5400 rpm HDD compared to 7200 rpm in my 2006 iMac

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MajorPain, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. MajorPain macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2011
    Would some people post the model # of the HDD in their 2012 mac mini so I can compare it what is in my 2006 iMac?

    I have a 2006 iMac (2.16 Ghz Core 2 Duo), and it is definitely time to upgrade.

    Even the mini with the 2.5 Ghz i5 will crush my current machine, and the 16 gigs of RAM are what I really need. Truth be told, I could keep my current machine were it not for the extremely limited RAM budget.

    I am probably going with a regular HDD now, and then in 1 year after the warranty expires, will add a 512 gig SSD, at which time I expect prices will have dropped significantly.

    What I would like to figure out is, will going to the 5400 rpm hard drive result in a loss of speed? About this Mac ... More Info ... Serial-ATA ... Model, tells me that the drive I have in my current iMac is: ST3250824AS.

    Googling that leads to a NewEgg page which tells me it is a Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm, and it gives me the stats:

    8 MB cache
    Average Seek Time: 8ms
    Average Write Time: 9 ms
    Average Latency: 4.16 ms

    So could some people please post the Model # of the drive in their 2012 Mac Mini so I can google the specs and make a good buying decision? Thanks in advance.
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Apple hdd hts541010a9e662
    that is a 1tb hitachi travelstar 5400 rpm hdd
    if you put in 16gb ram in a new mini it will smoke your machine the hdd speeds will not be much factor
  3. MajorPain thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. Tomshardware did a review of that Hitachi. It looks like the 6+ year old Seagate far outperforms the Hitachi. The Hitachi is optimized for performance per watt and low heat, which is understandable. I guess I can live with that for a year. I want that Samsung 840 pro 512 gig SSD. The prospect of having it in 1 year will give me something to look forward to.
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Where does it talk about the hitachi being far outperformed by a 6 year old seagate?
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Do you need to pop in a 512Gb SSD?
    The 256Gb ones are fine, and you can combine them with the already built in 1Tb drive, or if you want speedier storage, grab a 750Gb scorpio black.
    That way you have 1Tb in total, awesome speed, and save a lot of cash to do something fun.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    There's almost no way your 6 year old seagate beats the hitachi drive.

    Here are some benchmarks for a 7200.8 which came out in 2005 (so is probably what is in your iMac)...

    And here are the benchmarks laid out all pretty from the article you linked to:

    In Average sustained reads, the Hitachi drive beats the 7200.8 by more than 20mb/s (88MB/s to 65Mb/s)!
  7. MajorPain thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2011
    Thanks for these replies! You are probably right that the Hitachi is faster than my 6+ year old Seagate. I found it hard to compare the articles because many of the tests were different. I downloaded xbench. There was another thread where somebody posted the xbench results for the 1 TB Hitachi in the 2012 Mac Mini. I will let you know. Right now I have too many open apps, docs, and tabs on my machine and it will take a few days to get through the work I am doing so I can free up memory to do reasonable xbench testing.

    I see your other points about not really needing a 512 gig SSD. I do not have a big music or video library. By the time I exceed 256 gigs, there might be 256 gig SXDC cards available, and running that through the USB 3 interface will result in a satisfactory external drive that is actually just a little card tucked into the back of my computer. I could put all my photos and music on there, and it should run fine.

    I'm not really into the Fusion drive right now but I could change my mind. I'd rather have a really low power/low machine that is pure SSD and then use SXDC as supplement when they are big enough/fast enough.

    Correction: There are 256 GB SXDC cards available, and the claimed speeds seem to match the Hitachi speed quoted by paulrbeers. By the time I need one, maybe the price will be much lower.
  8. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I think it's bad Apple does not offer 7200RPM, and self-contained hybrid drive options.
  9. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    Why? Current day 5400 RPM drives are fast compared to a couple of years ago. Faster in fact in data transfer than 7200 RPM drives of a couple of years ago. Run cooler too. And a hybrid drive is obsolete with FD available...
  10. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Because a 7200RPM drive is faster than a 5400RPM drive of the same density.

    And standalone hybrid drives are not obsolete. I don't want any of the problems that I might have with a "Fusion" drive, which is a kludgy concept.
  11. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    IMO you are over-thinking this and spending too much time worrying about inconsequential details...

    I upgraded from the same iMac to an i7 2012 Mini with 16GB RAM. The Mini crushes the 2006 iMac. My Mini is easily three times as fast as the iMac and I'm talking about running programs that don't benefit from the quad core CPU so the i5 should be comparable. The 5400rpm drive is plenty fast; you may discover that an SSD isn't really necessary unless you fall for the hype surrounding faster boot and app-opening times. If so, be prepared to pay for the speed boost...

    Instead of keeping music, image and similar files on the internal consider moving them to partition on an external drive. In my case a 256GB internal drive has plenty of space for my apps and everything else. Right now I only use around 128GB of the 1TB internal drive; 256GB will be plenty until I upgrade the Mini and probably beyond that point.
  12. DanCorleone, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013

    DanCorleone macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Hi, this is MajorPain with a better name. Below is my xbench hard drive score for my late 2006 iMac 2.16 Ghz 20" with 250 GB HD.

    I ended up buying a 2011 Mac Mini Apple refurbished core i7 2.7 Ghz.

    Problem is, xbench hangs on this machine. Is my machine messed up?

    It hangs on the "Thread Test"... whatever comes after "Computation."

    Another thing is, this webpage gives the specs of the HD in my refurb mini.

    Average seek time: 12 ms. Compare that to 8 ms for the Seagate in my 2006.
    Average Rotational Latency: 5.56 ms. Compare that to "average latency" 4.16 ms for the 2006 Seagate.

    That's what I was talking about in my first post where I was saying it looked like the 7200 rpm Seagate from 2006 beat the later Mac Mini drives. Any thoughts?

    Attached Files:

  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    no sandy 2011 and ivy 2012 freeze the thread test.. do the test without it.
  14. DanCorleone macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Of course...hyperthreading.
    Overall xbench score... 2006 iMac: 79.58 2011 Mac mini: 181.29
    Disk Test... 2006 iMac w/7200 Seagate 8 MB cache: 19.02
    2011 Mini w/5400 Hitachi 8 MB cahce: 51.86

    The Mac Mini does feel MUCH faster. 16 gigs of RAM. 0 page outs so far. On the iMac it was ridiculous. At one point I had 25 gigs of page outs. The computer had been on for a couple of days. I was using FreeMemory 10 times a day.

    Attached Files:

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