Vudo2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 7, 2017
23
0
Ohio
What is the maximum capacity standard rotational SATA 3.0 drives I can install in the Main 4-bays in my Mac Pro 4,1 (early 2009)?

The original Apple Spec sheets for my Mac pro states a total max drive capacity of 8TB (Four 2TB drives max).

I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 (1TB Rotational) as a secondary OS and will be running El Capi 10.11.6 (1TB SSD) as the main OS.

The firmware has not been updated to 5,13.

I was hoping to install two 3TB drives (one for saving and working with graphics and video files) / one for Time Machine backup of one of my OS's and file redundancy from the first 3TB drive).

If this is possible in this machine do you have any recommendations for what brand and models drives might be worthy of this upgrade? I'd prefer to use at least 7200RPM drives and I suppose a 64GB cache is fine if the drives are more economically priced but I am looking for good reliability. I'd prefer a faster drive as well but know there is a trade off to price and not sure if the 128 cache drives will make much of a difference in realized speed increase. Are there any performance advantages from brand to brand in the 7200/64 category and same for the 7200/128 category - Does one drive top the list on speed performance for a rotational offering? It seems like there are so many choices for drives I am not sure what to get to make it the wisest investment for my money. The goal is to find the best Rotational Drives for this upgrade to avoid the higher costs of a hybrid or full SSD drives.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer on this.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,290
6,875
Hong Kong
I am quite sure the 8TB work (or even 10TB will also work), anyway, my 6TB work fine. For large capacity HDD, be careful some of them not with the "standard" mount point. I don't know which one fit the cMP, all I can guarantee is that the WD Red 6TB works flawlessly on 5,1.

IMG_3175.jpg

WD 6TB Red.jpg
 

Vudo2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 7, 2017
23
0
Ohio
According to Mactracker 2TB is the max size but others have successfully installed 3TB. Check out this discussion:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/disk-utility-wont-initialize-3tb-drives.1368582/

Lisa
Thanks Lisa..that article has pretty much made me sway away from the Seagate drives (was originally looking at the Barracudas due to nice price point over the WD) "just to be safe" and I am even considering just sticking to the 2TB WD drives BUT if I do decide to go with the 3TB it sounds like updating my firmware to 5.1 might be a good bet for assuring compatibility. The research goes on...:)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,290
6,875
Hong Kong
Thanks Lisa..that article has pretty much made me sway away from the Seagate drives (was originally looking at the Barracudas due to nice price point over the WD) "just to be safe" and I am even considering just sticking to the 2TB WD drives BUT if I do decide to go with the 3TB it sounds like updating my firmware to 5.1 might be a good bet for assuring compatibility. The research goes on...:)
TBH, I don't think the 4,1 / 5,1 firmware will make any difference on this matter.
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
If you go WD I'd suggest the WD Black line. Oddly enough, many of the WD Black reviews I see complain about noise, but mine are quieter than the original MP drivers were. Good performers too (for spinners).
 

Filin

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2010
135
37
Ukraine
I've used 6TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro (ST6000DM004 model) for some time in my cMP5.1.
But kicked out it later for very annoying noise.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,290
6,875
Hong Kong
So far I am very happy with WD Red. TBH, I am not focus on performance, but more on 24/7 operation. IMO, this series has pretty good balance between noise, performance, size, cost, temperature, etc.

And most important, I know it can work well with the cMP (e.g no mounting issue).

There is only about 1TB empty space in my cMP now. Most likely I will add another 8TB HDD soon. What surprise me is that the external WD My Book is cheaper than just buy a HDD. May be I should buy the 8TB My Book, and then decide if I want to extract the HDD, or use it as external storage.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,635
4,633
The Peninsula
May be I should buy the 8TB My Book, and then decide if I want to extract the HDD, or use it as external storage.
You'll void the warranty if you open the case. The drive has no warranty, only the MyBook has the warranty. Extracting the drive damages the case - so can't put it back together.

Done that....
 
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Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,979
835
Up to OS X 10.5.x only hard disks with max. 2 TB worked. Since OS X 10.6.x there is no (known?) limit anymore.

(I don't know how a big hard disk > 4 TB as boot drive would behave in a Mac Pro)
 

theitsage

Suspended
Aug 28, 2005
795
860
I have 2x HGST 8TB Helium drives in a 2009 Mac Pro. These need a different drive carrier due to the mounting screws. Other than that it was plug and play.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,290
6,875
Hong Kong
Just got a 8TB WD Red yesterday. It works, but also with the new mount point. It's actually OK to only mount the 2 screws that fit the HDD tray, remove the remaining 2 screws, put that HDD in bay 1, and use a little bit soft material (e.g. the anti static bag come with the HDD) to support it. In fact, this extra support is actually not required, the HDD can lie on the PCIe fan without any problem. However, by considering both the PCIe fan and the HDD do vibrate, so I just put some soft material between them to give the HDD some extra support and mainly for vibration absorption.
 
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