Swap my iMac's WD Caviar Black hdd for Green?!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by discofuel, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. discofuel macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    A few months ago I replaced the 1tb internal stock hd in my late 2009 27" iMac for a 2tb Western Digital Caviar black (and replace the optical drive for an SSD).

    However, my hd runs way too hot and was getting up to 63 degrees Celcius until I installed HDD fan control. Now my fans run at 4500 rpm all the time and it's way to loud for me.

    Wondering if anyone has had similar issues with HD temperature?

    Thinking about swapping it for WD Caviar Green which is meant to be 40% less power consumption - would that help? Don't want to spend all that money to switch if it doesn't make any difference.



    Just seen this review that says the Green runs about 6 - 9 degrees cooler than the Black but is 40% slower.

    The WD Caviar Green 2 TB drive might not shine in the performance benchmarks, but it does shine in other areas like power consumption, heat and noise levels. It uses 4-5 Watts less power while completing seek operations and our testing showed that it was also 6C to 9C cooler depending on the state of the drive.

  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I just went through a lot of this with my 2009 iMac and I decided not to go with the Caviar Green based on expert advice. I bought a 3TB Seagate barracuda from Best Buy for $179, had the geek squad install it for $50, and used a Thermaltake Black Widow HDD docking station to clone my hard drive to the new one. All in all, it cost less than $300 and I am very happy with it. It runs very quite and now I have room for all my media. It's the Seagate Barracuda 3TB model #STBD3000100.
  3. discofuel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    Thanks RedCroissant. Why were you advised against the WD Caviar Green?

    Any idea what temperature your Seagate Barracuda runs at?

    My system is on my SSD so a low power consumption/operating temperature for my hdd and therefore quiet fans is more important to me than speed.
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I was advised against the Green because I was going to use it as my primary/boot drive and I was told that the performance of ti as a main drive would be frustrating. So since it will be used as mostly storage, then please disregard my post and get one. Best Buy is also having a great sale on a 3TB version of that one as well. You can get the 3TB for $149.99.

    And no, I have no idea, but it's quieter(from what I remember) than my original WD 320GB HDD that was in there before.
  5. jeffpitman macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    The Green has a throttling system that spins the drive down when it gets hot. What this means is the more you use it, the slower it gets...and it gets PAINFULLY slow. If you did get one, after a week you would take it out, smash it, and then light it on fire...or maybe that was just me. I ended up getting a Seagate, very happy with that.
  6. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2010
    New Jersey
    I am assuming space is a concern, but going SSD will make a huge difference in heat and noise, not to mention overall speed.

    You can utilize some form of an external storage with your caviar black like a USB 2 or Firewire 800 enclosure.

    EDIT - saw that you have an SSD already. Nevermind.
  7. whbunn macrumors member


    May 29, 2009
    I had caviar 1TB put in 2007 iMac in March this year. I have noticed no slow downs. Home use but I'm on it many hours a day.
  8. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    Actually I think this has to do with your model of iMac more than the drive itself. Late 2009 and Mid 2010 27" iMacs used the new thermal pinout on HDDs but it wasn't until the Mid 2011 27" iMac that they had a pinout adapter so that any HDD could go in there with proper heat handling. I apologize if I'm getting the terminology wrong -- I'm no technician, but I had to deal with this issue in one of the iMacs I have deployed in my business. I took it to an AAR, told them about the problem, they installed something, and now it's fine. I think labor and parts together set me back $40 or so. System still reports it's the Caviar Black drive, which was important for me because I require a high MTBF.

    Anyway I hope this helps, and if not, then at least you can eliminate a possible culprit.
  9. discofuel, Jul 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012

    discofuel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    Ok seems like the Caviar Green is not the best option. I do audio recording so the last thing I'd want is the drive spinning down just before recording etc.

    Found this comparison online and it seems the Seagate runs about 5C cooler than the Caviar Black - http://www.behardware.com/art/imprimer/835/ so sounds like a good choice.

    But I originally had a Seagate in my iMac and it had a horrible clicking/chirping sound. Had a quick look online and seems a firmware update fixed it.

    Anyone noticed this noise?
  10. Peepo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    I had exact same problem.
    I bought a 27" iMac back in 2011 with a 2TB internal drive. There was something wrong from day one in the fact that everything was sluggish. I would get bouncing dock icons when launching apps and lots of spinning beach balls. It also made this annoying low-pitch rumble when accessing data.

    It wasn't until last week that I decided to finally upgrade with an OWC 480GB SSD, and also change that bad internal HDD at same time drive.

    I had previously bought all the cables etc. for SSD but I've been procrastinating over the past year.

    Since OWC sells proper fan control cable, I ordered that also.
    Yesterday I installed it all with the 480GB SSD as main drive and 2TB for data etc. I also installed an internal UJ235 Bluray writer, which I bought off Ebay last year, which replace stock superdrive.

    I bought a WD 2TB Black. I installed and after reinstalling OSX on my SSD I noticed that after a while the fan was going around 4500 RPM and was considerably loud (I used istat menu to see this). I also tried the HDD Fan Control software which sorta solves but I didn't think this was a good option since there is a reason the fans are on - because the drive is getting too hot!

    Today I bought a 3TB WD Green, took apart iMac again and installed. What a difference... perfectly quiet!!! I don't care if the green throttles down etc. since this is just a data drive (video editing etc. I use external thunderbolt array). The design of iMac isn't really good for running a super-fast 7200 RPM drive which never shuts off like the WD Black. I also look at the fact it's better than the junk 2TB noisy, sluggish Hitachi I had in previously.

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