Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help choosing a hard drive.

Last response: in Storage
Share
July 19, 2011 5:47:08 PM

Hello all,

I've recently decided to reformat my gaming rig and actually organize everything. Part of the organization involved getting a new HDD, so I decided I would try to get a new one to hold my OS/games and use my old one for media storage.

I'm at work right now, so I don't have my rig handy, but I know I have a 500GB Maxtor 7200 rpm HDD from somewhere between 3-5 years ago currently.

SSD and 10000+RPM drives all seemed too expensive for me right now and I eventually found ym way to the WD caviar black series.

I found some great reviews for the newest version: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...
but my MoBo only supports Sata 2 (will link at the end).
I'm mostly wondering if I would see a difference between the old caviar black (sata 2 32mb cache) and the new one (sata 3 64mb cache)?
Is one superior to the other in terms of platter configuration to produce a faster drive?

Size isn't too big a concern, as long as it was 500GB+ it should be plenty for my OS and all my games/programs. I'm mostly just looking for which drive I can get the best results from for the $50-80 price tag I've seen. Other drive recommendations are welcome too.

Thanks for any help deciding.

Motherboard: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...
Running an AMDX2 processor and 4GB OCZ reaper RAM.

More about : choosing hard drive

July 19, 2011 7:08:00 PM

Samsung HD103SJ
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 7:21:58 PM

The price is right, but I don't see a difference between that and the old 32Mb cache caviar black. Is there a reason you would go with that drive over the caviar black 32 or 64 MB cache drives?
m
0
l
Related resources
July 19, 2011 7:24:07 PM

Western Digital are better than Samsung or Hitachi drives by a long way.

I'm running a Western Digital Black 640GB for my boot drive and it's brilliant.
I went for the 640GB because I have the option to split it into a 500GB data drive and a 140GB OS partition if I wanted which I thought was pretty nifty.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 7:31:05 PM

That one has a 32MB cache right?

That puts my mind at ease if I go with the older one, but I'd still like to know if I'd see a noticeable improvement with the bigger cache.

Any idea if I'd see a difference between the 640, 750, 1tb, etc due to platter configuration?
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 7:42:05 PM

acer0169 said:
Western Digital are better than Samsung or Hitachi drives by a long way.

I'm running a Western Digital Black 640GB for my boot drive and it's brilliant.
I went for the 640GB because I have the option to split it into a 500GB data drive and a 140GB OS partition if I wanted which I thought was pretty nifty.



Prove it mate, you have a WD Caviar Black so they're better? Very stupid answer.

Samsung is making better drives than Western Digital these days and offer better warranty services, I've had my HD103SJ for quite some time now and have had no problems whatsoever whereas my, WD Caviar Blue seems to have died after just around 18 months or so - although it was very good before it died, it's just not acceptable.
m
0
l
a b G Storage
July 19, 2011 9:06:23 PM

The Western Digital Black series is very popular right now. However no one can really make a case that one HDD maker is better than the other (there are only 2 now anyways since WD bought Hitachi and Seagate bought Samsung). Whichever brand you go with you will hear people swear by and swear at.

That being said it means that it is a good time to buy a HDD as prices are continuously falling and competition is high. So my best advice is to shop around and find the best price for the specs you want, don't worry about brand.


Some advice about specs:

1. SATA III connections on HDDs are a joke, it is about as close to a scam as you can get without being one in my opinion. Since an HDD will never saturate a SATA II connection (you would need a huge raid array to come even close) there is no point in paying more for a SATA III connection that you will never be able to use.

2. You will not notice a performance difference between 32MB and 64MB. The only way you would be able to test the difference between the two would be with synthetic benchmarks, maybe. Plus if you are going to be using this drive for larger files then the cache size advantage is pretty much wiped out anyways.

3. Same goes for platter sizes. Yes the relative speed of a platter with a higher density is faster than the relative speed of a platter with lower densities but you again will only notice this in synthetic benchmarks. And the more you put on the drive the smaller this advantage becomes.


So with all of that my advice is to just find a HDD that is the right size and speed for you and your needs, don't worry about the brand name or the rest of the stuff as it is too small to matter right now especially if you are asked to pay more for it.
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 9:15:40 PM

omnisome said:
Prove it mate, you have a WD Caviar Black so they're better? Very stupid answer.


No ****. I know they're better drives from when I was a computer technician and repairing / replacing hard drives was the main service. Must have taken at least 100 hard drives out of computer to date, maybe 4-5 have been Western Digital.. the rest are a mash up of cheapo unbranded drives, hitachi, samsung and maxtor. Samsung and Maxtor being the two I remember seeing the most of.

I've had 5 hard drives fail on my office computer over the last 7 or so years, 4 were Samsung.
I mark all my components before RMA so I know whether I've had a replacement or refurbished drive back, 3 of the 4 samsung's they sent back were new.. ALL failed within 2 months of use (almost like clockwork).

I base my opinions on components and makes on knowledge and experience, not just because I have this or that.

Edited by Moderator
m
0
l
July 19, 2011 10:06:31 PM

Quote:
1. SATA III connections on HDDs are a joke, it is about as close to a scam as you can get without being one in my opinion. Since an HDD will never saturate a SATA II connection (you would need a huge raid array to come even close) there is no point in paying more for a SATA III connection that you will never be able to use.


My bored can't do sata3 anyways, but thank you for this as I had not seen that before and thought I was sacrificing a lot of speed by having an older MoBo.

Quote:
2. You will not notice a performance difference between 32MB and 64MB. The only way you would be able to test the difference between the two would be with synthetic benchmarks, maybe. Plus if you are going to be using this drive for larger files then the cache size advantage is pretty much wiped out anyways.

3. Same goes for platter sizes. Yes the relative speed of a platter with a higher density is faster than the relative speed of a platter with lower densities but you again will only notice this in synthetic benchmarks. And the more you put on the drive the smaller this advantage becomes.


That's very helpful, though surprising.
I figured a larger cache would be very useful for OS/Games since I assumed they would access a lot of smaller files rapidly as well.
I had seen some posts somewhere recently where someone was comparing a caviar green (with denser platters) to a caviar black (without the denser platters) and showing that the green performed better for those particular drives. This is what had me concerned with finding a drive with denser platters. I figured stuff had changed a lot from when I used to just find whatever was cheapest.

I'll keep poking around for deals.

If anyone had some anecdotal comparisons between the 32 and 64mb cache caviar blacks in the same system that would also help ;-)
m
0
l
a b G Storage
July 19, 2011 11:16:51 PM

You are correct in the fact that the cache size will be affected by the size of the files you are using but like I said it will barely be noticeable.

Here is a link to an older article on TH, they should really do another one like it since, like you said, there have been many new advances in HDD technology.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/understanding-hard-...


If you really want to know about what the cache is generally used for here is an in depth but generally easy to understand overview of what the cache is used for. You will then understand that today the speed of the cache generally has more to do with the firmware on the HDD rather than the size of the cache.

http://forums.storagereview.com/index.php/topic/3200-ho...
*The first post is the one worth reading, the rest are mostly just in agreement
m
0
l
July 20, 2011 2:02:47 PM

Very helpful articles, makes a lot more sense.

Since it is largely the firmware is there a brand that does better in real world benchmarks or would I not be able to notice the difference between a caviar black, seagate barracuda, etc?

The black has multiple processors in it (or something to that effect that I might be using the wrong vocabulary on) according to some things I read, which is why it performs faster than a blue, so how would I find out if a barracuda or other comparable drive had that as well.

It seems like this would be the one factor between them that would actually make a difference, right?
m
0
l
July 20, 2011 3:15:59 PM

acer0169 said:
No ****. I know they're better drives from when I was a computer technician and repairing / replacing hard drives was the main service. Must have taken at least 100 hard drives out of computer to date, maybe 4-5 have been Western Digital.. the rest are a mash up of cheapo unbranded drives, hitachi, samsung and maxtor. Samsung and Maxtor being the two I remember seeing the most of.

I've had 5 hard drives fail on my office computer over the last 7 or so years, 4 were Samsung.
I mark all my components before RMA so I know whether I've had a replacement or refurbished drive back, 3 of the 4 samsung's they sent back were new.. ALL failed within 2 months of use (almost like clockwork).

I base my opinions on components and makes on knowledge and experience, not just because I have this or that.

Well said.bravo-zulu.

Edited by Moderator
m
0
l
a c 143 G Storage
July 20, 2011 3:47:17 PM

I will not argue or disagree with either side on which is more reliable (WD or Samsung), as it is a personal experience. I've used both and neither have failed on me (**knock on wood**). I can from my experience say the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB does outperform the older Western Digital Blacks. Here are two HDTune benchmarks with one the Samsung and the second the Flagship WD 300 GB Velociraptor.






You can see that the Samsung wins across the board except access times, which is the difference in 10,000 rpm's vs 7,200 rpm's.
m
0
l
July 20, 2011 3:59:21 PM

is this the same samsung drive you have? If so, the price is pretty nice and comparable to the old caviar black 640 or new 750 on new egg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm curious if you know what the access times of your black were/ how old your black was in the same system.

I'm really wondering if the caviar black (at least the newer model) has better access times due to some of the controller stuff I've seen mentioned other places. It would definitely be worth the extra $20-30 or 250gb less space to get better access times for my OS/games.
m
0
l
July 20, 2011 4:09:37 PM

"With all do respect sir". It is both exp&hard/facts.AE:numbers.overwatch 200m out standing down.
m
0
l
a c 143 G Storage
July 20, 2011 5:07:10 PM

asus x48 said:
"With all do respect sir". It is both exp&hard/facts.AE:numbers.overwatch 200m out standing down.

I was not disagreeing with you :D 

Here is the latest information I've seen on failure rates: (Source: http://www.hardware.fr/articles/810-6/taux-pannes-compo... )

"To be recognized that the Service has to be done directly through the merchant, which is not always the case since is possible to return directly from the manufacturer: however, this represents a minority in the first year .- Maxtor 1.04% (against 1.73%) - Western Digital 1.45% (against 0.99 %) - Seagate 2.13% (against 2.58%) - Samsung 2.47% (against 1.93%) - Hitachi 3.39% (against 0.92%) is the downfall for Hitachi, which was first in the previous ranking! Western Digital retained its second place despite a failure rate rising, it occupies the first Maxtor place.Voici specifically the failure rate for the 1TB drives:

- 5,76% : Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B
- 5,20% : Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C
- 3,68% : Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
- 3,37% : Samsung SpinPoint F1
- 2,51% : Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
- 2,37% : WD Caviar Green WD10EARS
- 2,10% : Seagate Barracuda LP
- 1,57% : Samsung SpinPoint F3
- 1,55% : WD Caviar Green WD10EADS
- 1,35% : WD Caviar Black WD1001FALS
- 1,24% : Maxtor DiamondMax 23

Hitachi is logically the least well placed, with two separate lines! What about the 2 TB version?

- 9,71% : WD Caviar Black WD2001FASS
- 6,87% : Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000
- 4,83% : WD Caviar Green WD20EARS
- 4,35% : Seagate Barracuda LP
- 4,17% : Samsung EcoGreen F3
- 2,90% : WD Caviar Green WD20EADS"
m
0
l
July 20, 2011 5:18:53 PM

Useful information, though I'm not overly concerned with failure rates. If I get a bad drive, that sucks, but they're all warrantied (caviar black even more so) and as long as I organize everything appropriately a loss in OS/games will just be annoying and not detrimental as I can switch to my laptop for school work or use ubuntu for a little while on another drive. Though, I must say those 2TB results make me shy away from a drive that big.

As such, I'm also not concerned with people rating one name over another as I'm comfortable with a purchase from any of the bigger companies and those discussions are moving away from the actual question posed.

I am, however, concerned with performance and if I can expect better access times and real world results from one drive over another as a 10000+rpm or SSD isn't in my price range.
m
0
l
a b G Storage
July 20, 2011 7:56:53 PM

Here check out the charts section here at TH they pretty much have exactly what you are looking for I believe. Even if it is a bit dated you should be able to find most of the information you are looking for.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...

And just a little more advice, read access time will generally be more important than write access time especially for a HDD that you are looking to use as a boot disk. Almost everyone reads much more than they write.
m
0
l
!