WD Raptor in an iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Protoman, May 7, 2007.

  1. Protoman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking at purchasing a new 20" iMac this Summer, but I'd like to be able to coax some extra speed out of it (part of it is a "just because" thing).

    Has anyone ever replaced their stock drive with one of the WD Raptors? I've got enough money left to easily afford the 74 GB model, if not the 150 GB model. This would replace the stock 250 GB drive, and I would use the stock drive as external storage.

    I typically don't do any pro applications with my current Mac (a QuickSilver G4), but I do like quick load and seek times ever since I started tweaking my G4 for more speed. :cool:

    Thoughts?
     
  2. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #2
    First thought is that it's going to be notably more difficult to switch the drive in an iMac than in a tower...and it'll void the bejeebus out of your warranty.
     
  3. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #3
    The new 32mb cache 1TB Hitachi is just as fast, if not faster than the 150GB Raptor, and definitely faster than the 74GB. If I were you I'd stick with the stock drive and wait until there are more 32MB cache hard drive options for you to speed up your computer. I think Hitachi is already about to release a 750MB version of their 1TB drive and that would do very nicely in an iMac. It would be quieter. faster, have much more capacity, and its cost would be in the same ballpark of the $200 Raptor.

    Basically save your Raptor money for something better. They are no longer the best performing drives out there and thus you shouldn't have to pay the premium for a loud drive with low capacity.
     
  4. djellison macrumors 68020

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #4
    Fundamentally untrue

    http://tomshardware.co.uk/2007/04/17/hitachi_7k1000_terabyte_hard_drive_uk/page7.html
    http://tomshardware.co.uk/2007/04/17/hitachi_7k1000_terabyte_hard_drive_uk/page8.html

    You may be confusing this with recent Raid-0 comparisons, but on a drive-to-drive comparison, the Raptors (all models) outperform the Hitachi - indeed, the review finished

    "Performance users should still go for a WD Raptor drive at 10,000 RPM to host the operating system, and add a second 7,200 RPM for storage."

    They are a little louder when seeking, and are a LOT more expensive than anything else, I'll grant you that. But as a system disk, they remain unbeatable - that dramatically shorter seek time giving dramatic, noticable performance improvements under XP and Vista, and one would presume OSX as well. We're about to build three new WinTel workstations at work - they will all have Raptors as system disks.

    An interesting point IS raised however - I've never seen HDD benchmarking under OSX. Perhaps seek time doesn't improve the 'snappy' feel of OSX as it does the dll laden XP. But the fact remains the Raptors are a faster drive by any measure and by no measure are the new 1TB drives faster.

    Doug
     
  5. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #5
    http://anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2974&p=6

    This is what I was going by.

    During this comparison it shows that both of these drives have about the same speed in real world performance. Sometimes the Raptor is on top, sometimes the Hitachi, however there's never a noticeable or significant difference between the two.

    I was all set to get the next version of the Raptor drive with a 32mb cache, but after seeing this I think I'm just going to go for a quieter 32mb cache drive a larger capacity.
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #6
  7. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I think it depends on the generation of iMac. The first ones which were just a fat screen were designed to be easy to open and put a new drive in. In that case I think the warranty would be fine. The newer ones are much more difficult to open and Apple do not consider the harddrive to be user replaceable. So no more warranty.
     
  8. djellison macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #8
    I've seen that and consider it highly dubious - a lot of it reads like CPU limited media encoding to me. The database and workstation tests seem to better reflect the real world experience of using an XP box in my experience. The day to day workstation environment useage of a PC is shuffling page files, dll's etc etc and is more like DB-searching than unzipping a single file or copying one file. It's not the outright speed of the drive in terms of mb/sec that the Raptor has - it's the seek time - the rapidity at which it can flick from one thing to another.

    Believe me - I've tried very modern SATA drives compared to my now aging Raptor. Using XP, it is faster. Considerable, noticeably, experience enhancingly. Of every hardware upgrade I've ever bought, it's the one that remains the most impressive (until I get my MB tomorrow obviously :) ) I'm not making this up - I'm not saying it just to be awkward. I'm saying it because that's how I find it to be in real-world useage.

    Doug
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    I never said it was easy in the Intel models. There just aren't many more steps after you have it open.
     
  10. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #10
    I've been running my Mac Pro on two RAIDed 34GB Raptors ever since I got it and I am dying to replace them because they're so loud. They are the loudest part of my Mac Pro and in all honesty, they don't seem that much faster than booting off of a normal hard drive. Maybe it's because I'm using OSXs software RAID instead of a hardware RAID, or maybe it's because these are the first Raptors ever made, but in all honesty, due to my experiences, I'm betting that the testing on that website is accurate. In their previous measurements they showed how benchmarks ranked the drives, but through that link you see how little of an effect it really has on day to day tasks.

    May I ask you, when you compare your Raptor to other machines, are you comparing to laptops? Or to much older 7200 RPM drives with 8mb caches? In all honesty, I've never used the 150GB Raptor so you may be right, but these tests, which they performed on two separate testing machines with RAID and without RAID show that there is no performance benefit. They do say that the benchmark numbers can be different, but go on to say that during real world usage they perform similarly. I believe there was only one test where they said the Raptor "felt" faster, but that was all.

    PS- If anyone is in the market for a couple 34GB Raptor drives, let me know.
     
  11. djellison macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Pasadena CA
    #11
    Identical desktop rig with 74G Raptor and replacing just the drive with a 400G 7200.10 Seagate. Bought the Seagate as an 'upgrade' - and demoted it to a media drive, putting the Raptor back as the system disk within 24 hours.

    Doug
     
  12. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    #12
    Hmm, well I guess it really does take a 32mb cache to keep up with the 10k RPM drives in real world performance. Once WD releases a 32mb Raptor, it seems I may end up reconsidering my current plan of getting a quite, 7200k 32mb drive afterall.
     

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