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MacBook (Late 2008) with a 7200rpm HD

Posted on 2008-11-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-24

I read on several forums that it is possible to install a 7200rpm hard drive on the latest MacBook (late 2008). Because Im getting this laptop myself I had some question regarding this issue:

1) How come this option is not available on the official mac website?
2) If it is possible, will there be any side effects? Such as unusual vibrations, noise, battery reduction?
3) What are the best (price is not an issue) hard drives that I can put in a macbook? I was thinking about a WD Scorpio Black.

If all this is possible, and I change the hard drive, how do I install Mac OS X on it?

Thanks in advance.
Question by:ldjalal
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Expert Comment

ID: 22958821
I've actually installed this in my own Macbook. The only thing you'll need to make sure is that the drive will fit, as some of the 7200 rpm drives are a little too big. I have to admit, the battery life has gone down considerably, but that doesn't bother me much as I'm usually tethered to a wall socket anyway. And vibration will depend on the drive you get, but yes, you're looking at more case noise and vibration than you're used to.

The reason they're not available through Apple's website is due to the above reasons. The battery drain is pretty sever, depending on the manufacturer, and case noise is another factor.

Author Comment

ID: 22958942
Thanks for the info. Eventhough this probably sounds much better on paper then it actually performs, the drive that I mentioned above states the following: "With technologies like IntelliSeek", which calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption and SecurePark", which reduces power by parking the heads during low power idle mode, this drive delivers 5400 RPM-equivalent power consumption in a 7200 RPM drive".

And back to my question, what are the best drives out there? Can the battery consumption and vibration be reduced with more expensive, higher qualiy drives?
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

MiniDevo earned 450 total points
ID: 22959052
Your best bet honestly may be to go to a Apple Certified technician as they will have a list of drives that OS X can install on that meets your needs. And I've dealt with several drives in Macs over the years, and I have to say, the cost hasn't really been a factor when it comes to vibration. And with the plastic MacBooks, I've noticed that they tend to exaggerate case vibration for some reason.

As for battery consumption, again cost is not a factor, as a great many factors alter how much a drive needs in power.
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Author Comment

ID: 22959749
Does anyone know if the WD Scorpio Black fits perfectly in the latest macbooks?
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Expert Comment

ID: 22963253
Go to MacSales.com (Other World Computing).  I've been buying from them since my original iMac and Bronze PowerBook.

These drives will fit your notebook:


The Scorpio Black is 9.5mm high, and is listed here for $110.

If you want to, buy a kit, which includes an external drive enclosure for you original hard drive.

Author Comment

ID: 22966591
When you say its 9.5 mm high, do you mean that it will fit or that it wont? If it does fit, I think thats the one im going to go for.
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

aleghart earned 750 total points
ID: 22969119
Will fit.  Same as the others.
OWC (MacSales) won't sell you a drive that won't fit.  When you enter your model (as I did) it will list only the drives that fit.

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