Which HDD for your Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by supercooled, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    I'm seeing an increase number of people here touting the Spinspoint as the be all, end all consumer level drives for the MP.

    How do they compare to the other offerings like WD SE or Hitatchi? No Seagate contender since people are getting bad firmware or general headaches.

    Looking to order the 750GB Sammy's to Raid them.

    It's sort of beaten to death but the threads are all scattered. May be we can get a sticky or almagamate the threads so we wouldn't have to search/dig through the forums to see which people are using?
  2. WoOdPiPeS macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Bud bad reports on Spinpoint, are not in all capacities, isn't it? I didn't read nevative responses on the 500gb (yet).

  3. Volante macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2008
    I'm wondering too. So which has the lowest noise level, Spinpoint F DT - HD103UJ or WD Caviar GP WD10EACS? If equal, which has a lower fail rating (in terms of hdd crashes).
  4. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    benchmark data points the way

    We at Bare Feats Lab have done some testing with three brands of 1TB and 750GB 3G SATA drives. I found the Western Digital WD7500AAKS 750G to be the fastest doing small random reads and writes. It's also very quiet. I've been recommending (and using it) as my primary Mac Pro boot drive and I'm very satisfied.

    For large block sustained read/write, the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB drive took the honors (101/100MB/s). Storage Review measured max read speed at 104MB/s. Tom's Hardware measured it at 100MB/s read/write. The Western Digital WD7500AAKS came in second at 98/97MB/s in our large read/write sustained tests, 97MB/s in Storage Review's max read test, and 94MB/s read/write in Tom Hardware's test.

    Max large block sustained read/write speed should be considered when choosing a drive a RAID 0 set that you might use for capturing/playback of HD video or HQ audio.

    I haven't tested the Samsung Spinpoint F1 but Tom's Hardware rated it at 119MB/s max read rate and 117MB/s max write rate. Wow! That would make it the obvious choice for use in a RAID 0 set. See:

    For small random transfer performance, I refer you to Tom Hardware's "operations per second graph" where the Samsung F1 came in second to the WD7500AAKS in the I/O Meter Database test. I interpret that to mean it would make a faster boot drive than the Hitachi and Seagate but slower than the WD:

    One more thing. If you are a Photoshop phreak, the ultimate SATA scratch disk is a 10K 150GB Raptor in single or RAID 0 config. If cost is no object, the next step would be a SAS RAID adapter from Apple and two or three 15K SAS drives in a RAID 0 set. But I would go that route only after processing my large photos with a 32GB of RAM config to see if I even have scratch disk hits.
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Samsung Spinpoint F1. Extremely fast and quite. No problems with mine so far (I have the 750GB version).
  6. mogrefy macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2003
    San Diego
    I ordered 2 of the 1TB Samsung F1s, but I'm still waiting for my system to ship. I took the plunge on the Samsungs based on my belief (or hope) that there's no way that there could be such a large 'bad batch' or production issue with both the 750gb and 1tb drives, it has to be incompatibility with their HUTIL software that is causing so many people to RMA their drives.

    This thread claims that Samsung has responded that HUTIL program that checks the drives is incompatible, and not a physical problem with the drives (great news if true!) -

  7. snagitseven macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Exactly my situation. I had received 2 iTB Seagate 7200.11 drives from Newegg last week that I confirmed w/Seagate had the bad firmware and sent them back. I don't have a PC to and the inclination to fool around with updating firmware in any case. Apparently, it's a crap shoot right now with the Seagates - some have received ones w/the latest firmware, some (incl me) did not.
    I ordered 2 of the F1 iTB drives which arrive on Monday with fingers crossed.
    Still waiting (and waiting) for the MP to go with them though.
  8. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Seems like you're the only person with empirical data to go with this which says a lot. I've had a good record with WD drives so they're certainly on my short list, but the Samsung F1s seem to be really good amongst the community; plus they're cheaper than the WD right now.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond; I have a better idea of what I want to do.
  9. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    I'm interested to know about the noise of this drive if I were to dedicate it strictly for scratch disk and when it is idle with no read/write to it when I'm not using photoshop.
  10. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    Interesting post! The last part is what I'm particularly interested in. I'm using a WD 500 gig drive for scratch disk now. Do you think I'd see any performance gains by switching my scratch to the Raptor?

    Oh yeah, for the OP - I'm running 2 WD 500 Gig drives, and 2 750 gig drives in my machine. The 750's are in a RAID 1 set for photo storage.
  11. FastMan macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Bumping this thread up because I'd be interested in hearing more feedback on this topic.

    Anyone have anything to say about the Hitachi Ultrastar !TB?
  12. big dainjerus macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2007
    I would be interested in knowing the difference between the 1tb and 750 gb samsungs...besides the obvious 250 gbs
  13. eyecool macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2008
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have the 1TB Samsung. Waiting on the MP it belongs to, to get here. The research I did lead me to believe it plays well with OS X, decent price and good performance. I'm excited about it having 3 plates and hope less moving parts means better reliability than the wd and seagate.
  14. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I went with 4 Seagate Barracudas, 7200 RPM 1 TB each for my Mac Pro. Love having 4 TB under the hood. ;)
  15. astrostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    I ended up going with 2x500 GB WD Caviar drives (in addition to the 320 GB Seagate Barracuda that shipped with my now 13-hr-old computer). They'll arrive tomorrow (well, later today).

    I go with WD because I've had good experience with them in the past.

    I'm also going with 500 GB instead of larger because the price/GB isn't worth it to me at the moment, especially since I want 2 of them (Time Machine backup), and until today, my desktop wouldn't support larger than 120 GB so 500 GB isn't an issue for me in terms of size.
  16. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    READ speed issue with Samsung Spinpoint F1

    We just acquired a 750GB Samsung Spinpoint F1. When we installed it inside our 2008 Mac Pro and tested it with QuickBench 4.03, we only got 70MB/s average sustained large block READ speed.

    When we moved it outside and connected it to a PCIe 3G SATA host adapter (LaCie 4 external port), the average sustained large block READ speed jumped to 91MB/s.

    On the other hand, the Western Digital 750GB WD7500AAKS and WD7500AYYS ran just as fast inside as outside of the Mac Pro (96MB/s). Plus the small random read/write speed was faster than any 7200RPM 3D SATA drive including the Samsung F1. Therefore, we recommend the WD Caviar SE16 or RE2 for the best boot drive choice rather than the Samsung F1.
  17. sturob macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Does hooking up a single drive and testing it like that mean anything, really?

    I mean, if you get one, and it's that far below spec, is it the drive, or . . .?

    I realize that I'm kind of saying that benchmarking is meaningless, but in some ways, it is. The performance of individual drives shows you how those individual drives behave. Same could be said for an individual outstanding performer, but for some reason I would rather see bad results validated than good ones.

  18. /\/\ macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2007
    Anybody with Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB

    This is really a good question!!! I also want to buy 4 of these drives for RAID 1+0.

    Comments about the Hitachi drive?
  19. Beardy man macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007
    Anyone know the difference between WD Caviar drives...?

    Doesn't get any easier to decide! I'd finally narrowed it down to putting 2 or 3 WD Caviar 500's in my MacPro

    So, what's the difference between these three?
    All seem to be 500gb 16Mb cache, same access speeds etc etc

    Only a few quid difference in price but I'd like to know why they have 3 drives that appear to be identical, just different part numbers?...what am I missing?

    WD Caviar SE WD5000KS
    Hard drive - 500 GB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-300 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 16 MB V0000275

    WD Caviar GP WD5000AACS
    Hard drive - 500 GB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-300 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 16 MB A0350143

    WD Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS
    Hard drive - 500 GB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-300 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 16 MB WESDR480
  20. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    "AA" is used for newer drives. These tend to have fewer and higher
    density platters. The WD5000AACS is a lower power drive designed
    to be environmentally friendly. These "Green Power" drives may have
    a rotation speed of 5400rpm rather than the more typical 7200rpm.

    See here (750gb model review):


    Western Digital lists the rpm figures for their drives here:

  21. Beardy man macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007
    Thanks for that- enough info to make a choice now.
  22. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Why did the Toms review say it was in 110MBps region? I'm currently running 2x500GB WDC's and AJA Kona system test shows I'm getting 150MBps. May be I should just cancel my order but they're on sale this week for $149 for the 750GB F1s.
  23. sturob macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Tom's was testing the 1TB version, not the 750GB version. As has been discussed somewhat on other threads, it's possible the 750 represents a slightly different, older design that uses lower-density platters.

    The 1TB has 3 platters, each of which holds 334GBish. I don't know anything really technical about HD design, but others more learnèd than I have suggested that the 750 has older, lower-density platters (but still 3 of them). So, it's possible the 1TB's snappy transfer rates have something to do with the high-data-density of its special platters.

    Or . . . ?

    I actually also questioned the Barefeats data myself. It seems like we're all OK with a single data point for these evaluations, but my concern is that perhaps evaluation data that turns out to be such an outlier (like these data on the "slowness" of the Spinpoint F1) maybe ought to be confirmed in at least one other test sample.

    I find it easy to believe that a single drive could have problems, but harder to believe that a single drive would completely outperform its siblings.

  24. gryphon69 macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Faroe Islands
    Western Digital SE16 750GB in a dual 2.7 GHz PowerPC G5 ?


    My internal hd is going to fail in the near future, and I was wandering if I could use Western Digital SE16 750GB in my machine.

  25. c:\windows macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Would a Raptor 10K 150GB be a good choice for a boot drive? I read the reports and the comments here about the raptor but it seems there are so many different opinions. If I could care less about how loud it is and the fact that it is only 150GB, is it the best choice for a boot drive?

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