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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Best Hard Drives for the Mac Pro?

Best Hard Drives for the Mac Pro?
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dmetzcher
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Oct 28, 2006, 12:46 PM
 
I am planning on getting a Mac Pro in the coming weeks. I am looking at the drive below, but am hearing that it's a little loud. Other than that, all reports seem to be that it's a great purchase.

So, would you go with this Seagate drive, or a Western Digital model instead? Or...another manufacturer?

Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg

Also, I assume that the above drive is fine for the Mac Pro (read: it will work), correct?

Thanks. I'm still going through the stage where I agonize over what I put into this thing, but this is the first step. I need to know what the best drive is going to be, so I can go from there and talk about sizes.
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
bowwowman
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Oct 28, 2006, 02:02 PM
 
Practically ANY SATA-2 HD will be fine. The tower can hold 4 of them, so you have plently of room for expansion, and currently, 3-500GB seems to be a sweet spot as far as price/GB is concerned

Most people here prefer one brand or another, but just stick with a name brand drive and you will be fine.
Personally I find it hilarious that you have the hots for my gramma. Especially seeins how she is 3x your age, and makes your Brittney-Spears-wannabe 30-something wife look like a rag doll who went thru WWIII with a burning stick of dynamite up her a** :)
     
mduell
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Oct 28, 2006, 10:57 PM
 
Bad link, try again.

I'm a huge fan of the Seagate drives. They're the only company who backs every drive with a 5 year warranty (most offer just 1, sometimes 3). They're generally all about the same in terms of noise.
     
macgeek2005
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Oct 29, 2006, 01:56 AM
 
Seagate. Seagates are by far the best.
     
all2ofme
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Oct 29, 2006, 07:42 AM
 
FWIW I'm very happy (only after one day, admittedly) with my Western Digital WD5000YS drives at 500GB each. They're quiet and quick and have a 5 year warranty.
     
chris v
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Oct 29, 2006, 11:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgeek2005 View Post
Seagate. Seagates are by far the best.
There are a few rumblings of Seagates not playing well with the Mac Pros in particular.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
macgeek2005
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Oct 29, 2006, 06:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by chris v View Post
There are a few rumblings of Seagates not playing well with the Mac Pros in particular.
I've got 2 320GB seagates in my Mac Pro and I just copied 2.62GB from one drive to another, and it did it in 69 seconds. 2620mb divided by 69 seconds = 37.97mb/s.

That's not in raid.
     
derekn
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Oct 29, 2006, 10:38 PM
 
That's as fast as the 7200.10 drives from Seagate will go right now, about 40MB per second. There is some issue with their fimware that cripples them when run in non-RAID configs (the RAID slow write speeds have been fixed with the latest firmware).

Other SATA II drives will top out around 70MB per second I believe.
     
garyton
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Oct 29, 2006, 11:35 PM
 
Is it really verified that the new seagate drives with perpendicular writing really do not work well with the new pros?
I have a good friend who was in the computer industry and lived in Japan for a long time and he swears by Fujistsu as a good hard drive.
Some of you have made reference to an enterprise drive. Is that made byb Maxtor and is that the Maxline?
Is Maxtor more reliable than Western Digital?
thanks.
     
macgeek2005
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Oct 29, 2006, 11:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by derekn View Post
That's as fast as the 7200.10 drives from Seagate will go right now, about 40MB per second. There is some issue with their fimware that cripples them when run in non-RAID configs (the RAID slow write speeds have been fixed with the latest firmware).

Other SATA II drives will top out around 70MB per second I believe.
Oh really? I haven't found it particularly slow. What other tasks would be running slower because of the crippled drives?
     
windows_sucks
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Oct 30, 2006, 12:17 AM
 
I'd buy a Hitachi Drive if they didn't ship their 3.0 SATA drives configured to a 1.5Gb...Yepp, they do that by default and in order to change it you have to use the Feature Tool to change the Interface settings...and guess what....Feature tool is only available for Windows and Linux running on a Piece of Crap (P.C)..not the Mac OS X...after much research and a couple of phone calls to the Hitachi Tech support...thats what they said..major bummer!!!.
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Oct 30, 2006, 12:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgeek2005 View Post
Seagate. Seagates are by far the best.
That's what I read...at first.
Someone posted links to this in this thread...
Best boot drive for the Mac Pro?
The WD Raptor seems to be coming out on top. It's 1.5G instead of the 3G of the Seagate drives. I'm not that well versed in hard drives, especially the SATA2's, so can someone explain to me why the 1.5G would perform better than the 3G?
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
derekn
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Oct 30, 2006, 01:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by macgeek2005 View Post
Oh really? I haven't found it particularly slow. What other tasks would be running slower because of the crippled drives?
Well 40MB isn't slow as in like EIDE speeds. LOL But slower than the drive is capable of, you can see the AMUG review here:
AMUG Apple Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Review

It's about 35% slower write speeds off the built in SATA ports than a host adapter card. They've notified Seagate of the issue as has barefeats and it's sort of being addressed. According to barefeats, the new firmware patch to allow these drives to run in a 4 drive RAID (with very high read/write speeds) only works on certain serial numbers. Hopefully they will put out a firmware fix for the slow write speeds on single drives but it may be for only certain serial numbers again.

Hitachi has a 1TB drive coming (hopefully before years end) so hopefully that will give Seagate a bit of a kick in the butt to address all the issues with their 7200.10 drive line.
     
derekn
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Oct 30, 2006, 01:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by dmetzcher View Post
That's what I read...at first.
Someone posted links to this in this thread...
Best boot drive for the Mac Pro?
The WD Raptor seems to be coming out on top. It's 1.5G instead of the 3G of the Seagate drives. I'm not that well versed in hard drives, especially the SATA2's, so can someone explain to me why the 1.5G would perform better than the 3G?
That drive spins at 10,000 RPMS versus 7200 RPMs for the rest of the drives. Hopefully the next evolution of that drive will be increased capacity, 150GB is pretty small by todays standards.
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by derekn View Post
That drive spins at 10,000 RPMS versus 7200 RPMs for the rest of the drives. Hopefully the next evolution of that drive will be increased capacity, 150GB is pretty small by todays standards.
Well, that explains it. I completely missed that when I was looking over the comparison. Thanks for the info. 150GB is not enough for me. I'm looking at two drives with 500GB capacity, and will use the 160GB that comes with the Mac Pro to house my Windows installation (which will likely be a huge waste because (1) I rarely use Windows now, and (2) I only plan to use it for gaming, and I hardly play games now.
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Nov 1, 2006, 10:05 PM
 
I'm looking at the following two hard drives. Based on the previously posted benchmarks, the MaXLine Pro 500 is looking really good. What does everyone think (ignoring the length of the warranty of either drive)?

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (ST3500630AS) 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500 (7H500F0) 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Based on these two drives, and given the reported problems with some(?) of the Seagate drives, which one should I go with? I suppose that either would be good, and the prices are about the same for both of them (under $200), but I'd like to make the right decision here, so that I spend my money well.

Thanks!
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
derekn
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Nov 2, 2006, 12:33 AM
 
Given the crippling of the write speeds, I'd say go for the Maxtor. In the benchmarks I've seen, even with all the drives running at full speed, Maxtor or Hitachi always score good in speed.

You'll want to keep an eye on dealmac, they've been mentioning some REALLY good deals on 500GB drives lately. There was one as low as $129 about two weeks (I'm still chewing myself out for not grabbing it LOL) and this past weekend, they had them at around $140.
     
webmonkie
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Nov 3, 2006, 08:33 AM
 
I use the Western Digital Raptor 10K SATA-150 Hard Drive on my G5.

Now on Spring when I get a Mac Pro I'm planning on using the new Western Digital RaptorX 150GB 10K RPM SATA-150 Hard Drive.

These hard drives are the perfect solution if you don't want to use SCSI.
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Nov 3, 2006, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by webmonkie View Post
I use the Western Digital Raptor 10K SATA-150 Hard Drive on my G5.

Now on Spring when I get a Mac Pro I'm planning on using the new Western Digital RaptorX 150GB 10K RPM SATA-150 Hard Drive.

These hard drives are the perfect solution if you don't want to use SCSI.
The downside with those drives is that they are only 150GB, and that won't work for me. I'd love 10,000RPM, however.
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Nov 3, 2006, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by derekn View Post
Given the crippling of the write speeds, I'd say go for the Maxtor. In the benchmarks I've seen, even with all the drives running at full speed, Maxtor or Hitachi always score good in speed.

You'll want to keep an eye on dealmac, they've been mentioning some REALLY good deals on 500GB drives lately. There was one as low as $129 about two weeks (I'm still chewing myself out for not grabbing it LOL) and this past weekend, they had them at around $140.
That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the dealmac reminder. I will keep on eye on them. I'm buying the drives two weeks from today, so I'll check them now, and as the date draws closer.
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
derekn
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Nov 3, 2006, 08:00 PM
 
No problem. You may also want to check the different inserts in the Sunday paper (CompUSA, Best Buy, Circuit City etc). CompUSA was running a Maxtor 500GB drive (SATA II and IDE) for $160 last weekend or the weekend before.
     
macgeek2005
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Nov 3, 2006, 08:22 PM
 
I can't believe my hard drives are running at slower than normal speeds! That pisses me off! When are they gonna fix this?
     
derekn
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Nov 3, 2006, 10:42 PM
 
Well first off, don't get pissed off about it. They are slower than they can be but aren't by any means slow slow (say like 5 or 6 MB a second or something). The Arizona Mac Users group posted a review of a Maxtor 320GB drive and they mentioned that Seagate is working on a fix for the 7200.10s slow write speeds (it's a firmware bug BTW):
AMUG Maxline III 320GB SATA Hard Drive Model 7V320F0 Review

Hopefully it will be something that will work with all the 7200.10s and not just certain serial numbers (like the RAID firmware fix).
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Nov 4, 2006, 03:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by derekn View Post
Well first off, don't get pissed off about it. They are slower than they can be but aren't by any means slow slow (say like 5 or 6 MB a second or something). The Arizona Mac Users group posted a review of a Maxtor 320GB drive and they mentioned that Seagate is working on a fix for the 7200.10s slow write speeds (it's a firmware bug BTW):
AMUG Maxline III 320GB SATA Hard Drive Model 7V320F0 Review

Hopefully it will be something that will work with all the 7200.10s and not just certain serial numbers (like the RAID firmware fix).
Being that it's a firmware issue (I've read this as well), if the write speed issues weren't there, would the Maxtor drives still come out on top, or should I get the Seagate drives and wait/hope for an update to the firmware?
Dennis R. Metzcher
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macgeek2005
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Nov 4, 2006, 03:16 AM
 
I'd get the seagate drives, and not because I want other people to share the same pain as me, but because I really think they are better, and they will have a fix soon.

They write at about 40mbps. It's just fine for now.
     
derekn
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Nov 4, 2006, 03:22 AM
 
It is a difficult call. The one fly in the ointment however is that a fix is not a guarantee. The fix for slow RAID performance was a firmware update, however it only works on certain serial numbers (I assume they had to make fixes in firmware as well as manufacturing). So the same could be true of the slow write speed fix for single drives, it could just be a firmware updater but it may only work for certain serial numbers too.

If you don't mind the slower write speed and possibly being stuck with that, then get the Seagate. But if you'd prefer a faster write speed and not have to hassle with the firmware, get the Maxtor.
     
dmetzcher  (op)
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Nov 4, 2006, 12:41 PM
 
Something just occurred to me...
Considering the low cost of upgrading later to a different 500MB drive...
One could get the Maxtor drives now, and, IF something better comes along in six months, just get new drives. I think that I've been over-analyzing this a bit. I'm just going to get the Maxtor drives, and they will be great for a long time.

Thanks for the help!
Dennis R. Metzcher
MyMacBlog.com: My experiences with the Mac OS, a switcher's point of view. With a new Mac tip each week day.
     
derekn
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Nov 4, 2006, 02:14 PM
 
LOL No problem. Hard drives are difficult little beasts, especially with perpendicular recording coming online (that's what the Seagate 7200.10s use which I believe is why there are assorted issues with them). I think it'll be really interesting in 6 months if Hitachi does come out with their 1TB drive, that is going to drive down the prices of 500 and even the 750GB drive by a pretty large margin.
     
   
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