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Help!!! So frustrated with choosing HDD

Last response: in Storage
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May 14, 2012 2:50:02 AM

So my Dad and I have been very frustrated with picking an HDD. Originally we bought a 2tb Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 6Gb/s 64mb etc which we were going to do a RAID 1 later on, and it failed on us a day or two ago. The computer we built was only two weeks old. So we returned the Barracuda and now are hard drive less.
We decided that getting a 128gb or 120gb ssd would be good for the primary drive.
Then to get cost effective 2x (1tb, 1.5tb, or 2tb drives) to put into a RAID 1. But we've had no luck finding reliable ones.

Plan#1: Get a good quality 1tb or 1.5tb like caviar black. And then get another one when the prices goes down even further.

Plan#2: Get 2 ok hard drives 1.5tb or 2tb that are about 200$ together

I'm so stressed about this because I don't feel right spending $400 on a 128gb ssd and 2 hard drives $300 would be better.

It'd be nice to have 7200rpm 64mb cache 6Gb/s but I'm not sure.

I have a GA-Z77x-UD5H by Gigabyte which supports RAID 5 but there are only 2 6Gb/s Sata ports from the board itself which means that one hard drive has to be on the 3Gb/s.

PLEASE PLEASE help this will be greatly appreciated. Hard drive has to be reasonably priced around 100$ea maybe suggest as well good ssd like crucial m4

Is this bad because it's OEM?http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... Cause then i could RAID 5 it. I'm just a fraid of the OEM.
May 14, 2012 2:54:01 AM

First, do you actually need 2tb of storage?

Edit: You said raid 1.
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May 14, 2012 3:18:04 AM

Yea because of a bunch old files and pictures.
RAID 1 would be fine
But RAID 5 would be better.
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Related resources
May 14, 2012 3:20:19 AM

Ops I meant to put a link at the end my bad
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May 14, 2012 3:22:47 AM

If its going to be mostly for archiving, why not get slower HDDs and an SSD for boot.
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May 14, 2012 3:35:26 AM

That's my plan get a 128gb ssd but then user files are going to be on the raid.
Please give some substabtial advice as I have gone through a lot of options.
Links to a hard drive will be appreciated.
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May 14, 2012 4:23:39 AM

With a SSD for your operating system (the Crucial M4 is an excellent choice - I use that as my boot drive), I would recommend the 2TB Samsung F4 for storage.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have four of these and just ordered two more. A friend of mine runs a 24/7 home server and has 8 of these. All are working flawlessly.
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May 14, 2012 4:50:02 AM

But the thing is I want to take advantage of 6Gbps and 64 mb cache so that's where it fails
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 5:04:23 AM

natthewu said:
But the thing is I want to take advantage of 6Gbps and 64 mb cache so that's where it fails

there is no advantage to sata 6Gb/s. mechanical HDs do not go anywhere near the speed of sata 1.5Gb/s let alone 3Gb/s or 6. the 64 Mb cache does come in handy for large file copy/moving but 32 is fine also.
seriously, if you have just a bunch of old pictures and files, forget raid, your complicating things.

if they are important burn them on a disc.
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May 14, 2012 11:42:40 AM

Is there any proof for this? If so then it could be a game changer but doesn't seem likely. Also the Samsung f4 has been labeled as Seagate now. I know Seagate bought Samsung hdd branch but at least change the brand when selling, so I think that's a nono. Also the one at micro center is OEM so I'm not so sure about the quality and actual warranty that micro center will provide.

Edit: also there are hundreds of gigs of photos and documents it would be hard to put on a disc/discs. Raid seems good cause then there's no downtime it's better to have the computer have the files already and not having to copy a backup onto a new drive. I know RAID 1 is not a backup though
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May 14, 2012 12:11:00 PM

natthewu said:
Also the Samsung f4 has been labeled as Seagate now. I know Seagate bought Samsung hdd branch but at least change the brand when selling, so I think that's a nono. Also the one at micro center is OEM so I'm not so sure about the quality and actual warranty that micro center will provide.

That is true but it is the same drive as before except for the warranty. It's a quality drive for the $$$ and I judge it on the experience I and friends have had with them and mention it because it fits your needs and price. Any drive can last years or fail early. Having duplicate data is your protection with any drive you use.
If warranty is your concern, get a WD Caviar Black drive... for quite a bit more.
You are looking for storage drives... don't worry about 6Gbps vs. 3 Gbps or 7200rpm vs. 5400prm for that matter. It's always a leap of faith with any drive you buy.
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 5:39:11 PM

Upgrade Advice: Does Your Fast SSD Really Need SATA 6Gb/s?
even thought this article is more about SSD speed there is a platter used for benchmarking to compare the speed bewteen 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s:
boot time for reading:

file copy for read/write:

i myself was "disappointed" when i thought my system improved. but then i realized i switched from a WD blue w/16Mg cache to a WD black w/64Mgs cache; that made the difference in my benchmarks.
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a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 5:45:05 PM

Another good backup idea is to get some 32g or 16g usb flash drives and store your backups there. Lots better than CDs or DVDs. They're pretty cheap now, less than $10 for some 16g drives.
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May 14, 2012 7:01:54 PM

So any other hard drives that fit my needs? 64mb cache 5900rpm is fine and about 1-2tb reasonably priced and at least 2 year warranty?
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 7:20:51 PM

natthewu said:
So any other hard drives that fit my needs? 64mb cache 5900rpm is fine and about 1-2tb reasonably priced and at least 2 year warranty?

this ought to fit your needs:
Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
turns out to be sata 6Gb/s :lol: 
Manufacturer Warranty
Parts 2 years limited
Labor 2 years limited
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May 15, 2012 12:15:34 AM

So I bought the Crucial M4 128gb for 85$. Does 7200rpm make a difference between the 5900rpm because the USER files are going to be on the RAID 1 so 7200rpm be worth it?
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
May 15, 2012 1:08:11 AM

if you're opening a 10MB word document it hardly matters if it takes you 0.1 seconds or 0.2 seconds? if it was a OS drive the 15% speed difference would come into play but just reading writing smaller .jpg or .doc files i doubt there will be a noticeable difference.
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Best solution

a c 353 G Storage
May 15, 2012 2:34:51 AM

1) Your Raid1 is not real protection - It ONLY protects against a single drive failure. There are many other failure modes that Raid1 DOES NOT protect against. A PSU failure, a MB Failure, Virus/malware, or a AC Input spike could wipe out both drives, and as the saying goes, Poof gone. For true backup you need to have a storage device that is ONLY connected to the Drive to be backed up durning the backup period. Do Not recommend DVDs (except "M-Disk") as some are finding out they do NOT last.

2) And Yes SATA III HDDs are simply a marketing tool The sustained throught put is limited by the Drive RPMs and Platter magnetic domain density. The ONLY improvement is in the initial burst speed which does not normally amount to a hill of beans. There is One sata III HDD that can take more advantage of sata III and that is the Seagate 2 1/2 in drive that has an 8 Gig SLC SSD internally - more of these will start to show up. NOT saying not to buy a SATA III drive, just that it is a waste of a sata III port - so it can be placed on a sata II port and you would NOT see any performance degragation

3) as to drive recomendations, for the typical drives I only recommend the Samsung F3 (which is now sold as "By Seagate" but is still the same drive) and the WD Blacks. WD has some higher end drives (RE, I Think) that are much better, but ofcoarse cost more. - FORGET the blue, or Green and the Yellow with red Pokadot drives from both Seagate and WD. Seagate recently announced that they were discontinuing their "green" drives.

PS Forgive spelling - It's late.

Added, DVD M-Disk (NOT all DVD recorders can record to. Brief excerpt:
Quote almost immune to inclement conditions, and made of stone? You’d have the Millenniata M-Disc, which is basically a 4.7GB DVD with a data layer made out of stone-like metals and metalloids.
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/92286-m-disc-is-a-...
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May 15, 2012 2:40:58 AM

natthewu said:
So I bought the Crucial M4 128gb for 85$. Does 7200rpm make a difference between the 5900rpm because the USER files are going to be on the RAID 1 so 7200rpm be worth it?


That's a low price. Where from?
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May 15, 2012 3:37:26 AM

Erunion: staples price match amazon then use 25$ off 100$ coupon. So 130 to 110 to 85 plus tax. You can buy a 25off100 coupon for 1.50

Probably going to go with black caviar 1tb raid 1 plus what should I backup with?
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May 15, 2012 4:15:50 AM

Cool. Thanks.
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May 15, 2012 1:52:12 PM

natthewu said:
Erunion: staples price match amazon then use 25$ off 100$ coupon. So 130 to 110 to 85 plus tax. You can buy a 25off100 coupon for 1.50

Probably going to go with black caviar 1tb raid 1 plus what should I backup with?


you might want to do a little more research IF you wish to put the WD Caviar Black into a Raid.

my understanding - the Black Caviars are not designed for Raid performance. see other WD drives.
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May 15, 2012 3:12:09 PM

Designed for consumer raids like 1 and 0 but now it's what should I use to backup 1tb? Can you compress backups to 16gb or something?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 15, 2012 3:34:15 PM

The amount of compression is difficault to answer as it is dependent on the individual filles. Some files can be compressed considerably. A good understanding of this is to take a large Bitmap Photo file and then convert it to a jpeg, the jpeg will be much smaller - The jepg uses a compression algorthium. So Bitmap Photo has a Much higher compression ratio than a Jepg Photo. Exe files can normally only be compressed by a small amount normally. Small files generally do not lend themselfs for compression.

DVDs and Blu-ray files can be reduced, but it is generally at a cost of quality. For example I took 24 DVD/Bule ray moves and converted them to a size for playback on an ipad (put ALL 24 Movies on one 64 gig Thumbdrive). DVD movies are generally 5 -> 8 Gigs (ie contains 5 -> 8 1 Gig files) and Blue-ray has a single file that can be anywheres from 13 -> 40 gigs. The program I use dropped the File size for movie down to 2.2 gigs (effectively a great compression ratio. And they are playable on ipad and Laptop - The quality was exceptable, but Not as good as say a 1080P Blu-ray movie.

Bottem line is that you may (Stress MAY) be able to compress 1 gig down to 400 -> 600 Megs.
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May 15, 2012 4:22:15 PM

So what's the best thing to use/do when backing up?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 15, 2012 10:54:55 PM

I use two seperate USB HDDs, Bought two samsung f3s (before the big price jump) and then bought two usb3 encloser to stick them in. They are disconnected except when I do a back up.

I also have bought laptop drives and put in a USB3 encloser. The two an a half in laptop drives are normally more rugged however would NOT recommend the WD mypassport 1 TB drive, I have one but have seen some reviews that it is not that reliable.
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May 16, 2012 1:39:13 AM

I use a Mediasonic four bay Probox for my backups. I agree with RetiredChief... your backups should only be connected during the course of backing up.
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May 28, 2012 9:31:10 PM

Best answer selected by natthewu.
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