The Ultimate MacBook Pro Hard Drive Upgrade – Seagate Momentus XT

April 7, 2011

I dropped a book on the keyboard of my MacBook Pro and I think the shock may have damaged the Toshiba MK165GSXF 160GB drive that came with my MackBook Pro. The Toshiba 160GB drive spins at a rate of 5400 RPM with 8MB cache. Originally, when I bought the MacBook Pro I considered upgrading to the solid state drive but Apple charges $225 more for a 128GB drive. Now that I’m forced to buy a new hard drive, I decided to go with the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB Drive. It spins at 7200 RPM, has 32MB cache and 4GB of solid-state SLC NAND flash storage. All this mumbo jumbo means its really fast. It’s a hybrid between traditional hard drive technology and solid-state. Solid state is the ultimate in speed because unlike traditional hard drive technology there are no moving parts. All the data is stored in non-volatile memory chips. In the case of the Seagate Momentus XT, it’s stored in the 4GB SLC NAND flash storage.


Based on the spec sheet it says it’s 80 percent faster performance than traditional 7200-RPM drives in PCMark Vantage benchmark scores. Has Low heat and vibration. In real world terms this is what it does for me: I timed my the boot up of my MacBook Pro at 45 seconds with the Toshiba drive. With the Seagate Momentus XT drive I am now boot up in 17 seconds!

My Specs

I’ve got a 13″ MacBook Pro, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, SMC Version: 1.47f2, 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (from, 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT Hard Drive, running OS X 10.6.
I also managed to recover my data from my old hard drive as it was failing and had bad sectors on it. The best way to do that is buy an external enclosure and then connect your old drive to your laptop via USB and copy the files across.
I don’t think that I will ever upgrade directly through Apple as they charge an arm and leg for the the upgrades. The cost of the Seagate Momentus XT hard drive can be purchased through for $99. It’s also really easy to install. I would have to say the performance jump feels more significant with the hard drive upgrade than when I upgrade the memory from 4GB to 8GB. It’s the best $100 I’ve spent upgrading this MacBook Pro.


Picture of thinkspace