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Seagate ST3500630AS vs Western Digital WD5000AAKS Hard Drive

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May 4, 2007 9:05:10 PM

I've been looking for the best price/performance large capacity hard drive and have pretty much narrowed it down between these two. I can get the WD for $121 or the Seagate for $125, so they are basically the same price. I'm planning on putting them in RAID0 for a 1TB RAID array, so I'm looking for the best performer, and I know both of these companies are reliable. I've looked at both storagereview and the charts here, and neither one have both of the drives listed for a head to head comparison, so I'm perplexed as to which one will give me better performance. Acoustics aren't a big deal to me, I'm gonna have enough fans in my case that some HD noise isn't gonna kill me.
May 7, 2007 8:22:37 PM

now I had been in a similar situation while building up my HTPC just two weeks ago. I opted for the seagate for its longer warranty and supposedly more advanced perpendicular recording. Also I had good fortunes with Seagate drives in the past, providing reliable and quiet service.

However, the drive is pretty loud, to the point where it is the loudest component in my system (yes, it is even more noticeable than the fan). I am not talking about spinning noise, as it is FDB, but the head. The seek noise under random seek is just horribly loud, and I constantly hear "click, click, click. clack" coming out of the case under normal idle uses.

Now if it were a server, I wouldn't mind, but being HTPC this noise really interferes with the user experience, especially after all the effort to kill other noises in the computer. I will probably return the seagate to try out the WD just because everyone's saying how quiet it is. Some tests also seem to show the WD being faster than the .10 seagate. I don't think it would matter so much to me. I just want reliability and silent operation.

Hope this helps.
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May 13, 2007 12:53:07 AM

Just for performance, I believe the WD has an edge, somewhere in the range of <5% but still a lead.

Since you want RAID0, I'd go with Seagate though. I've never had a problem with their HDs, and I have 6 of them right now (granted, its 4 in 1 PC and 2 in the other, still all RAID setups). I've had a few WDs fail, so the shorter warranty on the WD might not be something to ignore...

Another advantage for WD: lower seek and access times.

If you consider just sheer performance, WD hands down.
May 13, 2007 2:51:01 AM

well, to follow up on my story with these two hard drives: I did in fact order a new WD 5000AAKS drive for the reason mentioned before, quietness. However, the drive came in dead on arrival. I read around the forums and it seems the stories about failing WD drives are much more prevalent than seagates. Even if this latest DOA doesn't count, I did have an experience with a WD failing on me within a few weeks. I haven't had any problems with seagates yet, and I used to run 30 computer stations with various drives. I think Seagate is probably the most reliable, but it is a bit noisy to me. I'm sticking with it for now, for the lack of a better option really. Data integrity is after all the most important consideration. I can't trust a drive that is known to come in DOA.
a b G Storage
May 13, 2007 8:19:41 AM

Everyone has their own horror stories with hard drives. I've had 5 that failed on me in 7 years. 3 were Maxtors (not buying another one, ever), 1 Seagate that died within 3 months, and a Hitachi.

My IBM Deskstar 75GXP 60GB never gave me any problems, but I just recently retired it since it has been in continual usage since 2000. I only had a slight issue with a 160GB Western Digital hard drive where 9GB somehow got corrupted and became unusable. Still usable today and I haven't lost any data on it, but I only store temporary or non-important stuff on it now.
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