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News Archive for Wednesday Dec. 9, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Reader Feedback on Western Digital Scorpio 750GB & 640GB HDs
Yesterday's news had a request for feedback from readers that are using an internal Western Digital Scorpio 640GB (9.5mm high, 5400 rpm/8MB cache) or Scorpio 750GB drive (12.5mm high, 5200rpm/8MB cache). (As noted before Unibody MB/MBP models can take 12.5mm high drives, but of the pre-Unibody models only the 17in MBP can. Minis to date are still 9.5mm max.)
Previously I'd had a reader from the UK say he'd installed a 750GB in a friend/clients Mac and they had commented on drive clicking (something that has come up in the past). He was going to personally check on that but not heard back yet. (And we also discussed other tips from the past (not just APM), including disabling Apple's SMS for drives w/builtin Shock Sensor.) After getting more questions on these drives recently I thought I'd ask for feedback from other users. Here's the replies from the last 24hrs (I'll also be adding these as reports in the drive database in the next 24hrs.)

"I'm running the WD 750GB HD (drive firmware 01.01A01) in my Macbook Pro [late 2008?] 2.66ghz (expresscard version), 8GB Ram running OS X 10.6. Runs great. No extra noise than the previous 500GB that was in there. Great having the extra space... Very happy.
I also have the 640GB in a 2Ghz Mac Mini running 10.6 server (as it's 9.5 high its the biggest that will safely go in there) This feels a bit slower than the previous WD 320GB (5400rpm).

(I asked if he'd noticed any clicking noise)
Nope - no clicking noises at all. It's a unibody model as the 750GB is a 12.5 height drive. I dont think it'll fit the older form factor ones will it? (for pre-unibody's only the 17in MBP can take 12.5mm high HDs)
I've attached screengrab of my energy saver settings. (Shows Drive Sleep enabled but system sleep set to never.)
-Alan B."

" As requested, current new system details below:
MacBook 4,1 (2.4GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, Boot ROM MB41.00C1.B00, SMC v1.31f0)
WDC WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0: (report below noted -00A0RT0)
Capacity: 640.14 GB (640,135,028,736 bytes)
Revision: 01.01A01 (drive firmware version)
Mac OS X 10.6.2
It replaced a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9320423AS (7200rpm, 16MB cache) 320gb drive that was > 90% full.
The 640gb drive has been in use for a couple of months with zero issues whatsoever - it's quiet and vibe free and feels about the same in use as the >90% full 7200rpm 320gb Momentus that it replaced. (HDs get slower as they fill, outer tracks are faster) Highly recommended!
The 750gb drive you enquired of is a 12.5mm high drive, consequently it won't fit in my MacBook, else I'd have had that one!

No probs whatsoever with clicking or *anything* at all untoward.
When on battery the drive is set to spin down where possible, the display to sleep at 5mins and the computer to sleep at 15mins, everything sleeps at the appropriate time.
When on my desk, the drive is set not to spin down, and the MB to sleep never. Display at 10 mins I think. Again all works fine and very quietly - typically I can really only hear the drive at all when my ear is *right* beside the trackpad.
-Rob in the UK
PS: Data transfer from the old drive accomplished with the old dive in a USB2 enclosure, the new drive fitted in the machine, and the MB booted into 10.6 from the install DVD - used Disk Utility > Restore > Source > Destination. "

As I've mentioned before, I've also used the built-in Disk Utility "restore" (cloning OS X drives) feature for awhile now. (It's all or nothing basically unlike options with CCC or SuperDuper, but all I needed was a complete clone.)

" I put a WD 750GB Scorpio into a (unibody) 2.8GHz MacBook Pro 15" (MacBook Pro 5,3) running 10.6.1. Using it for 3 weeks w/o problems. It's thicker than the OEM Seagate it replaced, but fits perfectly. For all practical purposes it's silent, no problems with noise, it's all at about the same level of the system fan.
Drive clicking: definitely none.
Sleep settings: yes, it is set to sleep when possible, for both battery and power adapter.
(drive firmware) Revision: 01.01A.01 (looks like a first release)
Model: WDC WD7500KEVT-00A28T0

I don't benchmark my gear, but I'd say it's definitely slower than a 7200RPM drive. So overall, it's very smooth, cool and quiet. Just not a performance drive.
Best, Tom"

I think most buy these for capacity primarily (vs a 7200rpm 500GB drive). I'm using a 640GB/5400rpm/8MB cache notebook HD also (Toshiba 640GB, 9.5mm) in a 17in MBP w/10.6.2 and Bootcamp/Win 7 partitions. (No complaints with it so far.) I'd have chosen the WD 750GB instead but after taking one for the team on the 1TB Passport (usb only drive inside) last month (and damaging case taking it apart) I was lucky to get the 640GB in trade. (Taking a hit on price, but the USB only WD 1TB was worthless to me personally.)

" pix of drives (bare)
Left to Right: 250GB Apple drive, 640GB & 750GB.

640GB (WD6400BEVT-00A0RT0, firmware 01.01A01) went into the Early 2008 MBP MB133LL/A w/ 4GB RAM
- Paid an Apple Authorized Service Providers $30 to install it so I do not void the extended warranty of the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT in case it fails (normally that shouldn't affect that. I've had to have PBs repaired that I had upgraded both HD and Optical drive - no problem getting warranty work done. The US has laws on warranty protection for consumers however and YMMV. Paolo replied to my comment on that.-Mike)
I saw your post and my fear of Apple Philippines or their local resellers has merit. The local shops are notorious with trying to dodge in-warranty service at the slightest provocation. When I had my uncle's white macbook case serviced for the known issue (discoloration & chipping lining) they gave me a run around for almost a month.

(regarding the 640GB WD in the early 2008 Mac Pro)
- I hear it click sometimes but it works like a charm (it was checked to sleep when possible)
(FYI - He later wrote however that since Snow Leopard (clean install then restoring some files from TM backup, he no longer saw the option to select 9400M vs 9600M GPUs in Energy Saver. I saw an apple forum thread (late 2008 and 2008 Macbook pro forum) where a few other owners saw this same problem. Interesting was some also commented on restoring some files via TM. One mentioned resetting SMC the 'old way' (as does with earlier user removable battery models) fixed his problem but I asked Paolo if he tried reapplying the 10.6.2 "Combo" updater. He later wrote he's also getting "service battery" messages now as well. I upgraded to SL over a 10.5.8 install on an early 09 MBP and have seen no problems like that (both GPUs selectable/shown in ASP, etc.). I've not done any battery run-down tests in SL however - some have seen much lower runtime in SL w/light loads (web browsing, etc) and one tip for that was running Safari in 32-bit mode (via Get Info option on app).-Mike)
- Had to use this drive (vs 750GB) because of the 9.5mm clearance (limit of 15in pre-Unibody MBP model. (All Unibody MB/MBPs can take 12.5mm high HDs, but only the 17in pre-unibody models can.-Mike)
- I noticed a speed up from the original 200GB Fujitsu Drive
- Planning to use it in a PS3 for a DIY hard drive upgrade
- Not available in the Philippines or Hong Kong. Had to buy it from the US.
(BTW - sponsor OWC also ships outside the USA, unlike many US dealers. And with the US $ exchange rate, often even with the shipping the cost can be lower than Euro costs in other countries. I had a reader from France last week write looking for a Mac GTX-285 (apple stores, other dealers he checked were out of stock). I sent a note OWC had them in stock and shipped to France and he later wrote the net cost (including shipping/duty) was much less than if he'd bought it locally. Net cost (including shipping to France) he wrote was 330 Euros vs the France Apple store price of 440 euros.)

750GB went into the Late 2008 MBP MB470LL/A w/ 4GB RAM
- Installed it myself and had to buy a larger handle #00 Philip screwdriver and a larger handle Torx Screw driver
- I don't hear clicking and it runs great
- Largest drive available for sale at the time of purchase
- I noticed a speed up from the original 250GB Hitachi Drive
- Planning to use it in a Xbox 360 for a DIY hard drive upgrade
- Not available in the Philippines or Hong Kong. Had to buy it from the US
-Paolo D."

I welcome other Scorpio (640GB or 750GB) owner feedback - let me know your experience (performance, noise, any issues seen, etc.) and include your Mac model/series/OS and if you have Drive Sleep enabled or not in Energy Saver. If you've done any benchmarking that's also welcome. Thanks.
[BTW - after all the problem reports since the Mid-2009 MacBook Pros/EFI firmware update 1.7 was released (ref: this long long Apple forum thread on the subject), let me know if your MacBook Pro is that series/using that firmware update. Some posts in that thread mentioned replacing the SATA cable, forcing SATA I mode, etc.]

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