iMac HDD fail rate?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AR86, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. AR86 macrumors member

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    #1
    On the whole Fusion vs SSD debate people constantly mention HDD's having a higher tendency to fail but honestly speaking i've never had or known any friends or family to have experienced a HDD failiure granted none have been on macs, some of them have used their PC's/Laptops for 5+ years easily and never had such problems.

    Are the HDD's in iMacs different? ie prone to failiure or is it just a general point that people make as to point out the benefits of SSD without necessarily implying HDD on iMacs have some crazy fail rate? Just wanted a bit of clarification as i've been totally cool with the idea of getting a Fusion Drive but I constantly see people mention 'no moving parts so it won't fail like the HDD' so it's got worried iMacs are packed with dud HDD's
     
  2. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #2
    I cannot speak for fusion drives but I had a 2009 refurb 21.5" iMac hard drive die within two months of purchase. My 2010 21.5" HDD is still chugging away 4.5 years on.

    Outside of that, I can't remember a hard drive failure in all the other iMacs I've owned. I've never owned a fusion or SSD Mac.

    I know you're asking about newer models, but thought I would post anyway.
     
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #3
    The HDD's in iMac's, all Mac's, are the same type you'll find in anything else; Western Digital, Toshiba, Hitachi, Seagate etc... They're no different.

    HDD's fail because of the heat, friction and vibration of the spinning platters. They break down due to physics like any other mechanical device will over time.

    That doesn't mean all are duds. If you get many years of service out of them then you're doing well. Sometimes they fail sooner than others. I've had a few hard drives fail in my PC's before and several in high-end enterprise servers too. It happens.

    SSD's have the advantage of no moving parts and reduced heat. But they won't last forever either.

    At the end of the day, there isn't anything to worry about when using either, especially if you have a good backup plan that is executed regularly.
     
  4. cynics macrumors G4

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    #4
    They aren't more prone to failure then any other computer system.
     
  5. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    To answer your question : this is just a "general" thing about HDD and not any Mac in particular.

    And on a tech forum these kind of "potential defects" seem to be way more prevalent than they really are.

    But yes, mecanical problems are always a possibility, like a car, even the most reliable ones.

    It's like old iPods that were little HDD. In theory you should not move a HDD for the same reasons, that they are mecanical and thus can break, however it wasn't an huge problem overall.

    ---

    But to summarize HDD and SSD reliability :

    HDD : They probably will last a long time, but you never know and it is always possible, even if improbable, that it will fail tomorrow.

    SSD : They will fail eventually, because after a certain number of uses the bits become unreliable. It will be in years under normal usage and you know it won't happen tomorrow.

    But in any case, having good backups is always a good thing.
     
  6. AR86 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 7, 2014
    #6
    Cheers for the replies, so am I correct in assuming that extended apple care will have me covered if my HDD went poof within the first 3 years of me having it?
     
  7. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #7
    Yes, if you have Apple Care coverage, they should take care of you properly. :)
     
  8. AR86 thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Definitely going to be buying it, i'm not one to normally pay extra for extended insurance etc. on electronics ie phones/cameras etc. but for a close to £2000 iMac I just think it makes sense especially since it's reasonably priced.
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #9
    Oh, you don't already have it? I think if you don't buy the additional coverage before the original 1 year warranty is up, you can't buy it.

    But, call them and ask, you never know.
     
  10. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #10
    While generally more reliable, SSDs can fail just like HDDs. When SSDs fail you usually have no notice. By contrast many HDD failures start with errors, giving you time to salvage data.

    However with Fusion Drive, if either SSD or HDD portion fails, the drive fails. So it's logically like a two-drive RAID0 set. Mac Performance Guide gave a balanced perspective of this:

    http://macperformanceguide.com/fusion-complexity.html

    "How much less reliable is this approach? With good engineering, perhaps still far beyond the concern of most users. Over time, the relative reliability of a two drive Fusion volume will emerge."

    Various discussions of SSD reliability and risk:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/30/are-ssds-reliable/
    http://www.extremetech.com/computin...might-be-the-only-reliable-drive-manufacturer
    http://www.computerworld.com/articl...o-die--as-linus-torvalds-just-discovered.html
    http://hardware-beta.slashdot.org/s...d-annual-failure-rates-around-15-hdds-about-5
    http://www.enterprisestorageforum.c...sd-vs.-hdd-performance-and-reliability-1.html
     
  11. AR86 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    I havn't bought my iMac yet no so not a worry just yet.

    Going to have a read of this now
     
  12. AR86 thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Very interesting reading those articles, honestly i'm still leaning towards a 1tb fusion drive but i'm still open to the idea of a 256 or even 512gb SSD setup (512 maybe a little out of reach), think it's a tricky decision.
     
  13. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    The thing is, whether you get all SSD or the fusion, you should periodically back it up to an external. So you're covered for 3 years with Applecare regardless whichever drive you get. It's really a matter of whether or not you're going to stay within the 512gb SSD comfortably over the three year period; that's what I really weighed into my decision.

    Personally, I was OK with the fusion at this time, but I would say in a few years time that a 1 TB SSD will be much more affordable if not standard.
     
  14. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #14
    If cost is a concern, then the fusion drive arrangement would be a great compromise and savings over an SSD. It will run very fast and provide you with adequate storage space.
     
  15. William Auld, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    William Auld macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #15
    AFAIK they have different failure rates,

    >>The HDD's in iMac's, all Mac's, are the same type you'll find in anything else; Western Digital, Toshiba, >>Hitachi, Seagate etc... They're no different.

    I often find Hitachi HDDs in apple's, and Hitachi has the best failure rate,
    at least it is often said in reports. The second point is that Hitachi is not the cheapest one, however in case of one HDD difference in a few bucks does not make a weather.
     
  16. William Auld macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #16
    in my experience fusion drive does not give much performance over regular HDD, might be it depends on tasks.
     
  17. Paul-B macrumors newbie

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    #17
    My late 2012 3Tb fusion drive died this week - after approx 14 months' daily use.

    Total failure with some warning in the weeks before with freezing and ball-of-death episodes. Thank goodness I have the lot backuped with Time Machine. Cost approx $500 to replace...
     
  18. Alesc macrumors 6502

    Alesc

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    #18
    If you can't see the difference between HDD and FD at boot and when you're launching your favourite apps, your FD has a problem ;)
     
  19. William Auld macrumors newbie

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #19
    Sorry, was wrong :) I was talking about hybrid drives, not apple's 'Fusion Drive'
     
  20. mzd macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 25, 2005
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    Wisconsin
    #20
    late 2007 iMac here, still on the original 500GB 7200rpm Seagate HDD.
     

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