Fastest in bold RED
Hitachi 1000G = Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (HDS721010KLA330)
WD 750G = Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (WD7500AAKS)
Seagate 750G = Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (ST3750640AS)
Maxtor 500G = Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500GB 7200rpm SATA 3G drive (7H500F0) -- out of production since Seagate purchased Maxtor -- still available from some resellers -- used to be our favorite Mac Pro and Power Mac boot drive -- sibling to the L01F500 DiamondMax 11.
At one terabyte, the Hitachi 7K1000 sets a new high water mark for single drive storage. But though it's faster than the previous "Capacity King," the Seagate 7200.10, the new 750GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 drive is the surprising new Speed King among 7200rm SATA drives for both random and sustained transfers.
Furthermore, if you don't need the full 1000GB, the Western Digital 750GB Caviar is selling for about half as much as the Hitachi 7K1000.
What about Seagate's 1TB drive?
Though we have tested a pre-production One Terabyte Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drive (ST31000340AS), we can't publish those test results. We can say that, when doing large sustained transfers, it was faster than any of the drives tested above. And it's available in a 750GB model, too. As soon as we get our hands on a production model, we'll add the production results to the graphs above.
3G SATA versus FireWire 800
Other World Computing not only supplied us with the Western Digital 750GB Caviar drive, but also sent us their Quad Interface Mercury Elite AL Pro enclosure. If you are looking for an external single drive solution, this is one worth consideration. It gives you the flexibility of using either USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or eSATA ports to connect to the drive enclosure. And it matches the look of your Mac Pro or G5 Power Mac.
We compared the fast WD 750G drive's large block sustained transfer speed using both the FireWire 800 interface and the eSATA interface (connected to a 3G SATA host adapter). As you can see, the eSATA interface squeezes out the most speed:
Bare Feats tests the random performance of ten Mac Pro drives.
AMUG's review of the Western Digital WD5000YS versus others
Bare Feat's earlier "Best Boot Drive for Mac Pro" test where we boot, launch and duplicate using single drives and RAID 0 pairs.