Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228
After an unfortunate run in with a iMac less then 90 days old I discovered something that has me a bit concerned. The Hard Drive, inside of the iMac where I expected to see a Western Digital Caviar Black Drive, a solid drive with a 5 year warranty, was missing. Instead I found a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, this 500 gig drive comes with a 2 year warranty. Most Mac users don’t usually worry about such matters and instead trust that Apple will use good top quality components in their machine. This has been my experience up until the last 10 iMacs that were purchased. This last batch all have the Seagate Barracuda 720.12 which is a of less quality and has a shorter lifespan then Western Digital Caviar Black (5 year warranty).
Okay so how do I know that the Seagate Barracuda is not of the same quality of a Western Digital Caviar Black. Well first off the warranty like I said earlier. (Click on Image to Zoom in).
(Barracuda 2 year warranty)
You can see that the Drive only has a 2 year warranty. Now lets take a look at the 500 gig Caviar Black.
(Caviar Black 5 Year Warranty)
Another Batch of Late 2011 iMac models that are use the lab are Caviar Blue series drive. Honestly this drive is better than a Seagate Barracuda but not by much and it also only has a 2 year warranty. This is problematic because a consumer purchases a nice computer like an iMac for over 1,000$ with the idea of top quality in mind. Top quality and peace of mind that the machine will last 5 years. Think back to all those Apple stories on how you knew someone who had a mac and it still works at 6-7 years. Or think back to the old eMac eggshell machines that lasted 8 years +. These workhorses built a reputation of Apple = High Quality.
If Apple makes a move to start shipping lower end components, especially something as critical as a hard drives into their products and continue to leave the price top dollar, this could spell trouble in the future. What may happen is there will be a 2 year grace period where profits go crazy and all things are good, then machines start failing and people start get frustrating responses from the company, such as “Did you buy the extended service agreement?”. Rather than own up and admit they put lower quality parts will instead pass the problem to the consumer.
Now there is another possibility, the flood in Thailand. With Western Digital drives being manufactured here, and with a giant flood bringing production to a halt, perhaps Apple found itself in a position where it could not get enough top quality drives. In this scenario perhaps they used whatever they could to keep shipping units and when better drives become available moved back. If you have just recently purchased an iMac take a look at the drive, let me know/comment if they are shipping 5 year warrantied drives. Lets hope that quality continues to be the emphasis and that my experience is an anomaly.
(Caviar Black Price) 101$
Check out the review on the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500 gig.
http://ugc.seagate.com/7039/3f362fc661cce110VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0a____/seagate-barracuda-7200-12-desktop-hard-drives-reviews/reviews.htm (Look product has now been pulled)
Thanks to the power of Google’s Cache lets look at the reviews before the product was pulled. (Couple of screenshots of reviews on Seagates websites before they pulled it down.)