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4tb hard drive vs 2x2tb hard drives

Tags:
  • NAS / RAID
  • Do It Yourself
  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Storage
March 25, 2014 3:47:08 PM

Eventually I would like to create a diy NAS with up to 6 drives, but for now I simply don't have the money. I am running out of space, however, and I do need to rip my movies still, so I decided for now just to buy some storage and put it in my main gaming pc.
I'm eventually going to be running raid 5 or 6 (probably 5), so with 2tb drives that would be 10tb of space. With 4tb drives, that would equal 20tb of space. I would prefer buying the 4tb now for the most expandability. I'm planning on ripping my blue rays in the future, and with 4k on the horizon the need for storage is going to be more than ever.

I was just wondering if there was a downside to 4tb drives. I've heard they have a slightly higher fail rate, but is it really so bad to the point of not using them? Any other reasons to stay away?

Sidenote: I'm planning on purchasing WD red drives.

tl;dr: 1x4tb WD Red drive or 2x2tb WD Red drives for best future expandability?

More about : 4tb hard drive 2x2tb hard drives

a c 1306 G Storage
March 25, 2014 7:26:17 PM

before you buy 4tb drives, make sure your system will work with them.
Bios based motherbd are iffy, some work, some dont and some work so-so.

Ditto for when you build your nas, make sure your riad controller will work with 4tb drives.
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a c 75 G Storage
March 26, 2014 10:50:27 AM

dsmilees said:
Eventually I would like to create a diy NAS with up to 6 drives, but for now I simply don't have the money. I am running out of space, however, and I do need to rip my movies still, so I decided for now just to buy some storage and put it in my main gaming pc.
I'm eventually going to be running raid 5 or 6 (probably 5), so with 2tb drives that would be 10tb of space. With 4tb drives, that would equal 20tb of space. I would prefer buying the 4tb now for the most expandability. I'm planning on ripping my blue rays in the future, and with 4k on the horizon the need for storage is going to be more than ever.

I was just wondering if there was a downside to 4tb drives. I've heard they have a slightly higher fail rate, but is it really so bad to the point of not using them? Any other reasons to stay away?

Sidenote: I'm planning on purchasing WD red drives.

tl;dr: 1x4tb WD Red drive or 2x2tb WD Red drives for best future expandability?


It's not a slightly higher failure rate it's pretty significant and a 20TB RAID 5 is going to be unreliable in and of itself.

If you're going to use the 4TB drives, use RAID 6. That will put it on par with the reliability of a 10TB RAID 5 with 2TB drives.
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March 26, 2014 1:52:05 PM

My only problem with raid 6 is the fact that I'm going to be using a mini itx board for my NAS, which obviously has only one pci-e slot, and was planning on upgrading it with a 10gb nic in the coming years as the technology (mainly the routers) become more available. This would not allow room for a raid card for raid 6. Do you have any ideas? Or will I simply need to upgrade my motherboard then for 10gbs speeds in the future?
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a c 75 G Storage
March 26, 2014 3:20:48 PM

dsmilees said:
My only problem with raid 6 is the fact that I'm going to be using a mini itx board for my NAS, which obviously has only one pci-e slot, and was planning on upgrading it with a 10gb nic in the coming years as the technology (mainly the routers) become more available. This would not allow room for a raid card for raid 6. Do you have any ideas? Or will I simply need to upgrade my motherboard then for 10gbs speeds in the future?


You may consider a Linux based system in that case running RAID-Z2, but there are potential driver compatibility issues to watch out for if you're adding a 10G car down the line.
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March 27, 2014 8:01:29 AM

TyrOd said:

You may consider a Linux based system in that case running RAID-Z2, but there are potential driver compatibility issues to watch out for if you're adding a 10G car down the line.


That's not a bad idea. Do you know how the comparison of RAID-Z2 fairs to RAID 5 in terms of speed, compatibility, etc?
And does anyone know the actual failure rate of WD Red 4tb drives per year? I tried to look it up but couldn't find an exact number.
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a c 75 G Storage
March 27, 2014 9:47:13 AM

dsmilees said:
TyrOd said:

You may consider a Linux based system in that case running RAID-Z2, but there are potential driver compatibility issues to watch out for if you're adding a 10G car down the line.


That's not a bad idea. Do you know how the comparison of RAID-Z2 fairs to RAID 5 in terms of speed, compatibility, etc?
And does anyone know the actual failure rate of WD Red 4tb drives per year? I tried to look it up but couldn't find an exact number.


There aren't any public failure rates, but all other things being equal a drive with 5 platters and 10 heads is going to be significantly more prone to physical instability compared to a drive with 3 platter/6 heads.

How significant it is changes from generation to generation, but from my own experience I've seen these drives in for recovery much more often than drive 2TB and below in capacity this generation.

The average real world failure rates of single modern hard drives in general is between 3-5% annually with the highest capacity drives being closer to 5% than 3% typically.

In terms of RAID-Z2, the reliability and performance is going to comparable to RAID 6(2 drive redundancy).
The compatibility issues are going to be a question of whether or not the 10G expansion card you use has Linux driver support, as long as it has adequate drivers, you'll be fine.
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March 28, 2014 5:46:38 PM

TyrOd said:
dsmilees said:
TyrOd said:

You may consider a Linux based system in that case running RAID-Z2, but there are potential driver compatibility issues to watch out for if you're adding a 10G car down the line.


That's not a bad idea. Do you know how the comparison of RAID-Z2 fairs to RAID 5 in terms of speed, compatibility, etc?
And does anyone know the actual failure rate of WD Red 4tb drives per year? I tried to look it up but couldn't find an exact number.


There aren't any public failure rates, but all other things being equal a drive with 5 platters and 10 heads is going to be significantly more prone to physical instability compared to a drive with 3 platter/6 heads.

How significant it is changes from generation to generation, but from my own experience I've seen these drives in for recovery much more often than drive 2TB and below in capacity this generation.

The average real world failure rates of single modern hard drives in general is between 3-5% annually with the highest capacity drives being closer to 5% than 3% typically.

In terms of RAID-Z2, the reliability and performance is going to comparable to RAID 6(2 drive redundancy).
The compatibility issues are going to be a question of whether or not the 10G expansion card you use has Linux driver support, as long as it has adequate drivers, you'll be fine.

Thanks for the idea. I was planning on running a Linux system anyway.
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