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Thread: HDDs - what to buy.

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    HDDs - what to buy.

    Now that Seagate will be taking over Samsung's HDD division, the choice is getting rather poor. I still don't like Seagate after all the problems a few years ago, so I don't know what to get.

    I'd like a couple of drives of around 160 - 250GB, but I haven't looked at them for about 4 years now.

    Main points are:
    Reliability
    Quietness
    Single platter.

    I assume that nowadays a 250GB drive will be single platter - is that so?

    Seems that the choice might come down to Samsung or WD, then is it worth going for SATA 3 (next year I'll be building a new box, so the MoBo will be at least up to that).

    Any recommendations please?
    PeterC

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    250GB will almost certainly be single platter. 500GB platter drives are the norm now. There's little or no point going with SATA 3 although it's the only choice with some drives, just don't let it influence your decision as I don't know of any mechanical drives that can saturate even SATA 2.

    You will hear bad things about all of the MFRs if you look, I don't think there is a simple answer to who makes the most reliable drives, but backups are crucial regardless. Also consider Hitachi, they had problems with drives like 10 years ago and for some reason, people still avoid them because of this when in fact they make some of the best drives out there and were one of the first (or the first) to offer 7200rpm 2TB drives.

    TBH you'll probably find 500GB drives for about the same price as anything below that now.

    About quietness, it varies even within drive models/capacities and between individual drives. Check our SPCR for some ballpark ideas though.

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    250GB will almost certainly be single platter. 500GB platter drives are the norm now. There's little or no point going with SATA 3 although it's the only choice with some drives, just don't let it influence your decision as I don't know of any mechanical drives that can saturate even SATA 2.

    You will hear bad things about all of the MFRs if you look, I don't think there is a simple answer to who makes the most reliable drives, but backups are crucial regardless. Also consider Hitachi, they had problems with drives like 10 years ago and for some reason, people still avoid them because of this when in fact they make some of the best drives out there and were one of the first (or the first) to offer 7200rpm 2TB drives.

    TBH you'll probably find 500GB drives for about the same price as anything below that now.

    About quietness, it varies even within drive models/capacities and between individual drives. Check our SPCR for some ballpark ideas though.
    Lots of replacements will be 'stroked', as in firmware which only allows part of the platter to be used.

    Ie a 160 drive will be a 250 with a modded firmware. That way it's easier for manufacturers to supply replacements.

    Then you get into the debate on 'stroking' you drive or not. The answer is always 'yes' with partitioning.

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    250GB will almost certainly be single platter. 500GB platter drives are the norm now. There's little or no point going with SATA 3 although it's the only choice with some drives, just don't let it influence your decision as I don't know of any mechanical drives that can saturate even SATA 2.

    You will hear bad things about all of the MFRs if you look, I don't think there is a simple answer to who makes the most reliable drives, but backups are crucial regardless. Also consider Hitachi, they had problems with drives like 10 years ago and for some reason, people still avoid them because of this when in fact they make some of the best drives out there and were one of the first (or the first) to offer 7200rpm 2TB drives.

    TBH you'll probably find 500GB drives for about the same price as anything below that now.

    About quietness, it varies even within drive models/capacities and between individual drives. Check our SPCR for some ballpark ideas though.
    Well, at least by having SATA 3 it's there if needed, but I see the point.

    I had seen that Hitachi seem to be OK, but then a lot of people seem to like WD!

    Not interested in going a huge as 500GB - my 80s are half empty.

    What is SPCR, please?
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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaxas View Post
    Lots of replacements will be 'stroked', as in firmware which only allows part of the platter to be used.

    Ie a 160 drive will be a 250 with a modded firmware. That way it's easier for manufacturers to supply replacements.

    Then you get into the debate on 'stroking' you drive or not. The answer is always 'yes' with partitioning.
    That's worth knowing, as it means that there's no real difference between them and the choice is wider.
    PeterC

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Hitachi\IBM drives are very good, I still have one of the "deathstars" that caused their reputation to drop, and never had any problem with it, sure the failure rate on them was high, but mine still works fine after a decade.
    *̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ *̡͌l̡*

    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    SATA 3 shouldn't be 'needed' as it's fully backwards and forwards compatible with SATA 1 and 2.

    I find WD drives tend to be quite overpriced. They do seem quite popular in the states but that's probably because they are cheaper over there, over here they are usually the most expensive by a fair margin.

    SPCR

    As I said, you will pay about the same for a 500GB as you will for anything smaller, just have a look here for example:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-...ii-250gb-800gb
    http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-...-ii-40gb-200gb

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Samsung was always the cheapest choice when I was after drives for my RAID, had 10 x 500GB, then upgraded them to 1TB, 1,5TB and finally to 2TBs this year. All Samsung.

    Roughly 3 in each set after 18 months apart were dead and simple RMA was giving me new drives - sweet!

    Now that Seagate got involved not sure what's gonna happen with prices and RMA standards...

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    SATA 3 shouldn't be 'needed' as it's fully backwards and forwards compatible with SATA 1 and 2.

    I find WD drives tend to be quite overpriced. They do seem quite popular in the states but that's probably because they are cheaper over there, over here they are usually the most expensive by a fair margin.

    SPCR

    As I said, you will pay about the same for a 500GB as you will for anything smaller, just have a look here for example:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-...ii-250gb-800gb
    http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-...-ii-40gb-200gb
    Thanks for 'SPCR' - I have it bookmarked but didn't recognise the acronym!

    Not really worried about capacity as my current 80GB is less than half full!

    WD seem to attract good opinions, although ISTR some possible problems with the Green models 'waking up'.

    My current disk is a Samsung; it's OK but does rumble on seek, whereas the 7 year old Maxtor is silent.
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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Drives with more platters and therefore more heads will rumble more, so a single platter drive should in theory be the quietest.

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    So, looks as if 320GB is the 'sweet spot' for capacity and simplicity.
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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Same goes for 500GB TBH, also single-platter but with a higher aerial density (greater throughput) and about the same price.

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    500GB is single platter?! I hadn't realised that it'd got that far - thanks for the info.
    It is >6X as big as my current half-full disks, so I'd have to find something to put on it!
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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    You could do what quite a few forum members do, myself included, and make a small partition at the start of the drive, effectively short-stroking it and in theory offering better access times. http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...on-theory.html

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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    Very interesting thread - and I just about understand it!
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    Re: HDDs - what to buy.

    It seems to me like it would be worth investing in a 1TB drive, since it's less than 40 quid and thus offer the best GB/£ ratio. Think of what you could store that way! In addition you'd have room for more backups (system restore style backups etc, backing up to the same hard drive does not protect against hard drive failure of course). I recommend the Samsung F3 1TB from hearing good things about them from several places.
    Last edited by AlphaVictor; 11-07-2011 at 10:34 PM.

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