Hard Drive Specs for the Mac Pro 4,1 (2009)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mac Pro 2009, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Mac Pro 2009 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    #1
    Hey everyone,
    I've been googling all over but could not find an answer, what are the specs required for a hard drive to work in the 2009 Mac Pro quad core? Other than being 3.5 in format?

    What speed? How much cache? Etc...?

    Also if anyone can recommend a good brand for hard drives it would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #2
    You can use any 3.5" SATA HD in your 2009. But why not go SSD and live large? Put the SSD in your extra optical bay, where connectors reside ready to go, and make it your boot drive. Simple. Bliss.

    My 2009 holds 4 SSDs and 3 Spinners. Three SSDs in optical bay (I removed my optical drive, so have two SATA ports there, third SSD connects to a PCIe SATA card) and one SSD in an OWC sled.

    I'll let others get religious with SSD and HD choices.
     
  3. Mac Pro 2009 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2014
  4. Mac Pro 2009 thread starter macrumors member

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  5. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2012
    #5
    The SATA 2 limit is 3 Gbit/s and close to 300 MB/s as indicated here.
     
  6. Mac Pro 2009 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2014
    #6
    Thank you! So I need a SATA 2 drive then! What about Cache, any amount? Why is cache important for a hard drive?
     
  7. jimj740 macrumors regular

    jimj740

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    #7
    SATA generations are backwards compatible, so you can use a SATA 3 drive; it will just negotiate SATA 2 data rates...

    Hard disks are mechanical and mind numbingly slow compared to chips, caches are used to hide some of this slowness...

    More cache is better, but there are diminishing returns so twice as much cache is not necessarily twice as good - and caching is all about probability of access, so sometimes a cache cannot help at all.

    As previously mentioned, if performance is a concern get an SSD. If capacity is your concern don't worry about cache size; practically all modern disks have reasonable caches. A bigger concern than cache size for a hard disk is rotational speed; personally I would never go with anything less than a 7200 RPM.

    Good luck,

    JimJ
     
  8. Mac Pro 2009 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2014
    #8
    Thank you! So basically a SATA III will behave like a II in the Mac Pro, kinda like USB 3 in a USB 2 port; awesome!

    Are there brands known for their reliability?
     
  9. jimj740 macrumors regular

    jimj740

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    #9
    I've worked in the storage industry for 25 years, at one point for the largest manufacturer of disk drives...

    There are only about 4 disk drive makers left in the world. Some of them source parts from each other. They have all had bad drive models at one time or another. You will find people that swear by and swear at each of them. They are largely indistinguishable from each other at this time in terms of average reliability. I tend to make buying choices based on price and warranty - these still have significant variances...

    Good luck,
    -JimJ
     
  10. Mac Pro 2009 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2014
    #10
    Thanks so much! Also if I buy on amazon, do all hard drives have the right holes for screws for the Mac Pro drive tray?
     
  11. jimj740 macrumors regular

    jimj740

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #11
    All 3.5 inch SATA drives will fit. Mounting hole location is standardized, as are power and data connectors. These truly are commodity items.

    -JimJ
     

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