First off, sorry for posting this in the OS X section; there is no Mac Hardware section to my knowledge. Anyway, I am running a 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro and currently I have a 200 GB 4200RPM internal drive (obviously I cannot edit on it), but I only have about 45 GB free on it and am looking for an upgrade. My main goal of the upgrade is to be able to realistically edit on the internal drive (both speed and storage space). I have two options, either a 320GB drive @ 7200 RPM or a 500GB drive @ 5400 RPM. I am only dealing with compressed SD footage and Motion graphics. I also do not want to get rid of any data from my internal drive (most of it is my iTunes library which I often use for editing), so which drive would be the best option? Or please let me know if a SATA 7200RPM 500GB drive exists.
[Benjamin Daines]"My main goal of the upgrade is to be able to realistically edit on the internal drive (both speed and storage space)"
My best advice and the advice of every editor I know is to NOt edit off of your system drive, and to ALWAYS keep media drives separate. The system drive has enough to do running the OS and applications, ad large video files onto that and your editing will suffer. The most common problem will be dropped frames and slower render times.
There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!
I have to second Zane here. While it is possible to edit from the system drive, it isn't desirable at all. Better to get something like a little LaCie Rugged drive that you can cart around more or less fearlessly. (But back up often!)
Now when push comes to shove, you CAN get away with SOME cutting on a local drive, even a 5400 RPM, especially if you're really only handling compressed SD. I'd frankly go with that option - less heat in the laptop - to save some money for external storage at 7200 RPM with FW800 ports (I also recommend getting drives with multiple ports - I've had the FW port die on me and my stuff get trapped inside on the perfectly good drive itself. Get something with options - again, the LaCies come with FW 400, 800, and USB 2.0.) But whenever you DO cut on the local drive, go immediately to your firewires and move everything you've done over to them. Your machine will live longer and run more smoothly, absolutely.