The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
The MacBook Pro Speed Secret: The Hard Disk

The MacBook Pro Speed Secret: The Hard Disk

by , 2:45 PM EDT, May 27th, 2008

One can spend a lot of extra money for a 2.5 GHz MacBook Pro instead of a 2.4 GHz model and not gain much performance. However, the choice of hard disk can make a world of difference, according to Alan Zelchick in his bMighty.com blog.

"I've been writing on this topic since last September, but have become more convince than ever that drive speed is a killer feature. Think about the areas where modern desktops get their performance boosts from. The ones that get talked about the most like processor speed, aren't the most important in the real world," Mr. Zelchick explained.

He went on to look at all the specifications and performance areas where one might suspect that a linear increase in the specification might result in a linear overall increase in the MacBook's performance: CPU speed, processor cache, RAM, and front side bus (FSB). It seldom works that way, but the one specification that can dramatically affect the speed of the system, however, is the disk rotation speed.

"The older MacBook Pro (2.2G Hz processor, 4 MB cache, 3 GB memory) had a 200 GB hard drive that spun at 4500 RPM," the author noted. "The new one (2.4 GHz processor, 3MB cache, 2 GB memory) also had a 200 GB drive, but it rotated at 7200 RPM. It blew the old notebook away on every aspect of working with it. [Emphasis added by TMO.]

His advice was to skimp a little on processor speed and pour all that extra money into the fastest hard disk Apple offers. That's the smaller capacity but faster 7,200 RPM drives on the Mac Book Pros. He even concluded that it's a pity faster drives aren't made available, but that might be due to heat dissipation issues.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated June 26th

Fri, 5:06 PM
’Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Star Moses Ingram to Join Cast of Apple TV+ Series ‘Lady in the Lake’
Fri, 4:31 PM
Chris Evans Stuns the Internet By Upgrading His iPhone 6
Fri, 4:12 PM
Leaks Suggest Next AirPods Pro to Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More
Fri, 3:06 PM
Rumors Suggest Apple to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/MR Headset January 2023
Fri, 3:05 PM
Apple’s Back to School Promo Could Score You a $150 Gift Card
Fri, 2:21 PM
Apple-1 'Byte Shop' Model Goes for $375,000 at Thursday Auction
Fri, 1:22 PM
Code in iOS 16 Betas Hint at New Siri Remote for Apple TV
Fri, 8:32 AM
Apple’s Long Game in Mobile and Portable Computing; Choice and Versatility
Fri, 7:32 AM
Apple Music Student Plan Gets a Price Increase in US, UK and Canada
Fri, 7:03 AM
Google Chrome on iOS Gets Five New Features
Thu, 5:40 PM
Using Measurement Conversions in iOS 16
Thu, 4:37 PM
Apple TV+ Series 'Trying' Reveals Season 3 Trailer Before July Premiere
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!