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OldMacs4Me

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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
As the title suggests I am looking to replace the main HD on my old MacPro 4,1. Probably will go 2TB Been using WD Caviar Blacks for many years. Wondering if this is still a reliable HD or if there are better choices?
 

phrehdd

macrumors 601
Oct 25, 2008
4,356
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WD Black drives remain with a good reputation as does the WD VelociRaptor and Seagate Firecuda. All have good warranties.
 

OldMacs4Me

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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Thanks that is probably the route I'll take. Any reason to go beyond the 8MB cache if I'm not editing video?
Mainly just editing photo stills is as heavy duty as it gets on this computer
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
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I have always used Seagate Barracuda drives in my 5.1 for anything too big for SSD prices.
But this is only used for iTunes library.

I would recommend an SSD if affordable, this will give your Mac a new lease of life....;)
 

OldMacs4Me

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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
I have always used Seagate Barracuda drives in my 5.1 for anything too big for SSD prices.
But this is only used for iTunes library.

I would recommend an SSD if affordable, this will give your Mac a new lease of life....;)
Partially because this is SATA-II, partially because I have totally disabled Stoplight, partially because I don't use Time Machine, and partially because of the older apps I run, there is simply no performance boost running Snow Leopard on an SSD. Yes I did the hack and enabled TRIM.

ElCap does boot much faster and resides on a secondary SSD, but other than boot time ElCap shows only a very marginal performance boost.

I spent enough time doing comparison tests to feel confident in those conclusions. Comes down to preferring a spinner for my main HD.
 
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Ambrosia7177

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2023
245
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Time to catch up with technology?

Get a SSD 2.5" external drive.

(I assume that it will work with any computer that has a USB type-A port or newer.)
 

bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
5,754
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I would use a Samsung 870 EVO SATA 2.5" SSD 250GB for the operating system(s) and a Seagate BarraCuda 2TB ST2000DM008 256MB Cache for storage.
~ 30$ + 50$ = 80$
 

MarkC426

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May 14, 2008
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I would use a Samsung 870 EVO SATA 2.5" SSD 250GB for the operating system(s) and a Seagate BarraCuda 2TB ST2000DM008 256MB Cache for storage.
~ 30$ + 50$ = 80$
Samsung 870 drives are not reliable in a cMP, as a boot drive.
 

MarkC426

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I use Seagate Barracuda myself....👍
Sata SSD's....any Samsung Evo/Pro 840/850/860.
 

OldMacs4Me

macrumors 68020
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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Time to catch up with technology?

Get a SSD 2.5" external drive.

(I assume that it will work with any computer that has a USB type-A port or newer.)
Zero reason to go external FW800 or USB-2 when there are 4 internal SATA-II bays. At the moment I am using 2 except when I do major back-ups when I employ a third one. When I rework things I will probably set up a small SSD on the third bay to use for daily back-ups. Currently the ElCap SSD doubles as daily back-up drive but on a secondary partition.
 

OldMacs4Me

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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Thanks for everyones input. Ordered a Seagate 2TB drive for my main HD. Has 256MB L2 cache and $30 cheaper than the WD Black with 64MB L2. Doubt that the bigger cache size will make much difference the way I use it but we'll see. Paid the premium for a 4TB WD Black for my new primary back-up as that is the one I need to be able to rely on the most.
 
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OldMacs4Me

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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
WD arrived and seems fine, will be testing a bit more over the weekend.

Went to do the set-up on the Seagate this morning. Working in El Cap, the initial erase and format took longer than I expected and every so often the drive made a sound, sort of like tapping a steel fence post with a rock and a few times that same sound but three or four times in quick succession.

Then did an initial copy test of 8.8GB of MP3 files. Was actually lightning fast taking 55 seconds, but the get info sums did not match ~256Bytes smaller. Switched over to Snow Leopard repeated the test. Exact same copy time but the sums did match exactly, so not a corrupt file. Drive was whisper quiet during all of this.

Went to Partition this time in ElCap. The fence post was back, again took longer than I expected, the middle partition took a generic name disk3v2 or something like that. Center partition also failed to mount and I could not force mount in Disk Utility.

My gut is saying return this. Give seagate another chance? Or should I go WD blue with 256MB L2 cache, or WD black with 64MB L2 cache?
 
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OldMacs4Me

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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Neither, go the SSD route.....silent.
Have not had any HD noise in the past several years. That's why the assorted irregular clicks on the Seagate were distressing. Regardless, it's on its way back to Calgary. Need to make a trip to the city soon so I'll see what I can round up then. Most likely a 2TB WD black. Have previously explained why SSD is no advantage for the main Snow Leopard drive, no one has presented a valid reason to change my mind. Were I on a SATA 3 computer and a system fully utilizing APFS my approach would be completely different.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
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I rather suspect that the hard drive you're returning was fine. I've had literally dozens of hard drives in my possession over the last 40 years, and my conclusion is that HDD noise is very unpredictable. I've replaced quiet drives that failed with the exact same make and model which were noisy, and vice versa. My experience is that drives that I thought were quiet were only relatively quiet, as compared with the shrieky (bearing!) or clicky (seek) noisy drive next to it. If you want silence, you aren't going to get it from a hard drive.

> no one has presented a valid reason to change my mind.

How about noise? Maybe SSD performance will be the same (I don't believe it, but let's suppose); but one thing that is 100% guaranteed is that the SSD will be noiseless. 2 TB SATA drives start at just under US$80 or CAD110, which admittedly is a bit more than 2 TB hard drives. Yet, you've already spent that differential in time wasted fooling around with hard drives. Don't make it worse.
 
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MarkC426

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May 14, 2008
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An SSD is also far more energy efficient, no moving parts.

It's like any technology, if what you have works it seems great, as you don't know any different.
If you tried an SSD, you would notice an instant zippy-ness. Instant access to files etc, especially when using a 12+ year old Mac.
 

OldMacs4Me

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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
I rather suspect that the hard drive you're returning was fine. I've had literally dozens of hard drives in my possession over the last 40 years, and my conclusion is that HDD noise is very unpredictable. I've replaced quiet drives that failed with the exact same make and model which were noisy, and vice versa. My experience is that drives that I thought were quiet were only relatively quiet, as compared with the shrieky (bearing!) or clicky (seek) noisy drive next to it. If you want silence, you aren't going to get it from a hard drive.

> no one has presented a valid reason to change my mind.

How about noise? Maybe SSD performance will be the same (I don't believe it, but let's suppose); but one thing that is 100% guaranteed is that the SSD will be noiseless. 2 TB SATA drives start at just under US$80 or CAD110, which admittedly is a bit more than 2 TB hard drives. Yet, you've already spent that differential in time wasted fooling around with hard drives. Don't make it worse.
The noise was only present when I initially formatted the drive and later attempted to partition the drive. Between the initial format and the partition attempt, I did a fairly extensive write to the drive and it was whisper quiet. The deciding factor was when the attempt to partition partially failed. I have worked with many new drives when I worked for the school board and never had something as simple as an erase and partition fail. Both the initial format and the partition attempt took much longer than expected, and much longer than the larger 4TB WD black I had set-up the previous day.

FWIW while I've never had an SSD fail, I recently had the one I was using as my temporary main back up slow to a crawl, even though it had over 50% free space and was sparingly used on a monthly basis. I erased and re-partitioned, and it now seems fine. There was no data loss, but there is no way it should take nearly 10 minutes to write 8.9GB to an SSD, especially when the same file takes under a minute to copy to an HDD.

As I mentioned earlier I do run El Cap on SSD. Boot time is cut by more than 50%. However for most of the things I do, any speed bottleneck is me not the computer. Where I could actually measure and compare, speed gains on the SSD were marginal at best. There was no beachballing with elCap running on an 7200rpm HDD nor did anything get 'Wow I can't believe the difference' faster when I moved it to an SSD. I suspect having 32 gigs of RAM, having Spotlight disabled, not using Time Machine, plus the fact this old computer is SATA2 has a lot to do with the performance similarities.
 
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MacsolverUK

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2020
13
5
Just for speed comparison, my Mac Pro's 5.1 main data drive is a 3x Samsung 970 Evo NVMe Softraid stripe on s Sonnet 4x4 x16 PCIe card in slot 2 (thanks to ebay) at just under 5,000MB/s, compared to a typical 7200RPM spinner at 120MB/s. The 4th blade is the Catalina boot drive (thanks to DOSDUDE) at around 1,500MBs. The old Mac Pros still have life left in them !
NVMe RAID 2023-02-13 at 09.12.36.png
 

OldMacs4Me

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 4, 2018
2,227
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Just for speed comparison, my Mac Pro's 5.1 main data drive is a 3x Samsung 970 Evo NVMe Softraid stripe on s Sonnet 4x4 x16 PCIe card in slot 2 (thanks to ebay) at just under 5,000MB/s, compared to a typical 7200RPM spinner at 120MB/s. The 4th blade is the Catalina boot drive (thanks to DOSDUDE) at around 1,500MBs. The old Mac Pros still have life left in them ! View attachment 2194421
Absolutely. The only area where my old macs are starting to fail me is internet browsing, but on the very rare occasion that I can't get to a website there is always a short walk to the library, and a chance to refresh my memory as to why I don't like Windoze.

That said, It took me less than 2 hours this morning to transfer my data partition to the new HD. Cross checked the get info boxes and no data lost or corrupted during the transfer. Last time I did that chore was 8 years ago and the Photos and Music folders have bloated considerably since then. That works out to about 15 minutes a year which I can live with. Nothing I do requires the speeds you show, matter of fact the bottleneck is almost always me.

Now that all photo files are in effect triple backed my next project is a major weeding of the 2022 photos as that is when I started using the Lumix and its 20MP images.
 
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