1T hard drive in new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jameskohn, May 12, 2008.

  1. jameskohn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #1
    Spending too much time on these forums while I'm waiting for my new iMac. I decided I could safely return to the beautiful all in one form factor of the new iMac after using a Mac Pro for the past two years for a number of reasons. I love aesthetics and the glossy screen, and with the increased FSB, speedier RAM, and the 3.06GHz processor I thought I could make the change without any noticeable performance decrease. The option for huge hard drives also appealed to me.

    I was under the impression that hard drive performance is greatly influenced by how much of the hard drive is full, and that 50% is a good rule of thumb. Since all of the hard drives offered in the iMacs use the same type of connection and are all 7200rpm, I opted for the 1T. My thought was that my current 300GB of data would have plenty of room to grow before I hit the 50% (500GB) mark.

    I've recently read two comments that gave me cause for concern: the first was that the 1T hard drive is slower than the 500GB or 750GB iMac hard drives. The second comment made it clear that it is highly recommended to have separate hard drives when editing video: one scratch drive and a second one for data.

    I don't do a ton of video editing, but I do have an AVCHD camera that I use with iMovie 08 from time to time. Given the CPU and speedy new RAM & FSB in the new iMac I'm confident of great performance in all the everyday tasks that occupy +90% of my computing time and that do not use the multiple processor cores of the Mac Pro anyway. I am wondering if ordering the 1T drive may have been a mistake though, especially when it comes to working with video, and if it really is slower.

    Does anybody have first hand knowledge of the 1T hard drive in the new iMacs? Thanks!
     
  2. GMFlash macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    #2
    I have the new iMac with 1TB hard drive and it's blazing fast. I don't see any reason for it to be slower if it has the same spindle speed and platter density of the smaller drives. You made a good choice. Even if there is a "speed difference" you won't notice it in real world use.
     
  3. jameskohn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #3
    Thanks for that. How many GB of data on your 1T hard drive? Have you done any video (iMovie 08 or Final Cut) work on it yet? Also, how's the screen?

    Thank you!
     
  4. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #4
    I have the TB drive in mine with about 500 gigs filled, I haven't done any speed tests, but I think any speed difference would be only barely notable. Obviously though the more data you have on the drive the slower it may become. As for having a scratch disk, I think if you're only working in iMovie from time to time that it's not something you really need to worry about. The video editors I work with need scratch disks, but they're playing around with 700-800 gigs of video files on FCP. For home projects it's not really necessary. Though they're cheap if you wanted to add one (you can buy 750gb drives for about $115 if you keep your eyes open for deals, a FW800 enclosure will run about another $50).
     
  5. jameskohn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Connecticut
    #5
    Thanks! I'd love to hear from more iMac owners with 1T hard drives. By the way, 500GB, that's quite a bit of data. What method of migration did you use to get it all over to your new iMac? I'm thinking firewire 800...?
     
  6. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #6
    That's true. Most modern hard drives are about 2x faster when nearly
    empty as they are when nearly full. The record/playback heads "see"
    more bits per revolution on the large-circumference outer tracks than
    on the small-circumference inner tracks of the disk platters.

    Bad assumption. 7200 rpm SATA drives differ greatly in performance
    depending on make/model. Older drives (e.g., Seagate 7200.9 family)
    have sustained R/W transfer rates of about 60 MB/s; first-generation
    perpendicular recording drives (e.g., Seagate 7200.10 family) are in
    the 80 MB/s ballpark; second generation P.R. (e.g. Seagate 7200.11)
    are about 105 MB/s (all the above figures for 'nearly empty' drives).
    Samsung's 1TB SpinPoint F1 is spec'd at 185 MB/s.

    Seagate and Samsung make some very fast 1TB drives, but Hitachi
    and WesternDigital's 1TB offerings are considerably slower.

    ..."all else being equal" never happened,

    LK
     
  7. jameskohn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #7
    Thanks Leon, some good information there. My choice for the 1T drive was not between different models & manufacturers, but between the 500GB, 750GB and 1T drives that Apple is using in the iMacs. I'm don't know which makes and models that they're using, but I'm curious how the 3 different hard drive options compare with each other.

    I guess it's getting to be moot however, as my new iMac (with the 1T drive) is scheduled for delivery today. It still might be helpful to others to understand any performance difference between the three different options.

    If anyone has some firsthand experience with this particular drive it would be helpful to hear about it. Also, slightly off topic, what method of migration you used to move to your new computer.

    Thanks!
     
  8. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #8
    Interesting, I've literally never heard of that before this thread (other than keeping a minimum of 10% free for swap). Do you have any reference for that? It may end up affecting my drive replacement sooner than expected.
     
  9. mckandy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    I have the 1TB drive in my new iMac. No complaints here; the thing is blazing fast. When I first booted it up it listed around 915GB of actually available disk space, and after I transferred all my data from my MacBook (using a Time Machine backup), I was down to 830GB.
     
  10. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #10
    More than you ever wanted to know about HDD performance specs.

    Zoned Bit Recording (ZBR)

    For max/avg/min speed benchmarks of some actual hard drives,
    see the following performance charts from tomshardware.com.
    Most of the difference between max and min (for a given HDD
    model) are due to ZBR:

    Maximum Read Transfer Rate

    Average Read Transfer Rate

    Minimum Read Transfer Rate


    ...the web knows ALL,

    LK
     
  11. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #11
    I made the mistake of using Firewire 400 (my old mac didn't have FW800), right before I pressed the continue button I noticed the option off to the side for ethernet. That didn't used to be there, it would have been far, far quicker. Live and learn! It took about 10 hours to transfer all my data (arg, brand new computer and I couldn't touch it until the next morning!)
     
  12. ascender macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #12
    What is the stock 1TB drive that ships in the iMac these days?

    I'm thinking about upgrading mine and would rather upgrade the internal one than go external tbh, so was thinking if I upgrade with the stock option, that'll be the safest option.
     
  13. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #13
    Mine came with a Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 (specifically model #HDS721010KLA330)
     
  14. Alloye macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    #14
    Same here. It's a very nice drive. Fast and quiet.
     
  15. ascender macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2005
    #15
    Thanks very much guys, I'll get one ordered up.
     
  16. ascender macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #16
    Just to let you know that I've fitted the new drive and it all went fine.

    I used the guide found here and it was fairly straightforward to do. Certainly easier than certain things I'd read online made it out to be. Make sure you have a set of small torx screwdrivers and away you go.

    Getting the iMac apart is very simple and the only awkward connector to get back on again is the one which feeds power to the screen and is in the upper right of the unit. The innards of the machine are really easy to work inside and everything is fairly obvious. For making sure your screen is dust free, you can use compressed air or the cloth you get with Macbooks/iPhones/glasses to give it a quick dust before putting the glass back on.

    The new drive is as quiet as the original, so thanks for the heads up as to which one to go for.

    If anyone is thinking about doing this upgrade themselves, I'd recommend it. Just take your time and its a piece of cake.
     

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