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Good "cheap" hard drives for Raid

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August 2, 2011 9:24:01 PM

What is a good cheap drive (2TB under $100) that will work in a hardware RAID configuration?
I have two WD 2TB drive one is the black and the other is the Green. I heard that the green doesn't work in raid? Is that true?
Is there any other companies out there that make a good RAID drive. Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate?

Is it better to use all of the same drives in a Raid array? Like all Hitachi or all WD?

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August 2, 2011 9:52:39 PM

While "Green" drives, which are typically either 5400 or 5900 RPM, can work in RAID, they under-perform. This is especially true when compared to their 7200RPM siblings. They also have a greater tendency to fail when used in RAID arrays.

And yes, you should use identical drives in RAID arrays. Doing so eliminates any performance and capacity variance.

At the $100 or less price point, you'll be hard pressed to find a very good RAID performing drive with a capacity much greater than 1-1.5TB. But, there are some very good 1TB drives in the $60-80 range.

If you want solid RAID performing drives from Western Digital, stick to the Black series for home or home office use. The 1TB version usually sells for about $80-90, and the 1.5TB version can often be found for $110-120. You should consider their RE3 or RE4 drives for enterprise solutions as they're specifically designed for RAID use. 1TB RE3/RE4 drives tend to cost about $120 or so, which is slightly more than the 1.5TB Black.

Samsung's F3 drives perform well when used in RAID. They have a variant (the F3R) which is supposed to be better suited for RAID use, but no plainly apparent difference between the two models exists. But, F3's are only available in 1TB capacity. For larger capacity you'd have to choose their F4 model, which doesn't perform as well as the F3.

As for Seagate, consider their Barracuda and Barracuda XT models for home use. For business/enterprise, consider their Constellation ES drives.

I haven't been keeping up with Hitachi's offerings at all. I really have no info to offer in reference to their drives.
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a b G Storage
August 3, 2011 11:34:02 PM

I have good luck with 2TB Hitachi drive!
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a b G Storage
August 4, 2011 12:40:28 AM

I perfer the WD Blacks, def go with 7200rpm drive.
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August 4, 2011 5:12:01 AM

Everyone is saying go for the 7200RPM is it relay going to make that much difference?
Right now as I said I have 2 2TB one is the WB black at 7200 and the other is the green i think it is 5400. At the moment would you even bother making a Raid with those two drives?
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August 4, 2011 6:59:29 AM

I made an external enclosure RAID with Hitachi 2TB drives for a friend of mine, and it's working good.
And about a RAID with a black and a green WD - well, I am not sure, the green drives has variable speed - they need some time for spinning up, so for me they realy don't look good for RAID.
But what RAID do you want to build? 0 /for speed/ or 1/for reliability/ or 5, 10 /for both/...?
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August 4, 2011 2:44:55 PM

How many drives are you looking to purchase? If it's just one drive then honestly, I would say spend the extra $20 to get a 2TB 7200 RPM WD Black Drive.

I recently purchased two of them for a RAID 1 setup in my computer, and I got a great deal for them at $120 each. To me the extra money was worth it over the green drives for a faster more reliable RAID friendly drive.
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a b G Storage
August 4, 2011 3:36:25 PM

Green drives are only good for mass storage, if you care about performance at all I would not go with the green drives. If the goal of the RAID is redundancy, I would just make your 7200 drive a standalone and image nightly to the 5400. If the goal of the RAID is speed, def replace the green with an identical black drive. Putting a 5400 and 7200 in RAID 0 for speed, well that will probably perform as bad or worse as a stand alone drive. Seek times will be worse and your transfer maybe a little better.
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August 4, 2011 4:44:49 PM

Simply put, I have 8 Hitachi drives running in my local server, all RAID1 (4 pairs of 2). I use software RAID (mdadm) because I run Linux.

This server operates 24/7 and has been running for more than a year with several power fluctuations (until I purchase a UPS a few months ago) and not a drive has failed.

I've lost 3 WD and 2 Seagate drives over the same period of time.

My recommendation: Hitachi.
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August 4, 2011 6:29:10 PM

My goal is to have about 3-4TB of RAID 5. I want to have good performance. I use Vmware a lot and I am always copying VMs back and forth. but I also want storage space for media, backup images stuff like that
Am i right in thinking more drives = better, performance? So I would be better off going with 1TB drive then 2TB drives. I think they are about the same price,give or take $10. Is there a formula for RAID 5 So I know how many drives I need to equal 3-4TB
What happens when a drive dies? Do I just take it out and put in a new one, and it just rebuilds. Or does it depend on the RAID array?
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August 4, 2011 7:16:04 PM

"My recommendation: Hitachi."
At last somebody to agree with me :) . I was beginning to become shy on recommending Hitachi /over and over/, because everytime there was somebody to say - they are too noisy or something else not actually so important.
I have Hitachis working for years in not very airy enclosures without any problem.

And Hitachi 1.5 TB are just $65 on Newegg without any price match for the capacity.

It depends of the array ofcourse - in RAID 1 you simply take the defective drive out, copy everithing from the good one to the new one and that's about all you need to do. In RAID 5 you need to reconstruct the array.
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August 4, 2011 7:20:11 PM

pepe2907 said:
"My recommendation: Hitachi."
At last somebody to agree with me :) . I was beginning to become shy on recommending Hitachi /over and over/, because everytime there was somebody to say - they are too noisy or something else not actually so important.
I have Hitachis working for years in not very airy enclosures without any problem.


I like Hitachi as well, they are good drives and they are cheap. I got them in two computers and a laptop not problems at all. I don't think they are noisy at all.
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a b G Storage
August 4, 2011 9:42:32 PM

LOL That is what i said too

With 2TB and 3TB HDD the density of it does make up for the RPM...
We have not see a big the different between 5400 versus 7200rpm
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August 5, 2011 1:37:13 AM

I use Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 250gb x2 personally yield 218mb/s max read speed and 170mb/s write speed ran a few tests against my friends Samsung F3 mine boots windows about 10 seconds faster and load Race driver GRID about 3 seconds faster. I guess you could get a pair of .12 500GB 16mb cache and RAID0 them...should be pretty fast.
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August 5, 2011 8:26:19 AM

lpallard says:
"For all using Linux, you might want to be aware of the so-called green drives...

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1367904"

Thanks.

"What do you guys think about refurbished drives?"

I am not so much into the idea. You don't know what happened with the drive /most likely refurbisheable cause is maybe burnt controllers but you don't know how this affected the rest of the drive/, how long it was used and under what conditions...
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August 5, 2011 3:49:01 PM

I agree with pepe2907....

Lets put it this way, if your data is crucial like some of mine is (losing some of my data, I'd rather have my place burn down than lose this data)... If true, then consider this scenario:

if you had a heart condition that would require you to have a pace maker installed, would you be pleased by the idea of having a refurbished pace maker installed in your chest?

I recognize its an extreme case, but nevertheless, I am not into the idea for something that, if failed, will generate a loss... A TV remote, who cares, it fails, you replace it. You did not lose anything per-se... A hard drive or a USB stick, it fails, you lose the item PLUS your data...
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August 5, 2011 4:42:22 PM

But they will all be going in to a RAID array, so if one dies, who cares, just replace it with another one. If I keep a spare drive handy 24/7 and switch it out with the bad one. you will lower the risks even more.I think I can setup so it emails me if something goes bad.
Like having two pace makers inside you, Just not as hot swappable as a RAID array lol
I was also thinking about using my green 2TB drive as a, off-site back up drive. like once every 2 weeks back it up then take it off-site again. All of the really important stuff isn't passed the 2TB yet.
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August 12, 2011 5:20:36 AM

Best answer selected by catsrules.
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August 12, 2011 6:44:04 PM

Well thanks for you help everyone. At the moment I decided to save my money for some 2TB drives.
I just will setup my 2 2TB drives I have now as normal drives. Have my 2TB Black drive setup as my main data drive. Then have a copy script run every night and copy all of the new stuff added that day on the 2TB green drive. The only problem with this is that it will not delete any thing on the green drive. If I delete or move something on my Black drive. I will need to delete or move it on my other drive as well. Might run a monthly script that will format my green drive then copy everything to it again. But then if something bad happens on the 31st where would I be.
Owell it will be nice to have a "undo drive" if something happens.

Thanks again for your help
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August 12, 2011 9:33:50 PM

On that note you may also want to look at an automatic backup such as Acronis True Imagine.

I have a weekly backup for anything modified/added, and then a monthly backup for everything in general. It's quite customizable in terms of what folders you want, destination drives, date stamps etc..

Just a heads up, you may already be aware.
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