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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - Fastest Hard Drives ?


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SIDTURBO

 
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HI,

Does anyone know:- ?

If I specify a larger hard drive on the new aluminium 24" Imac 2.8 Extreme I intend to buy,.... will it be faster? The drive that is.

In other words,.... will programs and data load more quickly or will I simply have more storage. I really only need 500mb but if the 1 terabyte drive is significantly faster I would be willing to pay the extra. Thanks, SID
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jALVA21

 
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According to the apple website, they all use 3.5" Serial ATA hard drives that run at 7200 revolutions per minute. So the only difference would be the size.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jALVA21 View Post
According to the apple website, they all use 3.5" Serial ATA hard drives that run at 7200 revolutions per minute. So the only difference would be the size.
Not necessarily true. It comes down to what drives Apple is using. If the 500GB is the same series as the 1TB drive and they have the same cache, you will not see any difference.

However, if the 1TB drive is using say, 2 500GB platters and the 500 uses 2 250s, the 1TB drive will in fact be measurably faster. It will also be faster in certain cases if it has a larger cache.

Whether it will be NOTICEABLY faster or not, I don't know. If the only difference is cache, I think it's unlikely that it would be. If it has twice the areal density, it will make a noticeable difference, yes.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geeky1 View Post
Not necessarily true. It comes down to what drives Apple is using. If the 500GB is the same series as the 1TB drive and they have the same cache, you will not see any difference.

However, if the 1TB drive is using say, 2 500GB platters and the 500 uses 2 250s, the 1TB drive will in fact be measurably faster. It will also be faster in certain cases if it has a larger cache.

Whether it will be NOTICEABLY faster or not, I don't know. If the only difference is cache, I think it's unlikely that it would be. If it has twice the areal density, it will make a noticeable difference, yes.
correct, but in regards to an iMac, I figured it only had room for a single hard drive, hence my comment. But I could be wrong.
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There's really no way to answer your question for a fact, since no one knows what drive is going to be in your individual machine.

In general larger drives are faster, but this is not always the case. And whether you would notice it or not really depends on how "geeky" you are and have been, in relation to building your own systems and comparing and testing multiple components.

However, the current generation 1TB drives are typically faster than their 500GB counterparts in most of the testing I've seen.
This is really about the best anyone can say without knowing the particular two drives in question (manufacturer and model).

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To be honest, it doesn't really matter whether the 1TB drive or the 500GB drive is faster, because it's not going to be noticeably faster. Unless one drive has a 16MB cache and the other has 2MB, you won't really be able to tell them apart except in benchmarks.

It's when you get into the 10,000 RPM and 15,000 RPM drives that you begin to notice a speed boost. Since both drives are 7200 RPM, just get the most amount of space you can afford.


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I would suggest that the amount of cache on the drive is likely to be the determining factor, and you cannot know that without knowing the specific model in use. I don't think that Apple releases this info, so that they can change it on the fly as they see fit. So, I can only recommend to get the drive size you want!

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Aren't large drives less prone to fragmentation?

And if a large drive has the data more densly populated blocks on the disc, can't you fit more files into the Hot Zone, thereby it would be faster?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giulio View Post
And if a large drive has the data more densly populated blocks on the disc, can't you fit more files into the Hot Zone, thereby it would be faster?
That is technically why drivers with greater aerial density (i.e. larger drives) are faster, but the issue is how much faster. In most cases, it will only be noticeable in benchmarks and not in real life.


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SIDTURBO

 
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Hi Everyone,

It seems that like me no one really knows the answer and it does depend on my "geekiness".

As a confirmed switcher who has built PC's using the fastest hard drives I could find,.. Western Digital Caviar usually,.. I DID notice they were faster.
I have checked and there are not many drives at 1tb and the best bet is that Apple will use the Hitachi Deskstar with 32mb of cache. This exceeds all smaller drives cache so I think it will be faster.... but by how much?........ probably not hugely so.

I think I'll save my money and spend it on an Ipod Touch!

Unless anyone really knows a definitive answer... I will order the Imac with the cheaper drive.

Thanks to the Mac-Forums community!

Sid
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Apple seems to think the Hot Zone is pretty important. And I know after use drives do slow down, as files are moved and fragmented. So I think it would be noticeable. Purely speculation.
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