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Hard Drive - WD15EARS, WD15EADS, HD154UI, or ST31500341AS?

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January 21, 2010 2:23:37 AM

Alright so I'm looking at these four drives and trying to pick a winner. The drive will hold games pretty much exclusively, but then I don't have much of a problem with my current WD 250GB IDE drive that does the same job.

I was originally going to go for the ST31500341AS, but after finding out about the firmware issue thought I should stay clear.

I then decided on the WD15EARS but for some reason, on http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net the EADS (32MB cache, older) gets a score of 582, and the EARS (64MB cache, newer) gets a score of 472 - significantly lower.

This has left me VERY confused. Could anyone help out with some advise as to which I should go with?
January 21, 2010 7:13:20 PM

I just bought two WD15EARS drives for a Home Server, having not discovered the rankings you posted. I'd be interested to see a review of the WD15EARS.
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January 23, 2010 2:50:43 AM

Oh I agree, though I haven't been able to find any online. How have you found the EARS model?
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a b G Storage
January 24, 2010 10:38:21 PM

I know you're looking at 1.5TB drives, but if you were originally going to go with the Seagate, have you checked out the ST31000528AS (it's a 1TB, but it's the newer 7200.12 version - rated best 1TB drive by MaximumPC for 2009). I have one in my new i7-860 that I use exclusively for storage (using an OCZ Vertex SSD for the boot drive). So far, I'm thoroughly pleased with it & would recommend it. Here are some figures I'm getting from it...

Sequential Read: 120.6 Mb/s
Random Read 512KB: 56.41 Mb/s
Random Read 4KB: 0.787 Mb/s

Sequential Write: 105 Mb/s
Random Write 512KB: 88.57 Mb/s
Random Write 4KB: 1.514 Mb/s
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January 25, 2010 6:20:59 AM

It's certainly something to look at, thanks :-)

The main reason I'm looking at a 1/5TB is because of the storage capacity (ie it takes up the same physical space as any other drive) but has the same general storage-space-for-money ratio. So a 1.5TB is roughly 1.5 times the cost of a 1TB, whereas the 2TB drives are significantly more expensive.
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a b G Storage
January 25, 2010 9:38:11 PM

True (on the taking up the same space as any 3.5" drive). I see what you're saying, actually, the WD15EARS comes out cheaper on a $/GB ratio ($120 vs. $99 for the 1TB Seagate). At the same time I don't know what RPM the "green" drives from WD are. There was another thread on here that went into that a bit, it was titled something about "green drives and performance for music/movies". It was basically concluded that the drive would be just fine for music & movies.

I'm not much into gaming, but I would think you'd want a 7200 RPM drive (not saying that the WD isn't, I'm just not sure, since it's difficult to find the specs - actually, here's a write-up on the WD Green drives I found, haven't read through it all, but looks to have some good info). On the other hand, if your current IDE drive is doing the job, then I would think you'd be satisfied... Maybe someone with some more experience with gaming & HD's can offer some input on this area.

Steve
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January 27, 2010 8:18:09 AM

I got these today. There's a sticker on them indicating the for WinXP, you need to use a WD tool to set the sector size to 4096. If you don't, you'll have performance issues. There are a lot of people indicating they've had issues on linux.

I'm using Win7, and I verified the sector size was correct.

Full information on my experience here - http://community.wdc.com/t5/Desktop/WDC-WD15EARS-00z5b1...

I downloaded the PerformanceTest from passmark and ran the HDD test twice. It scored a 659 and a 678, so the 472 score is busted.
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January 28, 2010 12:28:30 AM

Ah thanks for that Darkhog. I decided to bite the bullet and buy the WD15EARS. The XP thing isn't a problem as I'm running Win 7.

I figured those scores looked a bit wonky, cheers for clearing it up. :-)

EDIT: well my current drive, the WD2500JB, gets a score of 347 so I'm pretty sure the WD15EARS is going to be a step up :) 
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