The Best MacBook Pro Hard Drive Upgrade Tutorial and Steps
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Dan wrote with the following: “I have a MacBook Pro and I want to make it even faster, what is the best hard drive upgrade for the MacBook Pro?”
This is a great question, and the answer depends on your budget. I’m going to recommend a few options at different price points, all of which are excellent and fast MacBook Pro hard drive upgrades.
MacBook Pro hard drive upgrades
Upgrading your MacBook Pro’s hard drive is pretty easy, and it’s a great way to revive an older machine or turn a new machine into a blisteringly fast workhorse. It’s pretty impressive what a new hard drive can do for your system’s performance, so without further ado, here are my recommendations for the best drives:
The powerhouse: MacBook Pro + Seagate Momentus XT 7200
Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB 7200 RPM – $ 150 – The Seagate Momentus XT is basically the newer version of the Seagate Momentus drive. If you want a super-fast hard drive but aren’t looking for an SSD, this is the drive for you. Seagate claims the drive is 80% faster than traditional 7200 RPM drives, and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. Apps start faster, boot times are faster, everything is smoother, you will no doubt see noticeable speed improvements. The drive approaches speeds of an SSD, but costs significantly less, and despite the massive speed boost from the faster drive, it doesn’t really affect battery life. Their marketing language says it’s a “hybrid SSD drive” whatever that means, I don’t know because it’s still a spinning drive at 7200 RPM, but one thing I do know is that this is an amazingly fast drive is. This is a highly recommended upgrade to a MacBook Pro and offers the best drive performance and reliability at this price.
- Pro: Extremely fast, best price / performance ratio, more reliable than the older Seagate Momentus
- Con: Costs more than a standard 7200 RPM drive
The affordable powerhouse: MacBook Pro + Seagate Momentus 7200
Seagate Momentus 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive – $ 65 – the Seagate Momentus is incredibly fast and very cheap, without a doubt this is the fastest MacBook Pro hard drive upgrade under $ 100. A friend of mine replaced his standard 7200rpm drive with one of these in his MacBook Pro and it absolutely screams, scored nearly twice as fast in many XBench read / write tests. It’s a very noticeable improvement, and the MacBook Pro feels much faster, even when working in the Finder, opening applications, and booting cold. Whether you choose this model or the aforementioned Momentus XT should depend on your budget and how much you value reliability. For whatever reason, this drive appears to have a higher failure rate than the XT model and also tends to vibrate a bit if not installed properly.
- Pro: Cheap, extremely fast
- Con: Slightly noisier than the standard MacBook Pro hard drive, 7200 RPM drives have higher failure rate, may vibrate if installed poorly
The reliable and affordable workhorse: MacBook Pro + Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400
Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500 GB 5400 rpm hard drive – $ 55 – The Western Digital Scorpio Blue is about as fast as a 5400 RPM drive can get, in some tests it will approach the speeds of the Seagate Momentus. So why not just go for the Seagate Momentus, you might ask? Well, there are a few valid reasons; most importantly, faster drives have a higher failure rate. All hard drives can and do fail, but the Momentus’ higher RPMs make it statistically more likely to have a higher failure rate. If you are looking for a fast and reliable drive, the Western Digital Scorpio Blue is a great option with its fast performance and high reliability.
- Pro: Inexpensive, reliable, quiet, faster than standard MacBook Pro drives
- Con: Not as fast as Seagate Momentus or SSD
The ultimate MacBook Pro: MacBook Pro + Intel X25 SSD
Intel 160 GB X25-M SSD – $ 438 – no surprise, but the ultimate MacBook Pro hard drive upgrade is a super-fast solid-state drive. The performance with an SSD is lightning fast; apps open almost instantly, boot time is minimal and everything just gets driven around, plus it’s completely silent as there are no moving parts. I’ve used a MacBook Pro with this drive before and it was the fastest laptop I have ever seen. So what’s the downside? Price. For about $ 440, you get 160 GB, which is a fraction of the disk space you get with a standard spinning drive like the Seagate Momentus or Western Digital Scorpio, both of which cost 500 GB for less than $ 75. Not to worry over the price, this is hands down the best MacBook Pro hard drive upgrade you can get.
- Pro: Insanely fast, completely silent
- Con: Price
So there you have it, these are the four best MacBook Pro hard drive upgrades. These are based on personal experience and reading on the web, I’m sure there are other great drives, but for the price and performance, I think they are hard to beat.
So what’s the best MacBook Pro hard drive upgrade?
After experiencing an SSD drive in a Mac, I would go for the Intel X25 SSD on my MacBook Pro. If I hadn’t chosen that, I would go for the Seagate Momentus XT because it stands for high speed, reliability and good value. Ultimately, the best drive for you will depend on your budget and needs, so choose accordingly.
Regardless of what you end up with up Then choose a hard disk enclosure with USB power to make good use of your old drive, they are cheap and will turn your old hard drive into a portable external drive.
Feel free to come in with any recommendations or personal experiences regarding your own MacBook and MacBook Pro drive upgrades.
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