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Any Point In Buying Hard Drives Anymore?

Last response: in Storage
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September 28, 2011 5:16:50 PM

I'm nearing my purchase of components for my new build, [largely in part to this site and help from a number of you - thank you!], and I'm pretty much set on an SSD for my OS & Programs.

But in shopping for a storage drive, I've been reading as many disappointments & complaints with even some of the most popular brands, such as Western Digital 'Black', Seagate 'Barracuda', etc, as I have read concerns of the newer SSD's 'growing pains' if you will.

So a guy says to himself, "Is there any point in buying an HDD anymore, what with the older technology of mechanical arm(s), possible noise & vibration factors, slower speed, bad reviews, historic hard drive crashes, etc?

Is it more sensible to just go with SSD's for both of [or all] my drives?"

Alternatively, an SSD for my OS & Programs, and a simple USB external storage for my saved files, which will be small in size & number? I've had a removable 40Gig USB hard drive for about 10 years now, and it has never failed me once.

In one sense it's a bit of a pain to plug and unplug it each time I use it, but the plus side is complete isolation from the system and possible problems and/or crashes when unplugged, in addition to file portability.

Any thoughts and opinions?

Thanks,

James
September 28, 2011 5:28:37 PM

Absolutely.

I buy them for storage. Like filing cabinets in a warehouse (Or in my case, Pallets) I just stack older hard drives in a case in the other room on the network to serve out their final days or years as the ultimate backed up backup redundant fail safe never lose your stuff backup.

Every so often I toss another hard drive into that box.

There is literally a greater danger of losing the ability to read CD backups, some of which are approaching 20 years in my cd case. Drives optical that can read CD's are cheap, but those that can do BLUE ray, DVDs AND CD's are almost impossible.

I had to toss my Parralel port printer the other day. The adapter for that connection to USB cost almost as much as a Canon MX330 on sale today.
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September 28, 2011 5:33:46 PM

Yes, you'll always need a large storage drive for everything. As long as you keep back up files. HDD's are really cheap nowdays and ssd's will eventually become the dominant storage solution, but for now, it is still useful to have a hard drive.
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a b G Storage
September 28, 2011 5:34:21 PM

It's all a matter of budget. If you can afford enough SSD space for your needs then by all means go for it.

I just did a summary of space used on my home workstation and I'm using a total of 140GB. I could get by with a 256GB SSD for the near future, but that is probably over $400 in storage. Right now I have a WD Black 750GB, and those cost well under $100. I have stuff stored on my computer that dates back to my first IBM PC, documents, programs, programming languages, PDF files, plus a lot of digital photography I've done in the last 8 years of so. This is the first time in the history of PC's that it has been easy and cheap for me to buy more than enough hard drive for my needs.

My home workstation works fine with a WD Black. It is responsive enough for me. OTOH I have a couple of laptops that are very slow and I'm planning to put SSD's in them. At work my CAD workstation is running a Velociraptor for its boot drive and a standard drive for its storage drive. The next workstation I build will have an SSD for the boot drive and multiple storage drives.

Every person has different storage needs so there is no one solution that works for everybody.
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a b G Storage
September 28, 2011 5:35:05 PM

Hi,

For my part, I am waiting second or third generation of SSD since people are having problems with some of them and because they are pretty expensive.

If you get a Western digital: they are the best brand on the ,market and have 3-5 years of warranty. Any 500 go I've seen are great.

As for other brands of sata drive, they fail faster then WD.

Therefore you can always download Hard disk sentinel or other program that monitors Hard drive to predict failure, But then again Backups are you best friends on that.

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a c 311 G Storage
September 28, 2011 5:49:30 PM

The biggest problem right now is affordability.
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September 28, 2011 6:56:21 PM

HDD is still a good buy due to their price & storage ratio (i.e price per GB of storage). While SSD is THE most expensive storage solution currently widely available. It will be at least another 5+ years before SSDs will be adopted as the standard method of storage; widely due to cost.
While SSDs are faster, more efficient and more reliable than HDDs, they are much more expensive. The average cost of HDDs is about 5 to 10 cents per GB, while SSDs are $1.00+ per GB. That's roughly 10-20 times the cost. If your worried about potential data corruption etc, your better off getting two solid HDDs and running them in raid 1 with a third external HDD running regular backups than a single high capacity SSD.

Now, I can understand your lack of confidence in last-gen technology, but it's nonetheless a economical and reliable method of storage. Granted, there will always be DoAs but the possibility of getting bad units from reputable manufactures are very very slim - even slimer if you do your research. And ALWAYS buy your computer hardware from local stores with reasonable return policies. The conclusion is Yes, HDDs are still worth buying in general.


SSDs are currently quite expensive but should be considered as a alternative method of storage if you are performance oriented.
This is what I plan to do. Get two 60/90GB SSDs on sale (I still need to do my research on brands & models)

SSD#1 Deciated Boot Drive + misc applications (i.e MSN, AIM, Skype, Ventrilo, etc)
SSD#2 Dedicated to games
HDD#1 Media files (movies, music, word documents, etc etc)

~Coffee
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September 28, 2011 7:00:09 PM

Good answers!

I have 2 other computers that go online and download, organize & store most of my stuff.

This rig will be a second dedicated DAW computer, where it will only store music files from the DAW program, etc. It will never go online, nor store any pictures, documents, etc. Those go on my other computers.

So large storage will either not be necessary or I can add as I go, as old files can be moved, or deleted if obsolete.

Cost really isn't that big of a deal, although I hate the idea of pay twice as much for something that I can get for about half as much just 6-12 months later.

Having said that, it would be nice to load the OS & programs and be done with it n that drive.
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September 28, 2011 7:00:09 PM

Good answers!

I have 2 other computers that go online and download, organize & store most of my stuff.

This rig will be a second dedicated DAW computer, where it will only store music files from the DAW program, etc. It will never go online, nor store any pictures, documents, etc. Those go on my other computers.

So large storage will either not be necessary or I can add as I go, as old files can be moved, or deleted if obsolete.

Cost really isn't that big of a deal, although I hate the idea of paying twice as much for something that I can get for about half as much just 6-12 months later.

Having said that, it would be nice to load the OS & programs and be done with it n that drive once & for all.
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September 28, 2011 7:47:31 PM

HDDs will be practical until the $/GB of a SSD is close to the same as a HDD. Currently SSD's run anywhere from $1-2/GB, while HDDs are as cheap as $0.03/GB, and rarely above $0.10/GB. Also, the performance of a HDD is more than adequate for most consumer tasks. Yes, Windows will boot faster with a SSD, but the difference between 20 seconds and 1 minute means that I save maybe 40 seconds out of my day.

As for HDD reliability it seems like the larger 2&3TB HDDs aren't quite as reliable as the lower capacity HDDs. However, I have 3 2TB disks and they all work perfectly. Just like with SSDs I expect these larger capacity HDDs to improve in quality over time.

However, that doesn't mean my HTPC which is only running Windows 7, a browser, WMC, WMP, VLC, and a handful of other tiny programs can't get by on a 40GB SSD.
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September 28, 2011 7:49:46 PM

I once bought 4 enterprise Raptor 150's for a very stiff cost of about 1000 dollars.

Three still survive and run well today. I have a couple of spinners that are over a decade old and still keep them because there is some really good stuff on them I would want to try and recover someday.

Teras of space everywhere. But you really only use a few hundred gig at most.
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September 28, 2011 8:04:44 PM

I guess in all fairness, I should add that never have I ever had a hard drive crash on me, nor lose any Data [that I couldn't do without].

That's over the course of the last 10 years, encompassing 4 computers. :ange: 
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September 28, 2011 8:04:44 PM

Oops...accidental double post...
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September 28, 2011 8:14:53 PM

I'm tempted to see at what price point the Samsung 6/Gbs 380 SSD will come in at, hopefully in a few weeks.

I might just wait. I have a feeling that they might have a decent introductory price so as to try and 'steal' some of the current market share they have been missing out on.

Having said that, the 'Behardware' site was a good find on here in another post in this section. That's definitley a bookmarker. It was interesting to see that the Westesn Digital 'Black' HDDs did reasonably well regarding returns, when compared to others on that list.
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