? reliability of Hard Drive in Imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cohnas, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. cohnas macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2014
    Thanks for previous input on SSD vs Hard drive vs. Fusion in iMac. I am now deciding between SSD and Fusion. I read in one of the Forums that there could be a reliability issue with Fusion due to Hard Drive Failure and that jogged my memory that several yrs ago I had to replace my hard drive. What is the probability of hard drive failure with newer computers--mine now is 8 yrs old. With SSD this not an issue. My one issue with the 256 GB drive, which I may get is running out of memory and needing external storage which I would rather not deal with. I have used only 180-190 out of 500 GB in my 8 year old Mac, so this would probably not be an issue, but who knows what the future holds. Any ideas about this. Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    At some point your hard drive will fail, especially a physical drive.

    You just need to make sure you have a good robust back up strategy and for a bit of piece of mind get AppleCare.
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    There's really no way to predict a hard drive failure. I've had some die within a year and I have others that are a decade old and still work fine. I'd guess 5-6 years is reasonable, and they might last much longer than that.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Macs use just regular hard drives made by the same companies Dell and everyone else uses made by companies like Western Digital and Seagate. They are no better or worse than drives you get in Windows machines and can last years or just up and die in a year sometimes. There is just no way to know.

    What you may have read, and this is my concern about Fusion, is with a Fusion you have essentially doubled the chances of failure since you now have a SSD and a HDD "fused" together running as one drive. If either one of those dies, the Fusion drive stops working.

    None of this really matters if you are keeping good backups though. Just get the drive replaced and restore from your backup and off you go.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    On my 21.5" iMac, I have a 256GB SSD, which I chose just for the sake of pure speed and reliability.

    I keep all my media files externally.
  6. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    To be clear: this isn't true. SSDs do fail over time as well. It's just that their mechanism of failure is different from a hard drive.

    - Hard drives can fall as a result of their moving parts (spinning platters, flying heads that could crash)

    - SSDs wear over time, particularly each time new data is written to it. There are other limitations too: See this section on limitations for possible failure modes.

    - BOTH SSD and HDD storage can fail as a result of issues like firmware bugs, poor soldering of controller electronics, and other design flaws.

    All storage has a potential for failure. SSD is not immune. The way around this is to have backups of your data.
  7. khedden macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2014
    Charleston, SC
    Some good advice in the above posts. Here's a good article concerning this issue. It's from 2011 but still interesting. I will link to the "final words" summary page, but read the whole thing if you're interested: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923-9.html

    Essentially, yes SSDs can and will still fail. The more drives you have, the more likely you are to see a failure in a given amount of time. So a fusion drive will be inherently more failure prone.

    My advice? (I have a fusion drive!) Get AppleCare for three years, and if your fusion drive fails after that time maybe SSD sizes will be large enough and affordable enough for you to replace the fusion with a single SSD.

    Or just upgrade every three years as AppleCare runs out.
  8. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    All I can say is that my track record has been top notch with HDD's (even in RAID) and my iMac is no different (after from I have only had it for a year).
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    At some point your drive will fail, no matter whether hard drive or SSD.
  10. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Got it in one :)
  11. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012

    I do the same thing: music and video on a portable hard drive (that is powered off USB) and OS, apps, and all other files on the internal SSD. Works great for me.
  12. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    While I'm happy with my HDD and have never really found a big difference between SSD and HDD, this is a good setup.

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