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Qucik Hard Drive Question

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  • Hard Drives
  • Western Digital
  • SATA
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
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April 28, 2006 10:08:00 PM

Well, This is my first post, and as such I have a simple hard drive question to ask. First let me say I built a killer a rig last summer, which isn't as killer anymore, but hey works wonders for me. Right now in my rig I have

1 x WD Raptor 36.5 GB 10,000RPM HDD
1 x WD 60GB 7200 RPM HDD
1 x 13GB 5400RPM HDD

and what I want to do is eliminate the 60GB and 13GB hdds and replace them with one of the following:

Western Digital Caviar RE 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

or

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $90.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

or

should I throw in a little extra and get this

Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

So again which one do you all think I should get?

Now I have two other quick questions. If I get a large hdd like I want, do I need to get an ultra ata card with it as well or no? Also if I have a hdd that supports power from both a sata power connector and a paraphelata power connector, which one is better to use, the sata power connector right?

More about : qucik hard drive question

April 28, 2006 11:02:06 PM

since all 3 of the hdds your looking at have sata interfaces, all youll need to be concerned about is whether you have any available sata ports you can use (sata-2 is backwards compatible with sata-1), but if not, you will have to invest in a 3rd party sata controller... as far as powering the drives... you can use either sata or molex, but not both (you risk frying the drive that way)... i think i remember reading that sata is a better choice over molex for powering a drive... as far as capacity, get the 320 if you really need it, otherwise 250 should work just fine, plus theyre cheaper anyhow
April 29, 2006 12:39:23 AM

Well I do have plenty of Sata 1 and Sata 2 slots on my motherboard (4 of each) so I'm good there, and I'll probably go with one of the 250GB hdds, but which one should I get. I mean the first one I mention for $99.99 has the following features:

FlexPower– connector technology that accepts power from either industry-standard or new SATA power supplies.
Hot plug support – allows swapping of hard drives without having to power down the system or reboot; promotes system design flexibility, data availability, and serviceability.
Backplane compatibility – uses the SATA industry standard connector which includes alignment ears and 3-stage electrical mating sequence, designed specifically for backplanes and hot pluggability.
SATA latching connector – provides a secure connection between the hard drive and the cable connector via a locking latch mechanism

but I didn't know if any of you people would think that I should just get the second one I mentioned for $90.00
April 29, 2006 7:25:34 AM

RE drives are designed for RAID arrays.

If you are not using RAID then you shouldn't get an RE drive.

So either get 2 RE's and run em in RAID 1 for extra safely or just get one SE drive.

Or if you like the RE's for the 5 year waranty get a Seagate instead.

---

PS there is not SATA I and SATA II. Never was, never will be. Don't like it blame the SATA-IO group, which specifically instructs manufactures never to use the term SATA II to describe a product.

The SATA-IO group specifically asks everyone not to call devices supporting 3.0 Gbps transfer rates SATA II.

What you got is a bunch or standards manufactures pick and chose from.
April 29, 2006 8:12:47 AM

I'd get the samsung spinpoint 2504c, it's the fastest non raptor drive overall (check Toms charts). I've got two in a RAID 0 and it's burst is around 244.5MB and 115 sequential off the built in nvraid. I also have 4 of the wd 320's in a raid 5 on a highpoint 2320, it pushes around 178 burst and 130 sequential. All with HD Tach.
April 30, 2006 8:54:03 AM

Quote:
RE drives are designed for RAID arrays.

If you are not using RAID then you shouldn't get an RE drive.

So either get 2 RE's and run em in RAID 1 for extra safely or just get one SE drive.

Or if you like the RE's for the 5 year waranty get a Seagate instead.


The first comment is crap. The WD RE has a higher MTBF than the SE version. For Raid use it has an extra chip which speeds up rebuilding in case of an array failure. The WD RE provides a bit better security and construction workmanship without HAVING to be used as RAID. The RE's are Enterprise drives as opposed to the SE's being consumer desktop versions and cost about 10% more.

Yes the Seagates are good, my favourite drives, but a bit slower than WD.

My system used for video editing, with NO Raid, has three Sata WD 320 gig RE, one Sata WD 320 SE for boot, a Seagate Sata 300 7200.9 300 gig, and a (shudder!) old Maxtor 200 gig IDE. The other system, also used for multimedia and storage, has two Seagate Sata 250 7200.8 as redundant Raid, and a Seagate 300 IDE (7200.7 I think.)
April 30, 2006 9:24:32 AM

Does it need to be a SATA?

Fry's has sales each month and I just picked up a 300GB Maxtor for $89.
April 30, 2006 11:11:25 AM

Quote:
Does it need to be a SATA?

Fry's has sales each month and I just picked up a 300GB Maxtor for $89.


No. If an IDE is needed. That's about what I paid (in US terms) for that 300 Gig IDE Seagate last week, a 16Mb 7200.9, and I fell MUCH better than I would have by getting a (shudder) Maxtor.
April 30, 2006 2:46:54 PM

Ok, I'm getting mixed input here and it's a bit confusing, if I want to go with RE hdd, do I have to buy two of them use them in a raid or can I just buy one. Also I want to go with SATA drive because it's to my understanding that they are faster then ide hdds.
April 30, 2006 3:50:26 PM

I suggest doing a Google on SATA vs ATA and see what you get. Don't stop at one posting, research in depth. Skip the OPINION posts and look for test results. Also, look past burst speed, unless you move large files often, you want the average read/write speeds. There is a lot of interesting reading out there. :) 
April 30, 2006 6:00:50 PM

Quote:
The first comment is crap. The WD RE has a higher MTBF than the SE version. For Raid use it has an extra chip which speeds up rebuilding in case of an array failure. The WD RE provides a bit better security and construction workmanship without HAVING to be used as RAID. The RE's are Enterprise drives as opposed to the SE's being consumer desktop versions and cost about 10% more.


WTF? I am beginning to suspect you are one of those people who just make things up and pass them off as facts.

A lot of people get confused by those who merely sound like they know what they are talking about.

Whereas I rarely make firm statements about something unless I have solid facts to back them up and if I am guessing or merely postulating I let people know it by saying things like I am not sure but... or I guess ...

I definately make mistakes, anyone who thinks they don't is an idiot, but I seldom call other people's statement's crap when I am in fact talking out of my ass.

I also do research on new technology, visit the SATA-IO homepage, read white papers, visit Western Digitals Home page when for instance they introduce something new like RAID Edition card drives.

Thats where I read this. It took me only 5 seconds to find it the first time and less than that the 2nd.

Quote:
What is the difference between Desktop edition and RAID (Enterprise) edition hard drives?
Answer
Western Digital manufactures desktop edition hard drives and RAID Edition hard drives. Each type of hard drive is designed to work specifically in either a desktop computer environment or on RAID controller.

If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly. This is caused by the normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive uses.

When an error is found on a desktop edition hard drive, the drive will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error, recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a dedicated area to replace the problematic area. This process can take up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of the issue. Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array. Most RAID controllers allow from 7 to 15 seconds for error recovery before dropping a hard drive from an array. Western Digital does not recommend installing desktop edition hard drives in an enterprise environment (on a RAID controller).

Western Digital RAID edition hard drives have a feature called TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which stops the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array.

If you install a RAID edition hard drive in a desktop computer, the computer system may report more errors than a normal desktop hard drive (due to the TLER feature). Western Digital does not recommend installing RAID edition hard drives into a desktop computer environment.


Of course maybe you are an engineer at Western Digital and you know more far more about their drives than the person who wrote the above and he is full of crap.

In which case I stand corrected, and appologize for implying that you were speaking authoritatively of matters which you had never actually researched.


Otherwise take consolation in my many spelling and gramer mistakes.
April 30, 2006 6:33:33 PM

Quote:
Ok, I'm getting mixed input here and it's a bit confusing, if I want to go with RE hdd, do I have to buy two of them use them in a raid or can I just buy one. Also I want to go with SATA drive because it's to my understanding that they are faster then ide hdds.


--

If you don't trust me on the RE thing do the research yourself, just go to Western Digitals Knowledge base and search for TLER which is the RE'd defining feature.

---

But my advice stands

The best choices are;

WD Raptor = expensive but fastest non SCSI drive
WD RE = best drive for RAID operation
Seagate = best bang for you buck.

All with 5 year warranties.

I really like the WD SE's but Seagate gets the nod because the SE only has a 3 year warranty and I like seagates acustics and perormance numbers a bit better.

Don't take my word, research it yourself.

http://www.storagereview.com/php/benchmark/bench_sort.php

----

PATA vs SATA is like AGP vs PCI Express would be if all motherboards supported both.

All the Hard Drive manufacturer's energy is going into making the bets SATA drives, the PATA version of their latest and greatest, if it even release one, will be an afterthought.

The cables are thiner and and reach up to a meter and each device had a direct connection to the controller, no master, slave. No shared busses.

---
None of my IDE drives are going in the trash, but when does come time to get a new drives I am always buying SATA.
April 30, 2006 7:12:44 PM

Of course, MB manufacturers tell you the same thing when using an Opteron CPU. As I haven't tried these HD's in a test system, I can not honestly say one way or the other.
DaFees, do your homework, don't take anyones word as Gods honest truth. Google can be a wonderful tool.
April 30, 2006 7:18:29 PM

Your review site doesn't even mention the spinpoint I recommended. Check toms benchmarks and you'll see the samsung spanks the seagate (500GB version of yours), the next closest is the barracuda 7200.8 400GB (overall).

http://www23.tomshardware.com/storage.html?modelx=33&model1=142&model2=274&chart=31

And I find the 3 to 5 year difference negligable at this point. I've never had a drive fail after 3 years of steady use, only before that. And I've used thousands of HD's over the years. Unless they've been mishandled I should add.

It's also number 4 on the price/performance chart. In fact 3 samsungs are in the top 4 spots.
April 30, 2006 8:59:22 PM

The Seagate I refer to being particularly fast is in fact the 7200.9 ST3160212A

Which happens to be a full 10.2 MBps faster* than the ST3500541AS you chose for your comparison.

*Maximum Transer Rate

---
The charts you reference contain 10 Samsung Drives and only 5 Seagates.

Of the 5 Seagate 4 are old .7's and .8's and the one .9 they got is probably the slowest .9 in the lineup.

The charts I referenced has the new Seagates, but not the new Samsungs.

So both charts are missing top drives from major manufacturers, and the methodology is different enough that you can't compare the results of one to the other.

Which is the way things alway are.

So its a good idea to consult multiple sources for information.


Its also why I said "I believe..." - because I cannot know for certain based on the information that is available.

Maybe the Spinpoint is faster, maybe the Seagate is faster. We will have to wait until either storagereview or THG does some more reviews to know for certain.

---

What I do know is that if the Seagate, Raptor or RE drive dies in year 4 or 5 Seagate will happily send me a replacement and I am out $5 in shipping.

If the Samsung dies in year 4 or 5 I got an expensivie door stop.

--
I out of 10 hard drives 8 are still in perfect working order. Those that died were a 1 year waranty model which died in 14 months and a IBM deskstart.

I got 4 4+ year old WD 120 GB's 3 or which were run 24x7 for over four years. I wanted the best so I picked the 3 year models over the 1 year.

I still want the best so I chose the 5 year models over the 3 whenever reasonable.

Seems to me that eveyone would offer 5 year warranties if they expected their products to last that long.

If they only offer a 3 year warranty its because they think enough of them will die in years 3 and 4 to hurt them financially.

To be 100% honest I also stick to the 5 year warranties because it lets me narrow down choices as well. There are so many models to chose from. The 5 year models are my default choice against which I weigh all competitors.
April 30, 2006 10:31:48 PM

Quote:
I also do research on new technology, visit the SATA-IO homepage, read white papers, visit Western Digitals Home page when for instance they introduce something new like RAID Edition card drives.

Thats where I read this. It took me only 5 seconds to find it the first time and less than that the 2nd.

Quote:
What is the difference between Desktop edition and RAID (Enterprise) edition hard drives?
Answer
Western Digital manufactures desktop edition hard drives and RAID Edition hard drives. Each type of hard drive is designed to work specifically in either a desktop computer environment or on RAID controller.

If you install and use a desktop edition hard drive connected to a RAID controller, the drive may not work correctly. This is caused by the normal error recovery procedure that a desktop edition hard drive uses.

When an error is found on a desktop edition hard drive, the drive will enter into a deep recovery cycle to attempt to repair the error, recover the data from the problematic area, and then reallocate a dedicated area to replace the problematic area. This process can take up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of the issue. Most RAID controllers allow a very short amount of time for a hard drive to recover from an error. If a hard drive takes too long to complete this process, the drive will be dropped from the RAID array. Most RAID controllers allow from 7 to 15 seconds for error recovery before dropping a hard drive from an array. Western Digital does not recommend installing desktop edition hard drives in an enterprise environment (on a RAID controller).

Western Digital RAID edition hard drives have a feature called TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which stops the hard drive from entering into a deep recovery cycle. The hard drive will only spend 7 seconds to attempt to recover. This means that the hard drive will not be dropped from a RAID array.

If you install a RAID edition hard drive in a desktop computer, the computer system may report more errors than a normal desktop hard drive (due to the TLER feature). Western Digital does not recommend installing RAID edition hard drives into a desktop computer environment.


Of course maybe you are an engineer at Western Digital and you know more far more about their drives than the person who wrote the above and he is full of crap.


(Sigh) I know all that. Your comment was an unequivocal "Don't use RE drives without RAID." I said

"The WD RE has a higher MTBF than the SE version. For Raid use it has an extra chip which speeds up rebuilding in case of an array failure. The WD RE provides a bit better security and construction workmanship without HAVING to be used as RAID. The RE's are Enterprise drives as opposed to the SE's being consumer desktop versions and cost about 10% more. "

As the WD faq states, the greater issue is using SEs in Raid, not the other way around. I may be wrong about the purpose of TLER, but the remainder of my comment stands, the RE drives are enterprise drives built for better long-term reliability, the published MTBF figures vary from between 2 to six times greater for the REs than the SEs. So hopefully I won't HAVE to worry about failure. Besides the REs were bought to be used in RAID once the other system is retired. I don't go for bottom dollar when buying drives, I want RELIABILITY, which on-sale Maxtors don't provide.
May 1, 2006 2:04:47 AM

I concur, they weren't the best for comparison in either case. I can certainly compare them to my other drives which cover all manufacturers and lots of models, and the samsung are definatly the quickest I have. Maybe a single review site will add some more hd's and we'll get a definative outcome :) 

The 5 year warranty in my opinion, and experience, is simply a marketing tool to sell more based on that alone, just look at enterprise scsi drives. Most rated at 100,000 hours, that's more than 7 years. So one way to look at it would be that the longer warranty means there is MORE likely going to be a failure in the long term. I currently have 43 hard drives on my home machines all combined, over 30 are more than 3 years old and never have a prob.

Of course longevity has more variables than just the manufacturing of them. The environment with shock, vibration, temperature, will play the largest role. Thus one user may have a drive last 10 years and another only 1.
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