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3TB v. 2TB reliability question for new system...


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#1 Pack66

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 10:50 AM

Hi all,

I've read quite a bit on SR, but have never posted. I'm in the process of building a new system and wanted some recommendations on storage. I'm planning on buying either a 2 or 3 TB hard drive. Most important to me is reliability followed by speed. Rig is used mostly for gaming, browsing and storage of pictures/home videos/music...so general purpose. My plan is to take my old box, give it to the kids and probably place another drive in that build for backup/storage eventually. However, for right now, I'm purchasing for my new build.

Two questions:

1. Are WD Black drives really head and shoulders above the rest? Based on (arguably) subjective reviews on the 'egg, WD Black seems to be the HD of choice for my situation. However, I've noticed that the Toshiba and Seagate drives on sale quite a bit lately. I'm not budget constrained per se, but I'm not averse to saving money when/where I can. So, if I buy Seagate and/or Toshiba, am I taking an unnecessary risk?

2. I've read somewhere, and you know it's true if you read it on the internet, that 2TB drives tend to be more reliable than 3 or 4TB due to extra platters/mechanical issues/more things to break syndrome. True?

Thanks for the help.

Oh, one more thing...noticed there is a "continuum" on this board as a mod...same Continuum on Arstechnica?

#2 Brian

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

1) People will all have opinions but HGST has a higher MTBF spec and longest warranty in most classes of drive.
2) I can't argue the logic but the failure rates have to be pretty darn close to each other or the enterprise wouldn't deal with +2TB.

Brian

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#3 continuum

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 04:31 PM

2. I've read somewhere, and you know it's true if you read it on the internet, that 2TB drives tend to be more reliable than 3 or 4TB due to extra platters/mechanical issues/more things to break syndrome. True?

Not true from what we've seen.

What you may have read before might go back to some companies (IBM in particular) way back when having more issues with their maximum five-platter architecture 3.5" drives compared to their maximum 4-platter ones, but even then we haven't seen that be a material issue in many, many years.

Today finding five-platter architecture drives from just about everyone is pretty common.

In more generic terms I doubt you'd see any reliability difference between a 5x400GB platter 2TB, a 4x500GB/platter 2TB, a 3x667GB/platter 2TB, or a 2x1TB/platter TB...

#4 Pack66

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:00 PM

Thanks for the responses. So HGST...is that equal to WD Black or completely different? And have people completely sworn off Seagate and Toshiba?

#5 continuum

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:45 AM

HGST's 3.5" production got bought by Toshiba. The Deskstar 7K4000 line is equivalent to the WD Blue or WD Black, although I am not sure what the equivalent nomenclature is with Toshiba.

Seagate is still fine as well, although their new product names are a little confusing. The current Barracuda stuff is all 7200rpm so it's equivalent to a WD Blue or WD Black, but the "Desktop HDD.15" is a 5900rpm drive...

Honestly harddisk performance between equivalent lines (7200rpm vs. 7200rpm, for example) is all so close today, I wouldn't stress about it. If you need more performance, SSDs are orders of magnitude faster...

#6 Pack66

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 07:29 AM

Thanks Continuum. It's not so much performance as reliability and performance that I want. The box will have an ssd boot/main program drive. The hd will be used mainly for everything else...less played games, music, photos,etc...general use. So the comments on this thread and forum have kinda confirmed what I thought - that a Seagate or Toshiba would be fine for my use as long as it hasn't been knocked around by the shipper and seller...or myself for that matter. I've had notebook drives fail, but so far I've been lucky with my main box hds. Any suggestions on software that will mirror across a local network?



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