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Hard drive recommendations

CPU's? Motherboards? Video cards? Talk about it here.

what hard drive to get ?

Western Digital
5
31%
Seagate
10
63%
Hitachi
1
6%
 
Total votes : 16

Hard drive recommendations

Postby dodecahedron on Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:35 am

OK so i'm going to buy a new hard drive, or possibly 2. in the 80-160GB range. SATA.
i'm deliberting between these drives. all of them are SATA, 8MB buffer models.
Western Digital - Caviar SE ("JD" line)
http://www.westerndigital.com/en/produc ... DriveID=83
Seagate Barracude 7200.7
http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/dis ... 47,00.html
Hitachi 7K250
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/e ... 1bac4f0a0/
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/e ... 1bac4f0a0/
or
http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/site/e ... 1bac4f0a0/

interested in hearing opinions.

as i understand, the Seagates are the most quiet but weakest in performance. possibly also the most reliable.
the Hitachi are the best in terms of performance (?)
Western Digital are also very good performers.

is the difference in performance between these drives really that significant? OK i read some reviews at storagereview.com, but still i can't figure out if the differences in the benchmarks are really that important in real-life usage.
i'm not a gamer, nor really a heave user. the most intesive use i'll probably have for the drives is DVD re-encoding (when i get around to it :o )
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Postby CowboySlim on Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:41 am

Seagate. Any perceived performances determined from benchmarking are usually not realized by the typical user.
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Postby Ian on Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:35 pm

After dealing with their stupid RMA process, I won't buy another Hitachi.

I vote for WD or Seagate.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:52 pm

RMA/warranty considerations not relevant, things here in Israel aren't the same as in the US anyway.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Jun 02, 2005 2:50 pm

oh, and i forgot to ask:
any opinions about Samsung HDs?
at SPCR they like them, they're the most silent.
how are they in terms of performance and reliability? anyone around here use them?
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Postby MediumRare on Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:15 pm

I have 2 Samsung SP1614C P80 (SATA, 160 GB, 8 MiB cache). I bought them because they were cheap and quiet. They're fast enough for anything I've wanted to do.

Can't say anything about reliabilty or RMA procedure- I've had one for about 16 months and the other is a month old.

The one issue I have is somewhat arcane and involves the SATA controller / bus rather than the harddrives- but that's another story.

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Postby LoneWolf on Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:21 pm

Ian wrote:After dealing with their stupid RMA process, I won't buy another Hitachi.

I vote for WD or Seagate.
Seconded. Seagate has the better warranty so currently I'm going with them (until recently their SATA drives were further developed than WD as well) but WD is also good. Hitachi is the only one of the three that doesn't do advanced replacement if your drive fails. Thumbs down on that one.

Seagate is plenty competetive in performance --which is one of the many reasons I bought my 7200.7's, which are fast AND quiet, and don't develop a lot of heat, either.
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Postby TheWizard on Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:20 am

Toss-up between Seagate and WD, but I gave the nod to Seagate. You can't go wrong with a WD, though.
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Postby Han on Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:06 am

Choose between Seagate, Samsung or WD.

I'm quite satisfied with my two Barracudas, though they could perform a little faster. Note also the following I've posted to Seagate customer's support:

ST3120026A drive makes annoying buzzing noise when idle. Is there a firmware upgrade that eliminates this buzzing sound? I've never experienced anything like this before - my older 120 GB Barracuda ATA V does not make such noise when idle. Please note that diagnostic tools do not report anything wrong for ST3120026A.

SEAGATE reply:

Thank you for your inquiry.

The latest generation of our high-capacity hard drives has been programmed to perform regular offline scans to test the drive's reliability and detect any possible malfunctions that may have been caused during transit.

The offline scanning takes place when the drive is idle. This feature cannot be disabled and does not affect the performance of the hard drive. The feature should disappear after a few hours of drive operation.

Offline scanning helps to maintain the reliability of the drive by moving the heads within the "high-flight zone" in a pre-programmed pattern. The "high-flight zone" is located toward the outside of the platters where the most air flows under the heads during times of inactivity.

If you feel that your noise is excessive or does not reduce after a few hours of operation, you can run Seagate's SeaTools diagnostic software to check the physical integrity of the drive.

SeaTools can be obtained from Seagate's website at:
(http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/)

Regards,

Alan M.
Seagate Technical Support
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Postby dodecahedron on Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:41 am

how annoying is this buzzing sound?
i thought Seagate Barracudas are relatively silent drives.
how does this "buzzing" Barracuda comapare with a Western Digital ?
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Postby Han on Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:09 pm

If you have a generally quiet PC, then you can hear this buzzing sound when Barracuda is idle. Sometimes it's really annoying because it sounds much like a fly trying to get through the glass. Buzzing actually stops after a while, after a few hours of continuous operation. Besides that the disc is relatively quiet.

I don't have any newer WD drive to compare....
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:56 am

update:
i ended up buying the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 drive, 80GB, SATA.
http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/dis ... 45,00.html

all that warranty stuff didn't really apply, there's no "advanced replacement" or anything like.
also, the Seagate has here 5 years warranty, but it's not quite accurate. it's 3 years, the last 2 if the drive goes bad you only get a (partial?) refund for buying another drive (Seagate of course).
NCQ - don't care about that, the motherboard doesn't support it, and anyway for a single-user desktop machine it apparently gives you nothing (according to an article at storagereview).
performance wise - Slim said, "Any perceived performances determined from benchmarking are usually not realized by the typical user." so i guess (hope?) it won't be any less speedy than the WD would have been (i was deliberating between these 2 mainly).
and the Seagate is supposed to be quiet.
i hope the buzzing sound Han mentioned won't bother me.

thanks to everyone for their assistance, recommendations, opinions.
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:10 am

also bought a stick of 512MB memory by Mushkin. to bring up my memory to 1GB. will pick it up next week.

the next item will be a video card.
i'll start a new topic about that though.
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Postby MediumRare on Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:11 pm

dodecahedron wrote:update:
i ended up buying the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 drive, 80GB, SATA.
http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/dis ... 45,00.html

Sounds good. Hope you enjoy it. :D

Just curious, though- why did you buy such a small drive? You can usually get 160 GB for only 50% more than 80 GB these days, and you can never have too much space on your harddrive- just wait until you start transferring videos of Yoav to DVD ...

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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:43 am

well, i'm trying to spend as little as possible.
also i have (more than) enough storage for my needs right now (another 160G Maxtor).

but after your words i deliberated a bit, between getting a second 80G or returning it and getting a 160G instead.
ended up buying another 80G. difference in prices wasn't that great.
a couple of the reasons are:
1. i want to install linux and don't want to bother with having 2 different OSes on the same HD.
2. in the future i might want to play around with RAID a bit. so might as well buy 2 identical drives now when i'm buying one (one i needed to buy now).
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:04 am

interesting, the identical hard drives i bought aren't quite as identical as i'd thought.

here's a copy of my post on AnandTech forums:

i was thinking of maybe playing a bit with RAID. now i've heard that for RAID it's best to have identical drives - same brand, model, specs etc.

reading the info off the labels of the 2 drives:
Model: ST380817AS
S/N: 4MR0XXXX (the XXXX are different digits/letters on the 2 drives)
P/N: 9W2932-370
HDA P/N: 100334813
Config: C4R-03
Firmware: 3.42
Date Code: 05277
Site Code: TK
made in Thailand

these 2 drives probably came from the same batch,
how much more identical can you get?

imagine my surprise then when i looked at at the bottom of the drives. not quite so identical as i had thought.

there are 3 chips that i can see.
an oblong chip which is located diagonally.
on drive 1 it's Winbond, on drive 2 it's EtronTech.
i'm guessing this is the memory ???

a large square chip which i suspect is the controller ?
on drive 1 it's agere or a8ere (but in smaller letters below it says Seagate).
on drive 2 it's ST.

a small square chip. on both drives it's TI (but a different serial number, if that's what it is).

well!

OK so my main question is: should i be concerned over this if i want to RAID the drives toghether? (should i go back to the vendor and try replacing on so that both drives have same chips?)
or am i fretting over nothing?

can it be that the manufacturer uses 2 kinds of chips on the same line? i'd have thought that they use a stock from one supplier, and only when that runs out switch to a new stock from (possibly) a new supplier.

if i'm right and the big chip is the controller circuitry, should i be concerned that they are from different manufacturers? will the drives behave/perform differently because of this? or can it be that Seagate has 2 manufacturers producing identical chips for them?
or maybe it doesn't matter at all it's all in the BIOS?
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Postby MediumRare on Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:19 pm

I can't comment on the different chips you're seeing on your drives (me no know nothink).

I have 2 "identical" SATA drives (different fw or revision, but same model number), but am not planning on doing RAID- I don't need the security of RAID0 or performance of RAID1. And if you're doing software RAID, you may have problems reading the data under another OS, eg. Linux.

Funny that you should mention Linux, too. I've also been meaning to install it again (I've used it in the past, always on several logical partitions on my hard drive).

Yesterday, the newest c't came with SuSe 9.3 (personal edition) gratis on the enclosed DVD and I'm in the process of installing it on a logical partition on one drive with the swap partition on another drive. I won't have much time to play with it though, because we're expecting company in a couple of days and I have to clean up the office (spare room) - it's a terrible mess :oops: :evil:.

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