Mac Pro Internal Hard Disk Speed

ironic23

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 8, 2006
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I was just wondering if anyone knows how to determine if the internal hard disk in the MP is running at 3.0gbps or 1.5gbps.

From the system profiler, in the Serial-ATA tab, my machine shows that the intel controller shows a speed of 3.0gbps. My question is does that show the speed at which the hard disk is running? Or does it show the maximum speed the controller can achieve?

So, is there any way to determine the speed the HD is running at from the profiler?

If not, what's a good 3rd party app. (or whatever app) that lets you check the speed in Mac OS X? Thanks.
 

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statikcat

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Mar 20, 2007
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I may be wrong but I dont think a 7200 rpm drive can spin fast enough to read/write 3GB/s anyway.
 

slughead

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Apr 28, 2004
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I may be wrong but I dont think a 7200 rpm drive can spin fast enough to read/write 3GB/s anyway.
it's not just about spin. You're right though, that's about 190 megaBYTES per second.. most hard drives do about 15-20 tops, even 10,000RPM
 

ironic23

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Original poster
Feb 8, 2006
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it's not just about spin. You're right though, that's about 190 megaBYTES per second.. most hard drives do about 15-20 tops, even 10,000RPM
That makes sense. Thanks.

All the hype about using SATAII with a bus of 3gbps is merely a marketing pitch as the HDDs never reach such a throughput. :)

So, the SATAII connection has a theoretical limitation of 3gbps but no drives at present can reach such speeds - is that a right assumption?
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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That makes sense. Thanks.

All the hype about using SATAII with a bus of 3gbps is merely a marketing pitch as the HDDs never reach such a throughput. :)

So, the SATAII connection has a theoretical limitation of 3gbps but no drives at present can reach such speeds - is that a right assumption?
Yes that is correct however drives are getting closer. Some drives today do reach maximum speeds of around 90MBps with average speeds around 75MBps. Not only 10K hard drives but massive 750GB and 1TB 7200RPM drives too. Though lower RPM they have the data density to overcome RPM differences. Also the SATA interface is about 80% efficient so SATA 1.5Gbps will only achieve 1.2Gbps or around 150MBps and SATA 3.0Gbps will achieve 2.4Gbps or around 300MBps.

Average Read Transfer:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/storage.html?modelx=33&model1=117&model2=676&chart=34

Maximum Read Transfer

http://www23.tomshardware.com/storage.html?modelx=33&model1=117&model2=676&chart=33

Also the SATA interface is about 80% efficient so SATA 1.5Gbps will only achieve 1.2Gbps or around 150MBps and SATA 3.0Gbps will achieve 2.4Gbps or around 300MBps. While still faster than any current Hard Drives they will catch up especially as solid state hard drive progress. The solid state Hard Drives are already competing with traditional drive in transfer rates especially average transfer rates. They are simply creaming even the 10K drives in I/O performance.
 

slughead

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Apr 28, 2004
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Also the SATA interface is about 80% efficient so SATA 1.5Gbps will only achieve 1.2Gbps or around 150MBps and SATA 3.0Gbps will achieve 2.4Gbps or around 300MBps. While still faster than any current Hard Drives they will catch up especially as solid state hard drive progress. The solid state Hard Drives are already competing with traditional drive in transfer rates especially average transfer rates. They are simply creaming even the 10K drives in I/O performance.
I'm not a big believer in solid state drives, I heard they suck at writing (so the solid state is used to cache commonly used files). Recent benchmarks did not note any huge difference between Intel's NAND-boosted laptop drives and standard drives. Maybe we're thinking of different things.

Really interesting points though on the rest.

It still holds true that you don't yet need SATA II.
 

ironic23

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Original poster
Feb 8, 2006
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Thanks for the input slughead & velocityg4.

With that kind of information, i guess that having a SATA or SATAII HD doesn't really make much of a difference at this point in time.

I've also read performance reviews about the solid state drives and i have to agree with you, slughead. Although what you have read may probably be related to the Intel Turbo Memory (Robson Technology) whereas what i have read is a review of real solid state HDs that replace regular HDs.

It'd be interesting to see further developments in hybrid HDs that have both flash memory and platters. Something like a HD with 8gb of flash memory and X gb of platters would be nice - enough flash memory for caching and keeping frequently run applications and files but platters so that the write performance isn't degraded.
 

Kosh66

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Jul 15, 2004
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Even the difference between 7200 RPM vs 10000 RPM HDs is getting smaller with the higher volume higher density drives.
 

seclusion

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2007
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I use Seagate SATA drives for digital audio and sampling in Logic Pro in my Mac Pro.
I have an older Seagate Sata 1 320 8mg HD and a newer Sata 2 320 16mg drive. I was noticing that my piano sample was getting the "disk too slow" warning in my Ivory sample on the Sata 1 drive. So I swapped the samples over to the Sata 2 drive and moved my Audio files over to the Sata 1 drive. No more "disk to slow" errors. I have no idea, but I will be getting another Sata 2 drive #1 because I have room, #2 because they are $100 and #3 possibly the performance improvement is that my 2 year old Sata 1 is getting tired. It has been used fairly hard in my Daw.
Later
Brian
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,683
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I use Seagate SATA drives for digital audio and sampling in Logic Pro in my Mac Pro.
I have an older Seagate Sata 1 320 8mg HD and a newer Sata 2 320 16mg drive. I was noticing that my piano sample was getting the "disk too slow" warning in my Ivory sample on the Sata 1 drive. So I swapped the samples over to the Sata 2 drive and moved my Audio files over to the Sata 1 drive. No more "disk to slow" errors. I have no idea, but I will be getting another Sata 2 drive #1 because I have room, #2 because they are $100 and #3 possibly the performance improvement is that my 2 year old Sata 1 is getting tired. It has been used fairly hard in my Daw.
Later
Brian
Since you said that your SATA I drive is 2 years old it's data density can be lower as well. Your SATA I drive could be using 3-4 platters while your new SATA II drive is using 2. Even though there RPM and capacity are the same the higher data density would mean that more data moves by the read/write head per revolution giving faster read/write speeds.

The newer drive will also support performance features like Native Command Queuing and the larger disk cache can also account for performance differences.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
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Since you said that your SATA I drive is 2 years old it's data density can be lower as well. Your SATA I drive could be using 3-4 platters while your new SATA II drive is using 2. Even though there RPM and capacity are the same the higher data density would mean that more data moves by the read/write head per revolution giving faster read/write speeds.

The newer drive will also support performance features like Native Command Queuing and the larger disk cache can also account for performance differences.
This is precisely what the deal is. Thank you for saying so.

Fewer platters means less production cost as well, so everyone's scrambling to have this higher data density.

The bus doesn't matter yet.
 

ironic23

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Original poster
Feb 8, 2006
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Any predictions as to when the bus speed will start to limit the capabilities of HDs and newer technologies start to roll out?

What was the time frame between Parallel ATA, Serial ATA and Serial ATA II?