I have a MacBook Pro 5,3 with a 7200 rpm 500 GB hard drive. I am running out of space and I have been considering upgrading with Western Digital's 1 TB laptop hard drive. I am just curious if I am going to get a big hit to my performance.

This is the hard drive I am looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136545

2 Answers 2



You do not specify a MacBook pro, but mine (pre-unibody) it ca not take those drives as you can read it has 12.5mm height and the maximum of a MBP Drive is 9.5mm

That is why several 500Gb drives did not fit MBP's and the one you are mentioning will never fit your laptop.


Currently, the max capacity on a 9.5mm Hard Drive is 750Gb (WD Scorpio Blue 5400rpm), and SSD is 480Gb (OWC SSD Extreme Pro) --> I bought mine here but 240Gb, it's superb!

to learn how to swap them (unibody, late 2008 models), see this OWC video and if you want to check the performance from an SSD and a HHD, please check this video.

my own SSD:

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  • Well, he did say 5,3 in his MBP model, which I believe is unibody. Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 13:35
  • (no idea what 5.3 represents, sorry) but it is still 9,5mm :)
    – balexandre
    Commented Sep 23, 2010 at 6:55

If the new drive is also 7200 rpm, what you’re going to get is usually a faster drive, more modern with (possibly) more internal cache which could lead to a slight improvement. In any case, the difference between 7200 and 5400 rpm is not that much. There is a difference and you will notice it in certain things, but there are other factors that will affect performance way before the disk in a day to day usage. Unless all you do is write/read files from the disk, get the bigger disk you can afford. Of course you can always get a 2TB external FW drive and store all the junk there, while still having plenty of room in the internal drive.

Or you could get a smaller 128/256 SSD super faster drive and store most of your stuff in your external 500rpm drive (in a USB External Enclosure for 10 bucks), but leaving your OS in the internal super fast SSD.

Options… options… :)

In any case, always get as much ram as you can afford.

  • I would like an internal 1 tb hard drive because I triple boot my laptop and I want to give my other OSs more space
    – romejoe
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 2:15
  • this is the western digital hard drive: newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136545
    – romejoe
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 2:15
  • Yes I see the disk. The seek time of a of a 7200 RPM disk is faster and there will be slight differences, however there are a few small disadvantages of using a 7200 RPM disk: it uses more power, usually makes more noise and it generates more heat. If you value space, then go ahead and purchase the biggest drive you can afford :) There are 7200 RPM 1B drives too if that worries you. Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 8:29

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