Hello, Samsung: A Bigger and Cooler MacBook Pro Hard Drive

The Hitachi 320GB 7200RPM 2.5“ hard drive I installed in my MacBook Pro on 9 April 2009 is running great, albeit hot. But it’s not big enough for my needs. And that 7200 revolutions per minute makes some serious heat! My MBP temperature right now — with a fan blowing at its back and its internal fans forced to the max of 6000RPM by smcFanControl — is 160 degrees. An Apple tech once told me this Mac was supposed to top out at 145 degrees and I found that to be generally true before upgrading to this Hitachi 7200RPM drive about a year ago.

So I’m going back to a 5400 RPM drive with next drive upgrade. Someone someplace online said something nice about Samsung drives running cool so I looked into it. I settled on the Samsung Spinpoint M7E HM501II 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5” SATA 3.0Gb/s drive from NewEgg for $64.99 + $1 S/H.

My Hitachi drive has served me faithfully for over a year now but I want something bigger and cooler.

18 July 2010 Update: I installed the drive yesterday. I re-used the instructions from iFixit that helped me with my Hitachi drive install a year ago. My thanks to the iFixit guys.

First thing I noticed while doing the data restore: This drive is cold.

After restoring my data from my SuperDuper!-created sparsebundle, I couldn’t get it to boot from the internal Samsung. Tried fixing permissions with the Disk Utility on the Snow Leopard DVD. Didn’t handle it, the Startup Disk utility still said it couldn’t bless the drive. Scary.

So, screw it, I created a new partition, erasing the old one and started a restore again last night right before going to bed. Today, I went right into the Startup Disk utility and it happily blessed the drive. Whew!

The Mac is running right now at 136 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s about 20 less degrees than I’m used to. And since the fans don’t have to chug so hard to cool this new drive, the machine just seems so quiet. I love it.

I sincerely hope that this Samsung drive gives me years of error-free service. Just in case, I’ll endeavor to keep good backups.