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New Hard Drive Selection

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March 6, 2010 3:05:49 PM

Which one is the best drive for storage? I'm not overly concerned with speed, as this drive will be solely for multimedia storage. The noise level and power consumption I couldn't care less about. The main thing I'm looking for is long-term reliability and capacity, and a lower price would be nice too.

The Drives . . .

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a c 415 G Storage
March 6, 2010 4:24:56 PM

It should be fairly obvious that for capacity considerations, just buy the biggest drive, or if you're on a budget buy the drive that has the highest MByte/$.

Your other concern is reliability - and there have been several inconclusive threads about that. The long and the short of it is all that's available are individual anecdotes which really can't be counted on as a good indication of the overall picture. There really isn't any hard evidence to suggest any one brand or model of drives is systematically worse than any other.

It seems to me like it's a bit of an impossible question anyway, because by the time you get enough statistical evidence to finger a particular model, it's probably obsolete and has been replaced by newer models whose reliability doesn't necessarily have any relationship to the old one.

I personally tend to use WD drives because I've had good experience with them, but if there happens to be a good sale on some other brand then I don't hesitate to take advantage of it.
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March 6, 2010 7:00:10 PM

OP, I say Samsung EcoGreen for storage. Samsung drives, for the most part, are reliable. Some people say they're a bit more noisy than other drives because of vibration but others say they run cool and silent. I prefer Samsung drives for either storage or an OS drive (if you can't afford a SSD).

I am looking for a storage drive, too, and it is between Samsung EcoGreen drives and the WD Greens. The WDxxEARS series is what I would consider though over WDxxEADS. The only thing to consider though with the newer WD Greens is the new partition format. They have to be aligned for 4K byte sectors or 4096 byte sectors or the drive will perform terribly slow. I mean, big time slow! There's a lot of buyers who didn't realize how crucial it is to have these drives partitioned properly. There are not many methods yet to do that and if you use XP, you need to use a utility on the WD support site or if you use Windows 7, the OS already does it properly. XP doesn't. There's another issue with the partitioning in Linux but that's another story and if you don't use Linux, it won't apply to you. Samsung F2 EcoGreen drives are the old style aka legacy drives that can be used as before.

If you want to try the new technology, try the WD. Most future drives will probably have the same format. Hopefully, there will be better ways to partition them by then. I think it might be good to try the 'new way' but I read a lot of issues with them and Samsung drives get good reviews generally. Maybe go for the best price per GB? Also, I read that is best to go with either 1TB or 1.5TB drives because there's less moving parts and some say drives =/> (equal or greater to) 1TB are a crapshoot. It's all on chance of getting a good one. Apparently, the QC isn't the best regardless of brand. I think it might be good going for either 1TB or 1.5TB since it's either 2 platters or 3 as 2TB is FOUR. Anyway, it's just an idea others have presented but imho, it's not a bad argument.

Hope that helps give some ideas.
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March 6, 2010 7:22:16 PM

I think I need to figure out my budget first and decide which capacity I want to go for. Then I need to decide which category I'm gonna go for (Separated in the picture) and then the harder part, which brand to get from the category.

For all the categories I drew with more than 1 drive, could somebody tell me which are likely the best drives from each? There's 6 categories, the 'Slow Cheap Drives', the 'Reliable Drives', and the 'High Performance Drives' for each capacity: 1TB, 1.5TB, and 2TB.

Oh, and the biggest questions I have on my mind now are: How do the WD AV-GP Drives perform, and Do they have 4KB Sectors?
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March 6, 2010 7:46:22 PM

My list (it's short) - for storage:
1TB - Samsung F2 EcoGreen / WD10EARS (get the cheapest one)
1.5TB - Samsung F2 EcoGreen / WD15EARS (*ditto)
2TB - no contest - Samsung F3 EcoGreen - *note - it is F3 model - too many rave reviews to consider any other 2TB drive

Only decide on a WDxxEARS drive after researching/reviewing them. If it sounds like something you can handle and you're willing to try it, by all means. If you use Windows 7 (exclusively) or feel apt to use the WD Align Utility at the WD support site, then you should be okay.

I don't know anything about the AV-GP drives. Seem too expensive for me.

Obviously, I'm still debating between the two brands above but I'm leaning towards the Samsung because it would be plug and play regardless of OS. The new WD Greens are said to offer extra space with the new 4KB sectors, though.
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March 6, 2010 9:10:36 PM

So I should really stay away from the Seagate drives?

I had it down to the Samsung drive for 1TB (Not a green drive, but same price), the Caviar Green or 7200.11 for 1.5TB and the Samsung for 2TB.

Also, which Samsung drives use 500GB Platters? Last thing I knew, the F2EG Didn't, the F3 Did, but for the F3EG I wasn't sure.
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March 6, 2010 10:42:05 PM

raybob95 said:
So I should really stay away from the Seagate drives?

I had it down to the Samsung drive for 1TB (Not a green drive, but same price), the Caviar Green or 7200.11 for 1.5TB and the Samsung for 2TB.

Also, which Samsung drives use 500GB Platters? Last thing I knew, the F2EG Didn't, the F3 Did, but for the F3EG I wasn't sure.
They all use 500GB platters now. Where did you hear otherwise?

I don't know if Seagate is good now. I'd rather not risk it. The Samsung is more reliable, I think, and is better for lower heat and lower power consumption. If I went Seagate, I'd consider the LP model but the Samsung usually receives more positive reviews. The F2 EcoGreen is 500GB platters as far as I know.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/10/05/sam...
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March 6, 2010 10:48:10 PM

The F2 can be compared to Seagate and WD in the charts here, too.
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March 6, 2010 11:15:49 PM

Then I think I'll go with a Samsung no matter what Capacity I choose.

That is, unless I find out more about the AV-GP Drives and choose to get one of those, but that's unlikely.
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March 6, 2010 11:35:00 PM

For the chart comparisons, go to the TH UK one, not the U.S. one. I don't know why they're different but the American site's chart look older and the UK one is more up to date.

I think I might avoid the EARS drives, too. There's too damn much you have to do with them. There's a utility for reducing the load cycle counts which requires DOS for crying out loud. Then there is the partition alignment problem which might effect you depending on your OS and whether the partition tools that go with it have support for creating the 4096 byte sector clusters. I think these drives were introduced and released too early. I don't mind trying it but when it's about $80 for a drive, I'm not sure I want to be another one of WD's guinea pigs.
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March 12, 2010 12:23:04 AM

I bought the Samsung EcoGreen F2 1.5TB Hard Drive for a modest $95 plus Extra FedEx shipping to ensure Longetivity.
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March 12, 2010 2:01:48 PM

Please follow up after using it for a bit if you will. I would be interested in the feedback. I'm now thinking I'll go with a Samsung, too, either the F2 1.5TB or the F3 1TB.
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March 12, 2010 11:41:18 PM

I'll post benchmarks of that and my current drives once I get it. And BTW I paid $15 extra for FedEx since I heard that UPS drops everything 5 feet and that lots of HDDs fail through it. However, my current WD Black 1TB was shipped with UPS at the end of last June, is filled to having 3GB left (Yes, 3GB :p  ), has over 5200 PowerOn hours, and is constantly stressed, but it still works perfectly and despite being so full and fragmented, is still very quick and quiet.
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March 13, 2010 7:11:20 PM

Haha, I got this email from Newegg:

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March 16, 2010 7:49:10 PM

Copying from my WD Caviar Black 1TB directly to the new F2 is holding steady at 84.8 MB/sec. Formatting took just over 4 hours. Anyway, here are my benchmarks.

The WD Caviar Black 1TB (931GB In Windows) with over 5000 Power on Hours: (The big dips are due to the page file being accessed)



And the brand spanking new, unformatted Samsung F2 EcoGreen 1.5TB (1397GB in Windows).

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March 27, 2010 11:58:10 PM

Oh and BTW, it runs at 19C, which is cooler than Room Temp. :) 

It says the Airflow is 18C (64F) and it's actually at 19C (66F). Room temp in here is around 70F.
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