Mac Pro HDD: 8mb cache vs. 16mb cache

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TenFour, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. TenFour macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #1
    I've opted for the 2.8 GB Octo MP with the 320 GB HDD (8mb cache) and
    8800 GT. I have external HD's, so I don't need more than the 320 GB HDD. After placing my order, however, I started to worry that I should have ordered the 500 GB HDD, not for the extra storage space, but because it has a 16mb cache. Does the larger cache size improve the performance of the computer? If so, how? Does cache size affect the speed of the computer for 3D modeling, gaming, DVD viewing etc.?

    Niko wrote: "However, unless the rest of the computer can match up, the extra RAM will be useless as the 'slower' components will cause bottlenecks everywhere. This includes, Processor, cache, bus speed etc."

    Is that "cache" as in "Hard Disk cache" that factors in to computer speed?

    Thanks
     
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #2
    For the cost of upgrading to the 500GB from Apple, you can buy a seperate 500GB from newegg. Then you can have even more storage.
     
  3. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #3
    Get the stock drive, then order 2 Samsung Spinpoint or Seagate Barracuda in your desired size from Newegg. :) 32mb > 16mb > 8mb obviously, will it make a huge difference? Probably not, but it's always better to have more cache.
     
  4. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #4
    I havent really noticed any difference between the two, personally.

    I have a 250GB WD with 8MB cache, and a 250GB WD with 16MB cache.

    If there is a difference, its rather unnoticeable.
     
  5. caeneal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #5
    the cache referred to there is the cache on the processor.

    Hard drive cache does affect performance, and its primary purpose is to reduce the amount of reading and writing going on. Everytime something has to be read from or written to the hard-disc, there's a bit of a slowdown while the information is found, accessed, or written. The cache on the hard-drive will hold either just recently used stuff or frequently used stuff, and thus speed things up a bit. Sounds a lot like RAM doesn't it? In fact, that's sorta what it is...

    So, yes, the 16MB cache would improve performance. How much? That mostly depends on how you use the system and on how much RAM you have.

    BUT, you would NOT want to order your drive from Apple. Order from OWC, newegg, or somewhere else. A small-ish drive with a 16meg cache will run you less than $100. But you might be better off buying as much RAM as you can before you worry about the hard-disc.
     
  6. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #6
    It's very hard to see any significant difference with such small tweaks. Same goes for ram and processor power. When you're buying new it's always human nature to get the best. Go for Raid 0 or 0+1 if you want performance without breaking the bank.
     
  7. kem macrumors newbie

    kem

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    Upgrading to the 500GB from apple doesn't make sense since they want $200. For that $200, you can get 2 500GB drives from owc or newegg that are probably better drives plus you can keep the stock 320 for time machine backups.

     
  8. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #8
    Where in the heck do you get $200 to upgrade from a 320GB to 500GB? It's $100, not $200. The way Apples does it, it's simple market strategy. For $100 extra you can have your Mac Pro come with a 500GB already installed with leopard on it or you can go out and buy the $100 500GB drive and do what ever you would do with the 320GB. Sell it? Most people won't really do that and find it easier (according to Apple marketing strategy) to just pay the $100 and be done with it.

    I'm not supporting Apple on this, but it is good marketing strategy on their part.

     
  9. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #9
    I suppose I should have opted for the 500GB 16mb cache. Having said that, the MP with the 8800GT is taking long enough to ship as it is, so cancelling the order I put in a week ago just to upgrade the drive seems ridiculous to me. I'll run with the stock HDD for now, and by the time I'm ready to upgrade, I'll probably be able to get a 1TB HDD with a 32 or 64 mb cache dirt cheap. Like someone here said, you naturally want to get the best available, but its all obsolete in a week anyway. At some point, you just have to settle. To think the Performa 6300CD cost me an arm and a leg back in the day, I would have been better off buying a pen and a pad of paper.:rolleyes:

    Thanks for all the replies... more opinions are always appreciated!
     
  10. kem macrumors newbie

    kem

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #10
    My mistake, I recently ordered a MBP too, and the 7200rpm drive for the MBP is $200. Just got my numbers mixed up

     

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