Early 2008 Mac Pro-What type of HD? Smart is failing

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by markw10, May 1, 2012.

  1. markw10 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro and have two hard drives in it. The main system drive is a 2TB Western Digital drive I installed about a year ago. The 2nd drive is a 1TB Seagate drive which is the original drive that came with the Mac Pro.
    When looking at Disk Utility a few days ago I realized the drive is showing up in Red and it's saying that SMART is failing. I've never had this happen before and like having a warning.

    First Question:
    When SMART shows up as failing can it be a false alarm or is it likely a definite sign of impending hard drive failure? When this happens, does the drive frequently fail quickly or does it take awhile? The fortunate thing is I back this drive up frequently to Time Machine.

    Second Question:
    What SATA speed does the Mac Pro handle? I see many hard drives that are 3.0GB/s and some that are 6.0GB/s. Does the Mac Pro handle the faster 6.0GB/s? If not, would they still work but just not at the additional speed?
    I may consider upgrading to a 1.5TB or 2TB but figured I'll go with a Western Digital or Seagate drive. I see cache ranging from 16MB to 64MB and speeds at 5400RPM and 7200RPM. Between these two which is more important, large cache size or RPM's?

    Thank you for your help.
  2. PodPacker macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2006
    Mp hdd

    Dude, I finally got rid of my MP. I can tell you from experience that you can use the 3.0 & 6.0 SATA drives in there. I had 3 2TB in there. FOR G@D'S SAKE DON'T BUY A SEAGATE DRIVE.
    Look at read/write times over RPM and cache. That's the most important, in my opinion. It is a simple to understand number that tells you how long it takes to read/access a file and write/save a file.
  3. markw10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    Thanks. I'll take your advice. This isn't the first Seagate drive I've lost like this. The Western Digital replaced a Seagate drive and has worked very well.
  4. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    For now, Mac Pro internal disk bus is SATA II 3Gb/s, but a SATA III 6Gb/s drive will work just fine. For HDD, the data transfer speed will depend on the density of platters inside. I have a 4TB Hitachi that 5400rpm, yet gives a sustained data speed of 129MB/sec, which is faster than my original 7200rpm drive that gave 96MB/sec.

    As of now, I have a Crucial M4 256GB SSD that gives much faster data rates across the board, especially random 4K read speeds which makes the most difference in how quickly programs will load. Once loaded, I don't think it makes much (if any) difference how they run, given an HDD vs. SSD.

    As far as disks that show early warning signs of failure, take the time to enter the serial number into the manufacturer's website to check for warranty status. Western Digital is really good about this. I had my *first ever* disk failure last week, and even though the failure only occurs during cold start up (works fine once warmed up, no data loss) they sent me a new one in advance and let me return the failing one after replacing it first. Very nice! Don't buy a new disk if you can get it replaced for free.
  5. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    if you are seeing SMART errors replace the drive now. I'ts only a matter of time.

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