm offerings, but seemingly nobody offers 1GB yet.

    I really wanted 1TB, but for now 750GB will have to do.

    The Seagate model I bought yesterday is the same model I was investigating when I posted this thread back in January.

    As for SSD drives, these are unfortunately way too high in price and low in capacity to be of any appeal to me.

    My MacBook Pro is my only machine; I've not used desktop boxes for over five years, so for my liking, the bigger the disk, the happier I am.

    PS: Have you ever destroyed a 2.5" hard disk? The platters are quite brittle and shatter into thousands of splinters.

    I destroyed a few old drives yesterday, and was surprised at how easily the platters shatter (I gather they're not metal at all). Not so with the 40GB ATA disk I've had sitting around for the past half-decade; I had to take to its platter with a hammer to render it inoperable.

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    Haven't destroyed hard drives of any type myself .. it turns out that I'm a bit of a magpie in that I still have a few oldies of the 20-40G vintage lying about the place.

    I do have a smaller cap hdd from the donated Dell that I eventually killed tho. I think it's about a 160G drive and still works, but is my brother's and has his data on it.
    I've kept it, just in case he calls one day saying ... "hey! Where that old drive".

    I reckon that if they shatter very easily then there is a possibility that they may be some kind of ceramic material(coated with the magnetic powder of course) as ceramics are lighter than metals, and at this size weight is everything(possibly more so than ultimate durability).

    Have been looking at replacing the Tablet hard drive, which is a 5400RPM 320G slimline Hitachi model, and AFAIK needs to be specifically so for the simple fact that this particular drive is only 7mm thin.
    Most 2.5" drives are 9.5mm thick and will not fit into the tablet's casing, so I have very limited options.
    So I started looking at possible SSD replacements of similar sizes, and they're all this same 9.5mm thickness with their casings intact!
    Silly thing is that the internals all seem to be more like the 1.8" form factor, and the rest of the casing is just thin air.
    So in order for me to replace the Tablet's hdd(320G) I need to pull the internals of the SSD out of the casing and install the bare circuit board, but wrapped in some insulating medium.
    At more than $400-$500 a pop for a piddly little 240G SSD I'm not yet willing to void the warranty.

    Also, it took me a bit of mucking about to finally get the Laptop's hard drive imaged due to some silly inner Windows workings, but I finally have it running now and that insignificant sounding extra 1800RPM makes a significant difference in operating speed for the Lappy.
    It's only a cheapie AMD Phenom laptop and wasn't purchased for speed, as it's only for the kids to do their schoolwork on with PowerPoint and Word and stuff like that, but now it feels almost as nippy as the desktop does.


    ... hmmm hard drive destruction, huh? Sounds like great photographic subject material!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I'm a bit of a magpie in that I still have a few oldies
    Bower bird. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I do have a smaller cap hdd from the donated Dell that I eventually killed tho. I think it's about a 160G drive and still works, but is my brother's and has his data on it.
    I've kept it, just in case he calls one day saying ... "hey! Where that old drive".
    The problem with hanging onto old hardware "just in case" is that by the time you ever 'need' it, it's too old, slow and incompatible to be used.

    Fortunately I don't have much of it. We're ditching our old laptops in an electronic waste recycling drop-off the council is holding in a fortnight.

    Last night I got rid of the hard disks I removed from both of those laptops, the old 40GB ATA disk from my last desktop, and the original disk from my current laptop, which crashed last year. That's four old hard disks that would have just continued sitting in the box in which I kept them. Two of the disks were perfectly fine, but too small in capacity to be of any use.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I reckon that if they shatter very easily then there is a possibility that they may be some kind of ceramic material(coated with the magnetic powder of course) as ceramics are lighter than metals, and at this size weight is everything(possibly more so than ultimate durability).
    You could be right about that. I haven't looked into what materials are used in 2.5" disks, but it shatters quite spectacularly.

    Even after thrashing the platter on a 3.5" ATA HDD with a hammer, all I managed was to mildly dent it.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Have been looking at replacing the Tablet hard drive, which is a 5400RPM 320G slimline Hitachi model, and AFAIK needs to be specifically so for the simple fact that this particular drive is only 7mm thin.
    It all sounds like too much messing about. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    ... hmmm hard drive destruction, huh? Sounds like great photographic subject material!
    Too late. ;-)
    Last edited by Xenedis; 01-11-2011 at 9:21pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Haven't destroyed hard drives of any type myself ..
    ... hmmm hard drive destruction, huh? Sounds like great photographic subject material!
    You are on, I just happen to have a couple here that need "formatting", just bring any extra props and we will play with some hammers and high speed flash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    You are on, I just happen to have a couple here that need "formatting", just bring any extra props and we will play with some hammers and high speed flash.
    I'd love to shoot an old hard disk or computer with my Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver (a 158-grain factory .357 load would definitely 'free' some disk space), but unfortunately the range probably wouldn't allow that sort of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    but unfortunately the range probably wouldn't allow that sort of thing.
    Sounds like a need for a metallic silhouette match , you might need to come to Mexico to participate in one and we could drag out some .30 cal IMIs and so forth as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Sounds like a need for a metallic silhouette match
    Heh. I don't shoot MS, but it's all pigs, turkeys, rams and chickens. The hard disk would look a tad out of place. :-)

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