Yet another spinning hard drive question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rdsii64, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. rdsii64 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    You can always tell when I am about to spend some money. I always jump on here and start shotgunning questions. Well, here comes another one. Now that I have my SSD issues sorted out, I am looking at spinning hard drives for use as bit buckets for my mac pro 3.1
    I been looking pretty hard at the western digital stuff and succeeded an coming up with more questions than answers.

    Whats with all the colors? so far I have identified black, red, green and blue.
    Also, since the drive(s) will be used as bit buckets for my iTunes library, time machine back up and so forth, does the spindle speed difference between a 5400 and 7200 rpm's really mean anything.
  2. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
  3. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    7200 rpm usually means higher temperatures, power consumption and noise.

    A 7200 rpm disk will be somewhat faster than an otherwise similar 5400 rpm unit, but remember that theoretical read speed is a function of rotational velocity X data density. What this means is that a 5400 rpm unit with 1 terabyte platters will be faster than 7200 rpm units with a platter size under 600 GB.

    But in essence, unless your job is read-speed critical (or you're doing massive multitasking) read speed will not be a problem (normal MP3's have a read speed requirement of 40 kBps).

  4. rdsii64 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Yep saw that already. I wanted to hear real people weigh in.


    Thanks 4T greens are not that expensive but they do spin at 5400. sounds like I won't even notice considering what I'm going to use it for.
  5. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    I have a couple of WD Blacks, which have been working fine thus far. Not sure if they're officially enterprise class but they do have a 5-year warranty.
  6. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    Since this is used for media, raw speed does not matter. As pointed out music requires only a pittance or bandwidth, and your average 1080P bluray rip (16-20Mbps) only need 2-3 megabytes per second of bandwidth.

    I would look at the Red if you can afford it, mostly because of the implied durability since they have a 5yr warranty instead of the normal 2 year warranty as well as the increased rated usage (closer to enterprise grade). The Red's have some other features, but they will go unused in a normal Mac Pro setup. At the 4TB price point, the difference is quite a bit more substantial they say at the 2TB range.

    I am weary of using the Greens because the fallout *seems* to be higher on the cheaper drives. I have 7200RPM drives in a 5 disk RAID, and they have been running for about 2 years now. They do generate some heat, but it's not terrible. Noise isn't an issue either for me, but I can hear the drives clicking away if the Mac is on the desk while getting worked on.

    That's the only concern I have though, is the life expectancy. As stated, for media usage the actual speed of all of them is more then sufficient.

    Now what can affect the user experience is Access Times. For movies it's not too bad as you have to wait to buffer the movie anyways and then the drives just sit there and reads sequential for a couple hours. So adding a second or two go find the other movie or spin up a drive doesn't matter. But for music where your shuffling around every song, there is a delay and it can be noticed. For music I totally encourage an SSD, assuming you don't have some huge lossless encoded library. My music library is around 70GB, so it fits on a 128GB-256GB drive no problem. It's one of those things you don't notice until you have it. Also updating an albums worth of metadata goes much faster on an SSD then on a platter drive.


    For the ultimate in power sipping though, 2.5" drives are superior. However you are limited to 2TB per drive and they get expensive at that capacity (about $170).

    From Western Digital Spec Sheets for "Green" drives.

    3.5" Drive
    • Current Requirements 12 VDC (Peak) 1.78 A (21 Watts)
    • Read/Write 6.00 Watts
    • Idle 5.50 Watts
    • Standby 0.80 Watts
    • Sleep 0.80 Watts

    2.5" Drive
    • Current Requirements 5 VDC (Peak) 1.00 Amps (5 Watts)
    • Read/Write 1.7 Watts
    • Idle 0.8 Watts
    • Standby/Sleep 0.2 Watts
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*

    I have 15 WD greens, mixture of 1, 2 and 3tb running in a whs, HTPC, 8 bay ESATA enclosure and a pair in my 3,1. Touch wood I've yet to have one fail and I've had a 3x1tb's running since they first released the Green models. Very quiet, cool and if you don't need data fast ideal. I won't buy anything else.

    I've had spin up down issues putting wd reds in normal PC/servers but work perfectly in a NAS or PVR/DVR environment..
  8. rdsii64 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Thanks for the in-depth reply. An SSD for the size of my media collection would be pricey for sure but at least I can make in informed decision. Again, thanks

Share This Page