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Seagate confirms Mac support for 3TB hard drive

updated 10:40 pm EDT, Mon May 17, 2010

HDD should automatically work with Snow Leopard

A Seagate representative has provided Electronista with a few additional details regarding Mac compatibility for the upcoming 3TB Constellation hard drive. In-house testing reportedly showed 3TB of usable space on Snow Leopard, indicating that Mac users should be able to utilize the full capacity of the drive without any special configurations or software updates.

Installation on Macs should be easier than many Windows 7 PCs, as Macs already utilize the necessary EFI firmware rather than using a BIOS. Certain older systems might only be able to recognize smaller volumes such as 2.1TB or 1TB of capacity without long logical block addressing (long LBA).

The 3TB drive is expected to be released sometime later in the year, although Seagate has yet to provide specific details regarding launch dates or pricing.

By Electronista Staff


  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Why the concern?

    Why would anyone think this drive wouldn't be supported? It's not like Macs have ever used BIOS.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Why the concern

    First off, 'works' and 'supported' are two completely different things. It might work no problem. But saying it is 'supported' implies that Seagate will actually provide support to help get it working on a Mac. I haven't seen them actually say that.

    As to why it wouldn't be supported? Gee, I don't know. Perhaps Apple's OS wouldn't recognize greater than 2TB. Perhaps their controllers only supported such things. Or the EFI wasn't updated with the proper code to recognize such things. Another question is whether Apple will support it. Their tech specs state what they do support, but no more. Testing verifies it works before you spend money to buy it.

    For example, my MBP will only support 3GB of memory. That's it, that's the limit. You can stick more in there, but it won't be seen. Sometimes hardware has limitations for unknown or stupid reasons.

    This is why a company does testing. To see whether things will work. Sure, I guess they could just come out and announce "Well, it's a Mac, why wouldn't it work" but if it didn't, you'd be blasting them for not testing it.

    BTW, note that they tested this under Snow Leopard, so, technically, right now all they can say is it will see the drive under Snow Leopard. Will Leopard work with it? How about Tiger? There's not even a mention of the computer they tested it with. Will it work on my PPC G5 tower?

    And all of that is moot anyway, since there's only two Macs that can utilize the drive, the iMac and the MacPro. And iMac owners don't upgrade their computers (we know this, because every time someone says "We need a mid-tower" we're told how no one upgrades their computers). And even if they did, only some iMac models have user accessible hard drives (as in it doesn't take a ton of effort and concern to replace the drive, let alone if Apple 'lets' you).

  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008


    Seagate? Not for me.

    They had big issues with data corruption on their 1.5 TB drives about 18 months ago, which took a long time to resolve (The Register had good articles on that). Thinking that QC issues were a thing of the past, I bought a 2TB Seagate external drive. Horrible. It was slow, buzzy and clicky. It went back next day and I bought a 2TB WD MyBook Essentials. Their 1TB has been flawless for me, and the 2 TB seems just as good. BTW, I checked the Seagate forums after I bought the drive and it seems a very problematic model.

  1. facebook_Joel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    article is not true

    mac and 3tb - i tried to add a internal drive today and it came up as a 2.2 drive - and when using it in a external case connected through usb it cam up as 801 gigs ... i am kinda pissed as even my drobo does not even recognize the drive at all - i have been searching for help all over and nothing for mac - plenty of help for the PC to feet eh drive but nothing for the mac - ... someone please help snow leopard does not sweet he drive i have version 10.7.2 and it does not see a 3 tb drive

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