Black or Green Caviar HD. What is the difference? What HD for MP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by andyUKr, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. andyUKr macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Hi All

    I have bit the bullet and bought MP 2010 2.8.
    I am now looking to get some hard drives for it.

    It seems most ppl like Caviar Black hard drives. Amazon has them but also has Green Caviar ones. what is the difference between the two?

    What about Seagates? Is there any big difference btw seagates and the above blacks/greens? If yes what should i watch out for.

    Could someone paste a link of the hard drive they got for their 2010 MP. I just want to make sure that I do not buy something totally wrong.

    Any help will be very much appreciated.
  2. Neolithium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    Long story short, Caviar Greens are slow drives that are ideal for low power consumption and storage purposes, they are not fast compared to normal desktop drives. Caviar Blacks are higher performance, and do an outstanding job of being a primary drive for your OS.

    I used Seagate 7200.12's for the longest time and always liked their performance, some previous series (I believe it was the .11's) had some severe firmware issues, however they quickly fixed and regained their reputation for reliability. Seagate also has a low speed/low power drive I believe called the Barracuda GP series.

    If you're getting a few, I'd stick with a higher performance drive for your OS and throw a couple of the low power ones in for your storage drives, depending on price though they can be pretty equal and you can just stick with the higher end ones right across the board.
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I'd use Black for boot, Green for backup, and Blue (if you must use WD) or Samsung F3 for data. I don't see the point of getting an expensive, noisy, power-hungry Black over a nearly-as-fast Blue for data.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Green power drives are suppose to save power and produce less heat. They save power by parking the read heads more, slowing the spindle further (or stopping the drive entirely). This is good for external drives (since many external enclosures lack fans or have poor ventillation). However the downside to this is, more wear. Therefore for internal disks you want the maximize performance, you would need the Black drives. They have faster spindles, more cache, and produce more heat while using the most power. Blue drives are essentially Black drives that are slower, but use the same amount of power.

    The power consumption difference between Green and Black drives are minimal; so for a consumer computing environment, it's pointless trying to save a 10W of power and losing a lot of throughput.

    As with my hard drives drives, I have Western Digital VelociRaptors. Back in the day they were excellent (they still are), but they are loud, power hungry, and expensive. You are better off buying 2TB Caviar Black for about 2/3 the price of the VelociRaptor; if you wish to have speed, consider a SSD for your boot volume.

    Anyways, my setup consists of 3x 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSDs in RAID 0 for boot; this is a fast setup for boot, but it is pricy; this setup gives me 360GB of usable space. If you're budget allows for it, it definitely worth it. Mind you, don't bother with more than 3 SSDs in RAID 0 since that already saturates the limit of the Intel ICH10 chipset. If you want more than 3 SSDs, you much get a hardware RAID card.

    For my media, I have that stored on my 4x 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor in RAID 5. This is a fast setup as well and was my original boot volume setup; it has terrific sequential read and write performance, and respectable random access performance among HDDs; RAID 5 on the Mac requires a hardware controller, so this is expensive as well (a good one is $500+). Again I would pass on this setup nowadays since for the price of the current VR drives (which are 600GB for about $250) is more than the price of 2TB drives by quite a margin. SSDs do not match the capacity, but the performance far outmatches these drives.

    For Windows and daily backups (not Time Machine), I have a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black for this. It's fast, not very loud, and runs pretty cool. Again this is drive I would recommend if you are looking to purchase drives.

    Finally for Time Machine, I have an external RAID 1 solution with 2x 1.5TB Western Digital Green drives. Slower drives, but it's in an external and it's quiet.

    If you didn't feel like reading that:
    1) Skip the Green power drives; get the Black drives for best performance.
    2) Don't bother with VelociRaptors and other 10,000 RPM drives; consider an SSD instead if you have the budget.
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Black 1TB drives use 8.1-8.3W under load, Blue 7.7W. that's a ~6% difference in power, plus Blue drives are 3-4dB quieter under load. at worst there is a ~5% loss in performance in everything except access time (~10% loss there). obviously not everyone cares about noise or power, but it's something to consider.

    what you're really paying for in a Black drive is the 5-year warranty, and I think a longer MTBF.


    I agree with the rest of your post.
  6. andyUKr thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
  7. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I just replaced one of my WD 1TB Caviar Blacks with a WD2001FASS. You can find the speed differences between them on the Net. I can feel the difference in daily operation. Time to get some more!
  8. rtrt, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  9. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
  10. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    if you really want to think ahead buy samsung f3 1tb size they are 60 to 70 bucks very fast. f3 1tb

    right above 58.99 with a 15% discount code = Foodcoma15 so 2 are 118 - 15 = 103 for a pair. free shipping!

    they have a shorter warranty. now use them as a stop gap until the summer of 2011 and the 3tb hdds will drop in price . just a different way to handle expenses.
  12. Cynicalone macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2008
    Okie land
  13. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    The biggest difference besides speed, noise!

    Black drives are loud, very loud! After using my Pro with 4 internal Black drives, I dumped all of them and replaced them with Green drives and boy that was worth it. :D

    The machine now is very silent. I use an SSD for boot and apps so speed isn't really a concern for me. Two internal green drives (2TB) are striped, which still gives be about 200MB/s transfer rates. Plenty fast for data and most important (too me) silent.

    I wouldn't use Green drives for boot, though. But then again, I wouldn't use ANY mechanical drive for boot any more. :p

    Generally, similar sized Black drives give you a performance plus of about 20% in sequential speeds, if you really need this, go Black, if you don't need it but require your system to be quit, Green is the way to go.

    My $0.02.

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