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Question about laptop hard drives.

by chasemassey / December 14, 2008 11:52 AM PST

I recently purchased a macbook with a 160 GB, 5400 RPM hard drive and need to upgrade it to a 7200 RPM hard drive.

My question is about noise, vibration, and power.

I understand a 7200 RPM hard drive will naturally make more noise than a 5400 RPM drive. However...

Will a 320 GB hard drive running at 7200 RPM make more noise and vibrations than a 250 GB or 200 GB hard drive running at 7200 RPM.

Also, will a 320 GB hard drive running at 7200 RPM draw more power than a 250 GB or a 200 GB hard drive running at 7200 RPM?

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by chasemassey / December 14, 2008 1:02 PM PST

I heard some 2.5 hard drives will not fit in the aluminum macbook. Has anyone had any experiences with a 2.5 drive not fitting?

Finally, does a free fall censer really make a difference and if so how can I know if the drive has one? Out of all the drives I've looked at not one mentions a free fall censer in the specs.

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No and yes
by Jimmy Greystone / December 14, 2008 1:17 PM PST

No and yes, in that order. The capacity of the drive shouldn't have any impact on the amount of vibration. However, the added RPMs will require more power to sustain, and it will also generate more heat which you failed to take into account.

There isn't really that big of a performance boost in a 7200RPM drive over a 5400RPM, but even a few BTUs of additional heat can mean life or death to a laptop. You might want to check around to see what experiences others have had. Also, I can say that unless Apple radically changed the internal design of the MacBooks, swapping out the hard drive is not for the faint of heart. It will require damn near total disassembly of the entire laptop. So poking around online for a guide might not be a bad idea, unless you have a perfect photographic memory.

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