Torn Between Three Drives

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Wild-Bill, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Yes, this is another Mac Pro drive configuration topic. I, for one, do not feel that it is an issue to have multiple threads on the topic, as each user is different, and there are hundreds of possible configurations, and we all have different storage issues, ideas, and different existing drive configurations.

    First off, the current players in my early 2008 Mac Pro:

    • Boot: 74 GB WD Raptor (FLA0 - early model) only 6 gigs remaining
    • Bay 2: 750 GB WD SE16 - for music (Logic Pro, Garageband projects)
    • Bay 3: 500 GB Seagate 7200.10 - XP: 3 partitions for various XP stuff
    • Bay 4: 400 GB WD SE16 - some apps, doc & file random storage
    • Bay 5: (Under optical w/ routed SATA cable from mobo):320 GB original drive - SuperDuper periodic backup of boot drive
    All in all, 2.04 TB pre-formatted space. My first issue is that the Raptor is filling up. I don't have a separate user drive, which was probably my first mistake.

    Anyhow, getting to the thread title, I am on the fence between the following three drives as my new possible boot drive to replace the old Raptor:
    1. 300 GB VelociRaptor (HLFS)
    2. 640 GB WD drive (supposedly very speedy 3-platter)
    3. 1 TB WD Caviar Black
    I also intend to purchase a 1 TB hard drive, either Caviar Black or Caviar Green, to replace both the 500 gig and 400 gig drives and move them out of the Mac Pro and into some future NAS in a JBOD configuration, or just sell them. I'm not sure.

    I am open to any/all recommendations. While the SSD options available today are tempting, I believe the price/performance ratio is not a smart buy at this time. And since my boot drive is filling, I need to act soon.

    I am open to all suggestions on non-boot drive options as well. If I replace the 500 gig and 400 gig with a 1TB drive, I will remove the 320 gig backup drive from "bay 5" and put it into one of the regular bays, or use the 500 gig as a backup image drive and use the 320 and 400 gigs as some future NAS or sell.

    Thanks in advance for your replies!

    ** I utilize the Sleep option on my Mac Pro quite often, so I am probably not interested in any internal RAID options as some interfere with the sleep function. I also have the drives spin down when not in use set in system preferences **
  2. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Have you considered the SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1. I have 2 of these and love them. New Egg right now is selling them for $95
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    If you mean the WD6400AAKS, it's 2 platter. It's the density of the 2*320GB platters that make it fast.
  4. Wild-Bill thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Sorry. Yes, that's what I was referring to. I have read it's a pretty speedy drive. But of course the velociraptor is faster in terms of access times.

    surflordca - No, haven't considered the F1's. Both the Velociraptor and the 640 gig WD (if you get the Black Edition) come with a 5-year warranty versus a 3-year warranty.

    I like 5-year warranties on drives. :) Pity that Seagate is phasing out 5-year warranties.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Given the quality drop recently, I'm not surprised. :( Perhaps their acquisition of Maxtor has come back to haunt them? :rolleyes: ;)
  6. Wild-Bill thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Anyone else have any thoughts on my dilemma ?

    I just saw a post stating the 1 TB Caviar Black is noisy???
  7. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    Lots of HDD reviews on Tom's ; also I think the Raptors are bested by many current 7kx drives .
  8. Wild-Bill thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Say it ain't so!!!! lol.

    But I know the access times for the raptor are pretty low, almost 3x lower than regular 7200 rpm drives.

    Decisions decisions decisions...... :confused:
  9. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    I've been using the 640 GB WD drive as the boot drive on my Mac Pro for the past few months. No problems so far. It's quiet. But I don't have much to compare it against--just the 320 that came with the computer. Thinking about getting another one.
  10. anthny680 macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2006
    I purchased the 640gb WD. It's fast and I don't anticipate ever needing more than 300-400 gb space on my boot drive anyway. I was between this drive and the v-raptor, in the end I didn't think the raptor was worth 3X the cost for my usage.
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    1) If you have 90+% of your drive full, then it is already running SLOW! those inner platters are less than 1/2 the speed of the outer. Just by getting a much larger drive you will see marked improvement in performance.


    3) I've never looked at moving user folders off of the system disk - that would seem a GREAT thing to do - does it cause any system problems?
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    There is a con though. As drives get larger, the risk of failure increases.

    Enterprise drives help, as they have better bit error and MTBF rates, but you pay for it.
  13. Wild-Bill thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    With the new WD 2 TB drives coming out, maybe we'll see some price shifting on the other drives. I'm starting to lean away from the velociraptor route and more toward the 640. But in the interim I will look into moving my home folder off the Raptor and put it on another drive.
  14. rpaloalto macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    Palo Alto CA.
    I have the WD 640AAKS. I use that as my main boot drive. I love it. Very fast and quiet. I highly recommend this drive. Prices have come way down to since I bought it back in May. Now 77.99 at owc. I may just get me a new one. Digital/WD6400AAKS/
  15. POLOgt macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    Get WD Enterprise Raid Edition Drives, they are rated very well.

    The RE2, RE2-GP, or RE3 and would recommend no less then 500GB
    You will be very happy with it, and you will have a 5 year warranty on them.

    I always leave my Mac Pro on, so the constant use warranted the Enterprise level of drive, in my opinion.

    My setup:
    ** Don't mind the RAID title, I use the other drive for Time Machine and the RAID 0 is a RAID 1( opps ;) ) is a storage dump.
    - Everything is backed up so if any drive fails, there is a recoverable (of course you can't get your Time Machine history back, but all old important files are on the RAID 1)
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'm also a proponent of enterprise drives, and WD's offerings are decent. :)

    But I have a concern with your setup. Are you actually storing important (critical) files on RAID 0? :eek:

    If so, I'd do something about this pronto. The failure risk is too high (Failure Rate RAID 0 = single drive failure*number of drives). No redundancy either, which makes it worse, even using enterprise drives. I truly hope you'd reconsider this implementation, as it's a "powder keg waiting to blow your data to smithereens". :p
  17. POLOgt macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    Sorry I messed up the numbers,
    it is in fact a RAID 1 and not 0.

    You can see it in the size of the RAID array, it is only 698.3GB instead of 1396GB.
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008

    I didn't even look at the capacity after seeing RAID 0. :eek: ;) Oops. :eek: :p

    At least your data isn't in severe danger. :D
  19. bzollinger macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    You should ask yourself how much of a difference the current raptor made over the stock hard drive. If the difference was "awesome" or "kick butt!" then I'd say go w/ the Velociraptor. Sometimes snappiness or responsiveness of a system is subjective and people use their computers differently. If the way you work w/ your MP takes advantage of having a raptor boot drive go that route.

    While the Caviar Black 1TB drive surprisingly rivals the raptors in a lot of ways you can't argue w/ 10K RPM, also the raptors wipe the floor when you have high I/O operations, and they are also more positioned as an enterprise drive.

    It is a tough choice. I fully agree w/ the RE version of the WD drives if you go that route. I run a 500GB myself and it's worked flawlessly.

    Good luck! Let us know what you do.
  20. madboom macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2008
    I was running dual Raptors, but I started running out of space so I switched to a 1TB WD Black, I noticed immediately that there is some lag (however minuscule) now when I open things up, before it was nearly instant.

    I bet you will not notice any difference at all from a single drive Raptor so there is no reason not to go for the 1TB if you want space. I also have a 640 Black in my EFIX machine and it is without a doubt faster than the 1 TB IMO. So if you are looking for performance without breaking the bank the 640 is an excellent choice as well.

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