Anyone has iMac 27" with both SSD and regular HDD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KKramer, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. KKramer macrumors member


    Feb 9, 2010
    I am ordering iMac 27 with SSD.
    Now there's an option to have both SSD and HDD. I am concerned about the noise coming form 2nd, regular HDD.
    Not only drive itself emits sound. It also contributes to overall temperature and makes iMac fans work harder.

    Anyone used this setup?
    I assume we have OSX on SSD and boot form SSD.
    • Does regular HDD spin down when not used? If yes, is there a pause every time you open File open/save dialog and it waits for the drive to wake up?
    • How noisy is that 2nd drive in general? I suppose noisier than whole iMac?

  2. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    I have that setup and it is not loud. Does your current computer have a hard drive? Is it annoyingly loud? What makes you think the hard drive will be loud? There is the option in System Preferences to spin down disks that aren't in use, and with that on, the drive does spin down and there is a delay, but I have that option turned off because I hate the delay and I use the HDD all the time.
  3. bluap84 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    its not loud at all, i have the 1tb drive. And by all mean it amits a noise, but its really nothing to complain about. It also only makes a sound when its in use so if your using the net or something its silent.

    just put your music on ;)
  4. KKramer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 9, 2010
    I currently have iMac 24" with just SSD and it's perfectly silent. I am worried how it is when 2nd, non-SSD drive is installed.
  5. Detosx, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    Apologies for hijacking this thread a little but I am just about still on topic.

    I want to get an SSD drive, in part because My 2010 27" 1TB iMac's drive makes a dampened tump-tump sound every few seconds or so, even when idle. I am used to having computers with multiple fans running so rarely heard the chirruping click of hard drives. This, though, is a distinctive sound that unless I put on headphones drives me a little crazy. I wondered if mounting the hard drive on sobothane washers might quieten it, otherwise fitting an SSD drive is very appealing.

    The hard drive is a Seagate ST31000528AS. I just found a huge thread on Apple's support pages. A lot of unhappy people who have worked through multiple iMacs. Some people say quiet if replaced by a 2TB drive, others speculate that it's a motherboard problem. I wonder if there is a firmware update? Most describe it as a loud digestive sound! If a regular hard drive and SSD are an option, one of those drives isn't going to be the Seagate.
  6. KKramer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 9, 2010
    I am not sure what your question is, mr. thread hijacker. But upgrading my iMac to SSD was the best thing ever. The difference in performance is so huge it's like getting whole new machine.
    Also it's more reliable since it has no mechanical parts.
    And of course the noise is gone.
  7. Detosx, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    Good to know. It was suggested to me that Intel SSD drives work without hibernation problems, is yours Intel? Apologies for hijacking in my frustration at my noisy drive! I edited. I referred to Samsung but meant the Seagate ST31000528AS, some are drive mad by noisy (and overactive?) samples.

    Re SSD with regular HD, you mentioned heat. Have you run your hand along the top of an 27" iMac in the stores? If you were going to do multimedia work/encoding/rendering, as I intend, the complete absence of a hot running and potentially noisy sample ST31000528AS Seagate HD, or other, seems an excellent choice, one that I regret not contemplating.
  8. Meyvn macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    I have the one with both. The fan noise accounts for the majority; I rarely hear the second drive itself. Though honestly, I have to say the real question here shouldn't be whether you need it. If you don't, why buy it? If you do, why let added noise get in your way?

    And yes, if you spin down the drive, it will require spinning up again to access files. That's how hard drives work, unfortunately.
  9. KKramer, Feb 19, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011

    KKramer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 9, 2010
    Any SSD is hundred times better and more reliable than regular HDD. Intel, OCZ is preferred but very pricey. I got Kingston which is rebranded Intel for almost half price.

    Yes it is bothering me how hot to touch are iMacs in apple store. I guess because they're running regular hard drives?
    my CoreDuo iMac with SSD is warm to touch on top but not as hot as iMacs you see in stores.
    And if it's hot means fans are running overtime and it's noisy.
  10. dwhynman macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    I have the dual SSD+HDD set up. the only thing on my HDD is my itunes library so the only time my HDD needs to spin is usually when music is playing so I have never heard it. I think this is the greatest setup until we can get a 1TB SSD. I would recommend it to anyone it is amazing.
  11. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    I think it depends on the manufacturer of the drive. I have two 27" iMacs, one is equipped with an SSD + 1TB HDD, the other has an SSD + 2TB HDD. The latter is quieter and less "grumbly" when the HDD is in use. It's not a huge problem, though.

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