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Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:13 AM   #1
macstatic
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3TB hard drives OK in Mac Pro?

I've just experienced that my 4-bay drive enclosure won't accept any of the 3TB SATA-III drives I just bought. It turns out that the enclosure won't work with 6G/larger than 2TB drives. I'll be getting a Mac Pro 5.1 shortly and am wondering if the drives can be used internally or if I can run into the same problems? I'm aware the built-in interface is 3G, but I'm OK with that if I can just use the drives with their full capacities.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 08:23 AM   #2
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I've just experienced that my 4-bay drive enclosure won't accept any of the 3TB SATA-III drives I just bought. It turns out that the enclosure won't work with 6G/larger than 2TB drives. I'll be getting a Mac Pro 5.1 shortly and am wondering if the drives can be used internally or if I can run into the same problems? I'm aware the built-in interface is 3G, but I'm OK with that if I can just use the drives with their full capacities.
Yes, even 4 TB will work
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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I have two Hitatchi 3TB and two WD Red 3TB in my Mac Pro 3,1, they all work just fine, no problems.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:28 AM   #4
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Internal Seagate 3TB working fine in my 5,1.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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3TB Seagates here also..
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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I have a 4TB Hitachi 5K4000 in slot 4, and I love it.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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I'll be getting a Mac Pro 5.1 shortly and am wondering if the drives can be used internally or if I can run into the same problems?
If try to use with BootCamp's BIOS environment with Windows you'll run into a similar issue. If the 3TB are all being allocated to OS X HFS+ use then no.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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Yup, the 3TB drives work just fine in my 5.1 Mac Pro!
I'll use two of them for internal backup drives and since I was thinking of setting up a RAID-0 drive. The computer already came with a single 1TB Western Digital black drive. Could I use that together with my new 3TB Seagate Barracuda (ST3000DM001) or do the new drives need to have the same size/specs? I'm guessing I can first partition that Seagate drive for a 1TB partition, and leave the rest (2TB) unused.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 06:38 AM   #9
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Don't partition them... that's my advice.

If you make a RAID stripe with a 1TB and a 3TB HDD, you'll get 1TB+1TB=2TB RAID 0, wasting 2TB of the 3TB HDD, and partitioning that other 2TB off it is asking for trouble. You should only RAID identical drives. I know others do it, but how many times do they come asking why their RAID fell apart? A lot.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 08:13 AM   #10
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I have a Seagate 3TB in the 1,1 and it's fantastic. No problems.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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Are SATA II and SATA III connectors exactly the same?
My local computer store talks about 'adapters', buy I thought it was all the same?
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 10:22 AM   #12
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Are SATA II and SATA III connectors exactly the same?
My local computer store talks about 'adapters', buy I thought it was all the same?
They are physically the same.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 10:36 AM   #13
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Thanks, that's what I thought as well.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 11:29 AM   #14
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I have Seagate and Hitachi 3TB drives in my 3,1 and they have worked great so far.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 04:44 PM   #15
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Don't partition them... that's my advice.

If you make a RAID stripe with a 1TB and a 3TB HDD, you'll get 1TB+1TB=2TB RAID 0, wasting 2TB of the 3TB HDD, and partitioning that other 2TB off it is asking for trouble. You should only RAID identical drives. I know others do it, but how many times do they come asking why their RAID fell apart? A lot.
So if I make a 1TB partition which I use for RAID-0 together with the 1TB drive, won't OSX simply see that as two 1TB drives?

I know I'll be wasting 2TB, but since the 3TB drive has become a waste of money anyway (it didn't work in the external enclosure as intented) I gather it's better to put it to some use than just gather dust (I don't think anyone buys second hand drives even though it's brand new).
Alternatively I could simply replace the existing 1TB drive with the 3TB, but I wouldn't get that speed increase which RAID-0 would give, and I don't think I really need more than 2TB anyway.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 05:27 PM   #16
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So if I make a 1TB partition which I use for RAID-0 together with the 1TB drive, won't OSX simply see that as two 1TB drives?

I know I'll be wasting 2TB, but since the 3TB drive has become a waste of money anyway (it didn't work in the external enclosure as intented) I gather it's better to put it to some use than just gather dust (I don't think anyone buys second hand drives even though it's brand new).
Alternatively I could simply replace the existing 1TB drive with the 3TB, but I wouldn't get that speed increase which RAID-0 would give, and I don't think I really need more than 2TB anyway.
You can certainly do that, yes. I'm just advising against it, and thinking that if you have two or more of those 3TB drives, why not RAID the identical ones and leave the odd sized ones alone? That way, you have less risk of the RAID failing on you. My OS X software RAID in my Mac Pro has been flawless for over three years now, but they are identical drives, and they have non-critical data that is either scratch or backed up on other drives.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 06:13 PM   #17
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3TB seagate and 4TB hitachi here, no issues.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 07:02 PM   #18
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You can certainly do that, yes. I'm just advising against it, and thinking that if you have two or more of those 3TB drives, why not RAID the identical ones and leave the odd sized ones alone? That way, you have less risk of the RAID failing on you. My OS X software RAID in my Mac Pro has been flawless for over three years now, but they are identical drives, and they have non-critical data that is either scratch or backed up on other drives.
Good advice. Actually I've been playing around with different disk configurations today to see what will give me the best speed. I have three 3TB drives intended for file-storage as I'm running out of space. Two of them are Western Digital "green" drives which are slow but sufficient for internal backup drives. The third 3TB drive is a Seagate 7200 RPM drive, and comparing (timing startup times) with the 1TB Western digital "black", the Seagate wins by 3-4 seconds each time!
I also tried creating a RAID-0 setup of the 1TB Western Digital black + 3TB Seagate (total 2TB) and wasn't impressed. It was more or less the speed of the WD drive, perhaps ever so slightly faster, so that's a no go considering the risks.
I think I'll just be replacing the 1TB WD with the 3TB Seagate for now, then look into RAID-0 later.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 12:15 AM   #19
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Good advice. Actually I've been playing around with different disk configurations today to see what will give me the best speed. I have three 3TB drives intended for file-storage as I'm running out of space. Two of them are Western Digital "green" drives which are slow but sufficient for internal backup drives. The third 3TB drive is a Seagate 7200 RPM drive, and comparing (timing startup times) with the 1TB Western digital "black", the Seagate wins by 3-4 seconds each time!
I also tried creating a RAID-0 setup of the 1TB Western Digital black + 3TB Seagate (total 2TB) and wasn't impressed. It was more or less the speed of the WD drive, perhaps ever so slightly faster, so that's a no go considering the risks.
I think I'll just be replacing the 1TB WD with the 3TB Seagate for now, then look into RAID-0 later.
Exactly. I'm not surprised at the results, and I applaud you for testing it anyway so you could draw your own conclusions.

What do you intend to do with your system? I can make some specific suggestions if it's video production.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:25 AM   #20
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Yeah, it makes for a more memorable learning experience
I figure that 1TB WD black drive can be put to use as a file-storage drive, then I only need to buy two additional drives (2TB so they'll work with my enclosure).

Its main use will be photography with Photoshop, Adobe Bridge and Lightroom as my main software. But as I also have loads of home videos (Hi-8 and Mini-DV tapes in standard definition) I do intend at some stage to edit a lot of that stuff so please do share any information on the subject.

BTW: I see you've upgraded your (4-core?) to a 6-core. That option is one of the reasons I got this 4-core instead of an 8-core. Have you found a noticeable increase in speed/efficiency?
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:16 AM   #21
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Yes, having two more cores (12 threads instead of only 8) makes a nice difference with my editing. I set After Effects to run only 8 threads at a time, saving the last 4 for other tasks, and now I never crash during intense renders. Premiere briefly showed it was using 1205% of the CPU today, which surprised me, since it only has 12 threads, of course. Perhaps they were in turbo boost or something. The biggest improvement I made was installing 4x8GB RAM and the external 8-bay RAID, but I believe the 6-core has been the final piece of that made the system more stable overall. My original CPU was the quad 3.33GHz W3580, so bumping up to the W3680 didn't make single-threaded jobs any faster.

Standard Definition footage is super easy to work with, so you shouldn't have any problems with a quad core.

RAM is cheap, so get 32GB or more and you should have no problems with Photoshop or Lightroom. I try to avoid Bridge. When I use it, I only have it open for a few seconds tops, and quit it the moment I'm done with it.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 01:37 PM   #22
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Will 4TB drives will work on 1,1 Mac Pro too?

(I'm actually fine with a few 2TB drives... but who knows abut the future?)
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Last edited by Caesar_091; Jan 8, 2013 at 01:43 PM.
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