G4 Powerbook and hard drive upgrade

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hi, I have a Powerbook G4/550 and want to upgrade to a larger hard drive (I already considered an external firewire drive but don't want to carry anything else with me). Current hard drives are 60-80 Gigs and 4200-5400 RPM but I've been told by a local retailer that 7200 RPM drives will be out soon. Would I notice a difference with this faster drive? I currently have a 20 Gig IBM drive that came with the laptop when I bought it. I also have 768 megs of RAM.



  • Reply 1 of 8
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,551member
    Yes, you will probably see a dramatic improvement. Look at barefeats.com. They have compared the actual performance of computers with different hard drives. Hitachi and one other company have come out with 7200 RPM HDs. The Hitachi looks interesting. Seems as if the power requirements are not onerous.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Thanks for the info!!! Anyone switched the hard drive themselves? Is it something a newbie of average intelligence can do?
  • Reply 3 of 8
    regreg Posts: 832member
    I recently switched from a 20 to 60 @ 5400rpm. The swap is easy. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to completely copy over the entire disk. The 5400 is a big inprovement over the original hard disk.

  • Reply 4 of 8
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    I am also trying to decide between a 60 4200, 60 5400, 60 7200, and an 80 4200... speed is a concern... but I don't want to take much of a hit in battery life or heat output (although the hit in the wallet is also a concern )

    60 4200 is the cheapest and slowest... 60 5400 seems to be the sweet-spot 60 7200 seems a bit unproven to me and I am not sure about the reliability of it... the 80 4200 would have been great if it was 5400... and I probably would have justified the higher price... but once you get to these high densities... is it really going to make a big difference? which is faster the 80 4200 or 60 5400?
  • Reply 5 of 8
    mac+mac+ Posts: 580member
    Hi soobaaaa,

    I'm in the exact same position (Ti550 - 20G, but only 256 RAM).

    Anyway, I was originally thinking of buying a portable FireWire HD, which I could keep when I next upgrade. However, your suggestion has got me thinking. "Replace the original HD" - but how would you transfer the data across? (Dumb question perhaps - but I've never done it before and would not know where to start!)

    I was also toying with the idea of finally succumbing to the iPod for a back-up HD - but that was too extravagent and I won't buy one until a colour screen and iPhoto interaction is incorporated!
  • Reply 6 of 8
    regreg Posts: 832member
    For my transfer I used a MCE Transport Pro FW enclosure. I used firewire because of the speed. I used Carbon Copy Cloner, www.bombich,com/software/ccc.html- very good, very easy and the price is very good. Put the new HD in the enclosure connect up the firewire launch CCC and let it go. I had 18 G on my old drive. This will extrend the life of my Ti 500 by several years. The HD install is easy and only required a small phillips screwdriver. I cannot tell the difference in heat or battery life.

  • Reply 7 of 8
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    I personally have my eye on the expensive, but very fast 7200 rpm 60GB. Another contender, also by Hitachi/IBM is the 5400 80GB.

    But what I'd REALLY like is a hypothetical 7200rpm 80GB drive.

    Seek times are much faster w/ faster spinning drives, actual transfer rates go up mainly due to arial density (high capacity). So in terms of speed, the 7k60 and 5k80 are probably equivalent. The added bonus is that the 7k60 is available now (at ~$350 USD).
  • Reply 8 of 8
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    anyone know of any good links to find where to buy these HDs?
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