Gigabyte

Considering Seagate Barracuda 2TB (but confused about different specs)

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I'm in need for extra file storage and among the 2TB SATA choices available I'm considering the Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001. There are also the Western Digital "green" drives which I have several of already (and after several years had no problems at all with), but they're relatively slow and are known for their constant automatic head parking/unparking "feature" which is hard to disable (I'm on a Mac and most hard drive configuration software is for some strange reason only available for Windows/DOS) and will (many say) kill the drives prematurely.

The Seagate mentioned above seems like a better choice, but I'm puzzled as I've picked up on reviews/comments saying that there are different versions of this particular drive with vastly different performance specifications (but with the same model no.). Naturally I want the best performance, so how do I distinguish the different versions before buying?

Also, any comments and personal experience with this drive or other recommendations are highly welcome.

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For performance go with a Toshiba DT01ACA200 (7200 rpm) and for "green" data storage go with a DT01ABA200 (5900 rpm). The specs are fixed (TB-platters) and there are no weird parking features I know of.

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So the 2TB Toshiba has two 1TB platters? I couldn't find any info about this anywhere. Having downloaded Toshiba's own datasheets I did find info on the amount of platters for the 250 to 1TB models, but above that this info was omitted. I hope they're not messing around like Seagate have by delivering the drive with different specs but using the same model no.

I basically just want a reasonably priced, reliable and (if possible) quiet 2TB drive.

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Resellers sold old Hitachi 7K3000/5K3000 stock with 600GB platters under the Toshiba model numbers in 2012. But you can clearly identify these, they say HDS723020... on the label. They are good/cool/quiet drives, too, BTW.

Now in 2014 the warehouses should only have newly-produced TB-platter drives left, so the issue is gone. If you want it very quiet, go with the slower rotating DT01ABA200:

http://storage.toshiba.eu/cms/en/hdd/product_overview/product_detail.jsp?productid=500

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Sounds good. Thanks for your advice.

So these 2TB Toshiba drives neither have the Seagate issues with 3 platters instead of 2 (resulting in poor performance) nor the Western Digital issues of repeated parking/unparking (resulting in premature death)?

The drives will be used for external file storage and speed isn't essential, but I'd be happy if I could get a noise/speed compromise.

I already have several 1TB, 2TB and 3TB Western Digital WD20EARS (2TB "Green" drives) which work fine (although the parking/unparking has me worried), and also a 3TB Seagate ST3000DM001 which I've found noticeably faster than the WD drives, hence my reason for looking into 7200 drives. I didn't find the Seagate any noticeably noiser either, which is the reason why I looked into Seagate this time as well. But if the Toshiba drives are equally fast and quiet I'm all for it!

So, to roughly summarize the Toshiba DT01ACA200 will be similar to my Seagate ST3000DM001, while the Toshiba DT01ABA200 will be similar to my Western Digital WD20EARS?

By the way, is the Toshiba PA4292E-1HL0 the same drive as the DT01ABA200? It seems they are according to several websites, but confusingly they both have differing specs depending on which sites you look up (5700 and 5900 RPM). 5700 would likely make it even slower than my WD drives, which isn't good.

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So these 2TB Toshiba drives neither have the Seagate issues with 3 platters instead of 2 (resulting in poor performance)

The older 7K3000/5K3000 2TB models had four platters, the newer 2TB models have two. Performance is fine on both.

nor the Western Digital issues of repeated parking/unparking (resulting in premature death)?

Of course not.

So, to roughly summarize the Toshiba DT01ACA200 will be similar to my Seagate ST3000DM001, while the Toshiba DT01ABA200 will be similar to my Western Digital WD20EARS?

Similar to the ST2000DM001, but otherwise you got it right.

By the way, is the Toshiba PA4292E-1HL0 the same drive as the DT01ABA200? It seems they are according to several websites, but confusingly they both have differing specs depending on which sites you look up (5700 and 5900 RPM).

The PA4292E is the retail kit. Only the 3 TB model is listed with 5940 rpm. The other drives are specified as 5700 rpm.

5700 would likely make it even slower than my WD drives, which isn't good.

WD drives are usually spinning at 5400 rpm. But the rpm differences between 5400 and 5940 rpm are not noticeable anyway.

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Sounds promising! So I went ahead and ordered two DT01ACA200 drives and one PA4292E-1HL0 (they didn't have the DT01ABA200).

What's a retail kit anyway? The bare drive without any fancy packaging, manual etc?

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Retail kit normally has screws and sometimes a cable or two...for 2.5" drives the retail kit often has a 3.5" bracket as well. Fancy packaging, manual, stuff like that. Nothing functionally different with the drive itself.

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