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I have a 2009 15" unibody MacBook Pro. It came with a 250GB, 5400 RPM hard drive. Will a 7200 RPM drive make it overheat?

I have read somewhere that putting a 7200 RPM hard drive in the MacBook Pro will make it shake and vibrate. Is this true?

Is there a certain brand that is better for the system?

And finally, is there anything else that I need to worry about?

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Have you considered buying SSD instead of HDD 7200RPM ? It should give your MBP nice kick. – maseth Feb 16 '13 at 16:57
up vote 9 down vote accepted

No, no, no and no.

Have fun with the 7200 rpm drive of your choice. Mac drive mounting hardware is excellent and the drive screws are standard sized. Unless you get a drive with exotic firmware or physically too large to fit, there will be no issues relating to design. Only a faulty drive (or failing Mac) will cause issues.

Simple physics means a 7200 RPM drive has to generate more heat than a 5400 RPM drive, but in practice, this is well within a normal Mac's ability to cool - even when you never let the drive spin down - something else like CPU load will be needed to get the internal fan to spin up.

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Thank you, i would up vote if i had the rep. – Josh Gabbard Feb 16 '13 at 5:47
Is there a brand that you would recommend? – Josh Gabbard Feb 16 '13 at 5:50
@JoshGabbard Both Seagate and Western Digital make fine drives. – Fomite Feb 16 '13 at 7:02
While I agree with this answer as one who has put 7200 RPM drives in many MBPs I can say that they do run hotter. Overheat, no, but hotter, yes. It's well worth it though as one gets the most size for the buck (still) with a HDD over an SSD but an SSD is the ultimate solution for speeding up an older MBP if one can afford the price difference. – Richard Feb 16 '13 at 11:29
@JoshGabbard While most drives will work due to the standardized SATA connectors and dimensions, I highly recommend you to get one that has been peer reviewed and confirmed to work in your MBP. I once purchased a SSD that had firmware issues with a '07 MBP that resulted in beach-balls every few hours. That same SSD worked flawlessly in a '11 MBP however. – gentmatt Feb 17 '13 at 7:55

I've got a MBP mid '10 and changed the 5400 rpm 250 GB HD with a Seagate 7200 rpm 750 GB. Even the original is a Seagate. I needed a Torx screwdriver for internal screws.

My mac is now a little more noisy (I hear a subtle noise during night :-P) and no hotter. Moreover it seems to me that the battery duration is only a little lower. All in all I'm satisfied. I need a big HD.

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Don't be surprised if any new drive has a problem in that model MBP. If you have a problem, the likely solution is to replace the SATA cable with the cable form a 2010 MBP. Available at iFixit.

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