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Need Help Choosing a Hard Drive

Last response: in Storage
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June 9, 2012 11:54:36 AM

I'm looking for a large capacity drive, that is economical for storage, but also capable for some gaming. (So, SSD are out of my budget/consideration).

The drive I currently have is a
Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200 rpm, 32MB, SATA-3G, OEM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
which I purchased in May, 2010 for $50. (I guess Thailand flood is still impacting pricing, as I would have expected the cost per GB to decrease in 2 years...as it has done previously)

The new drive will either be the primary or secondary drive (depending on what setup is best, so please advise).

After some research, I've come across the following options:

$110 -- $55 / TB
Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200RPM 2 TB SATA 6 GB/s NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005T3GRN2/jnblo...

$104 -- $52 / TB
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (unknown RPM other than IntelliPower, if somone knows, please say)
http://www.gadgetneeds.net/western-digital-caviar-green...

$96 -- $48 / TB
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (ST2000DL003, EDIT: it seems this is 5,900 RPM)
http://www.gadgetneeds.net/seagate-barracuda-green-2tb-...

$160 -- $53.33 / TB
Western Digital AV-GP 3TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (WD30EURS)
http://www.gadgetneeds.net/western-digital-av-gp-3tb-3-...

$144 -- $48 / TB
Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (unknown RPM other than IntelliPower, if somone knows, please say) (EDIT: WD30EZRX)
http://www.gadgetneeds.net/western-digital-caviar-green...


----------- </start> I think these 4 below are the same drive, just with different pricing, condition, and warranty -------------------------
$144 -- $48 / TB
Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (ST3000DM001)
(I think it's same as below 3... 7200 RPM, 64 MB Cache, Sata 3, but not certain)
http://www.gadgetneeds.net/seagate-barracuda-3tb-3-5-sa...

$168.95 -- $56.32 / TB
Seagate 3TB - New w/ 3yr Wnty - Hard Drive (Seagate Barracuda - ST3000DM001, 7200 rpm, Cache: 64 MB, Interface: SATA 3 6Gb/s)
http://www.portatech.com/catalog/viewitem.asp?id=72362&...

(cheaper than above, refurbished, and no warranty included--only 14 day money back)
$149.88 -- $49.96
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2808...

(same as above, new, but no warranty included, 30d money back)
$156.95 -- $52.31
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-Barracuda-3-TB-Internal...

----------- </end> -------------------------------

$135 -- $45 / TB
Western Digital Caviar Green WD30EZRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.memorylabs.net/wedicagrwd3t.html

(this might be duplicate)
$144.95 -- $48.32 / TB
White Label 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Desktop Hard Drive w/1 Year Warranty
http://www.goharddrive.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCo...

Or is there some other option around the $50 / TB price point you'd suggest?

-------------- </end> options listings ---------------------------------------

Additional resources:
Western Digital AV-GP (WD30EURS) 3 TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=733

According to this, the WD30EURS has fixed 5400-7200 RPM (fixed, and yet a range is given? I dont get this.) Other sites simply list as 5400 RPM... so how much RPM does it have?

-----------------------------------------------

Regarding the choice of primary / secondary drives, I've heard that Windows cannot recognize more than about 2TB of a 3TB hard drive (if used as the primary), if used as a secondary drive, however, there is no problem. Is this true? Can this issue be circumvented?

Anyway, if that is the case, and I'm choosing a 3TB drive, I suppose my best option would be have my current 1TB be the primary and the new one secondary. Alternately, I should have the new drive be the primary and my old secondary, unless the new drive is slower, correct?

Or does choice of primary / secondary not matter for running programs/games? Ei. if I have a slow primary but fast secondary, with the OS installed on the primary and the program I want to run on the secondary, will the program run just as well/fast as if I had a fast primary and the OS and the program were installed on it? In other words, does it only matter where the program is installed, not where the OS is?

And I heard cache should not be a concern when buying hard drives, unless your into video editing. Why is this? What function does cache serve? Is it where stuff is saved when cut/copy-pasted? Ei. clipboard?

Thanks in advance to any insight you may provide regarding my hard drive purchase.

More about : choosing hard drive

June 9, 2012 1:39:29 PM

afaik, WD green is always 5400rpm
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June 9, 2012 7:01:49 PM

So, intellipower from Western Digital means 5400 RPM? Why don't they just list that instead, and just put intellipower as a feature? Marketing ploy?


http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=733&pgno=...
states regarding the WD30EURS -- "Spindle Speed • Fixed, Between 5400-7200 RPM"
Does this mean that the intellipower feature can be turned on and off? So it's 5400 and energy saving when on, but 7200 and high performing when off?
See also, http://www.storagereview.com/western_digital_avgp_3tb_r...

On western digital's site, all I get for info is
Rotational Speed IntelliPower *, yet there's no corresponding detail for the *.
IntelliPower is discribed as:
IntelliPower - A fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance.
http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=120
http://wdc.com/global/products/specs/?driveID=944&langu...

And here
http://computers.pricegrabber.com/hard-drives-solid-sta...
it's listed as 7,200 RPM

yet here,
http://www.ecost.com/p/6419223?source=EWBGOOGLEBASE&CAW...
as 5,400 RPM

So which is it? On a per TB level its the cheapest of them all. So if it's normally 5,400 while intellipower is on, but can be increased to 7,200 by disabling intelipower, then this would probably be my best choice.... economical, high performing, yet capable of energy saving. So, is this the case?

----------------------------
and another question:
I see
Drive Transfer Rate 300 MBps (external)
Internal Data Rate 145 MBps

What do Drive Transfer Rate and Internal Data Rate measure?

------------------------------

additonal source:
Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1232-page1.html

------------------------------

If it turns out the WD30EURS is only 5,400,
then I guess
Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (ST3000DM001)
would be the best choice. I don't think a $9.00 ($3 / TB) saving would warrant dropping from 7.2k to 5.4k.
-----------------------------------------------

So, from what I gather, green drives perform slower than their counterparts, but operate quieter and at a lower temperature. Does this mean I can expect them to last longer?

------------------------------
So, I guess I'm down to:
$135 -- $45 / TB
Western Digital Caviar Green WD30EZRX 3TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.memorylabs.net/wedicagrwd3t.html

vs

$144 -- $48 / TB
Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (ST3000DM001)
(I think it's same as below 3... 7200 RPM, 64 MB Cache, Sata 3, but not certain)
http://www.gadgetneeds.net/western-digital-caviar-green...

I'm leaning toward the Seagate Barracula ST3000DM001. Your thoughts?
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