RAM and HD upgrade -- Feels like a totally different machine

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Shelton, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Shelton macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    When I got my Mac Pro, I was a little disappointed at its overall performance. I mean, it was a beast (a total monster) when it came to processor intensive tasks, but the system felt, during casual use, sluggish. App loading times were longer than the dual core iMacs at my school, and my buddies $1,000 Dell with Vista felt a bit more robust with casual use.

    I finally narrowed it down to that POS stock 500GB Seagate HD. It was one of the nosiest drives I had ever used, and it was insanely slow. I was scoring in the low 40s on the xbench drive test, a little lower than my USB 4200RPM HD (years old, too). It sounded like tacks falling on glass whenever I opened iTunes.

    I finally upgraded to the new WD 640GB drive, and re-installed OS X and all my apps on it. It feels like a totally different computer. When I open an app, there is no delay, no noise -- it just opens. I am scoring in the high 90s, low 100s with the new HD. I also added another 2 gigs of ram, and although the difference is not nearly as noticeable, multitasking is much, much nicer.

    I am just shocked Apple put such a slow hard drive in such a nice computer. I am not sure what the deal is with the 7200.10s in the Mac Pros (They do better in other computers), but it was almost unusable. If you have a stock Seagate drive and are unhappy, definitely consider upgrading; it is well worth it.
  2. 617arg macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2008
    Your post got me thinking, and I just tried out xbench......
    I'm new to Macs and thought that this machine would feel faster.

    I have a stock WDC 500gb drive and I'm scoring a 37 on the drive test. Is this normal on Mac Pros?
  3. Shelton thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    With my stock 500GB Seagate, I sometimes scored in the high 30s in xbench for the drive test. Ironically enough, I have an ancient (7+ year old) EIDE 100GB WD hard drive that scores in the mid 50s hooked up via a drive caddy in the bottom superdrive bay.

    No modern 7200 RPM SATA HD should score in the 30s on the drive test. I was under the impression that the stock Mac Pro WDC HDs were faster than the Seagates, though; I've seen stock WD HDs scoring in the 60-70s on the forums.

    xBench aside, the sluggishness is gone. Apps load instantly, and my boot time is halved.
  4. Rychy macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    I just bought a Mac Pro and I think I'll be upgrading my HDD as well... the stock drive seems rather loud, especially since nothing else makes any noise (besides the fans briefly when waking from sleep).

    What drive did you buy? I've usually bought Seagate in the past, but am thinking about going with a WD this time.
  5. Shelton thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    I got the new Western Digital WD6400AAKS. It is supposed to be one of the, if not the, fastest 7200RPM SATA hard drives currently on the market. It is a lot faster and quieter than the stock drive.
  6. mgsarch macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Ok, your Seagate was obviously defective!? You should call Apple, you deserve a replacement.

    As far as I know, Apple uses 7200.10. StorageReview.com has benchmarks of almost every drive you could want to look at.

    Seagate's uses (afaik across all consumer models) fluid dynamic bearings. The drives are designed to be quiet. You got a lemon, it happens with hard drives VERY often. I helped a friend with a 8 drive RAID array for a "little" storage server- 5 out of the 8 WD drives were good. 3 DOA. All the manufacturers do it, as a user you just have to never tolerate imperfect hard drives when you get them.

    I'm glad you got a good setup going now!! You must have been so shocked at the speed increase!!!!! haha.

    I happen to love seagate!

    hard drive brand loyalty ..... : )

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