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Brody44

Low Cost drive solution for RAID + how to avoid SMR tech

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Hi guys,

I’m looking to build a new RAID for A/V production and I’m scratching my head as to which HDD I should opt for. I was excited by the Seagate 8TB but the SMR tech and SR’s review makes it clear not to go that route.

So I’ve started looking at other options. The Seagate 5TB is a cheap per TB option right now at $130. But it appears it might also use SMR’s tech?

Perhaps the WD 5TB then? Running at 5400RPM… :/

What should I watch out for besides SMR when building a RAIDs? Should all SMR drives be avoided? How can we figure out if the drive uses SMR?

Thank you!

P.S. BTW Long time reader of this site. It's been such a precious resource. Thank you!
Edited by Adam_a

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Could someone change the title to Low Cost drive solution for RAID + how to avoid SMR tech.

Thought title was misleading.

Edited by Brody44

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I'll be working with large raw video files for color grading on a Intel Core i7-5930K hackintosh. Raid card is Areca ARC-1882.

Looking to reach read/write of 1000MB/s and above (array with high number of disks)

Whatever the goal here, from what you wrote it seems one should always avoid SMR for RAIDs?

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That is our recommendation and incidentally the recommendation from Seagate. If you want to minimize disk count, He8 is for you. They carry a much higher cost profile however.

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I don't plan on using the 8tb SMR seagate drives I'm definitely following your advice. I'm simply looking for low-cost drives suitable for Raid use. Ideally they would be 4-5TB. Would the Seagate 5TB work?

As I was trying to explain I'm at lost because I can't seem to figure out which drives use SMR tech.

I'm not really too sure either if it's only the Seagate 8TB that's not recommended for raid use or all drives with SMR tech?

For all the years of dealing with RAIDs I always found paying a MUCH higher cost for Entreprise/NAS level drives was not worth it. Normal consumer drives might, just might, fail more but even if that happens the cost of replacing these drives from time to time still makes it less expensive than going for Entreprise drives anyways.

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I'm pretty sure only the external 5TB drives are SMR. All of the internals should be PMR. You could go with NAS drives. They'll handle vibration a bit better. Really though, get what's in your budget, has a decent warranty and be sure to back up often!

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I can afford mid level priced drives I just wanna make sure it's worth it. In the end I was looking for the most cost effective way to build a good array.

Now I'm looking at the WD red 5TB or Seagate NAS 4TB.

Some people say the WD Red 5TB/6TB has a higher speed of 5900RPM like the Seagate. True?

From your tests it seems the Seagate had some latency issues?

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Here's my experience, I have 8x WD 3TB's on an LSI 9211 in IT mode (HBA) with Windows doing the storage array on a quad core with 24GB of RAM. The WD's are slow... I've been playing with SSD's recently and here's my suggestion that balances overall storage (TB's) against speed and budget.

Depending on your overall needs and budget, you're going to struggle to get. The WD's can do about 125MB/sec individually. If you're stripping them, aka RAID-0, not redundancy, you can get close to n (number of drives) * 125. So 8 drives would put you at ~1,000MB/sec. However, if one fails, you're walloped and you've lost everything.

RAID-10 (RAID 1 (redundant) + RAID 0 (stripping)), it's close to (n * 125) / 2.

Thus with 8 drive's you'd be at ~500MB/sec on a dedicated controller card.

If you want fast for working with and still need archiving I'd do this (depending on your budget)...

4x Samsung 500GB 850 EVO SSD's setup in RAID 10. ~$200/drive = $800. This would yield you ~1000MB/sec and 1TB of usable storage.

4x Whatever Big HDD's you want (WD 6TB, Seagate 8TB's...) setup in RAID 1 or RAID 10 if you want a speed bump but sacrifice throughput. $ = whatever you choose. Say it's the WD 6TB, ~$275/drive = $1100.

Put each quad of drives on a dedicated controller card, LSI 9207-8I. ~$240/card. = $480

Grand total for storage = $2380 (math done in my head, pardon errors).

Then when you're working with files you move them to the SSD's, when you're done, you archive them to your conventional drives.

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The SSD idea isn't a bad one, but I'm guessing the capacity is going to be an issue for the OP. The latency isn't going to be an issue with the HDDs really for your workload. If it were me I'd go for the Seagate Enterprise NAS, but they're much more expensive.

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Thanks for your input guys, Thanks mrmr for taking the time to comment.

Yes I need a lot of storage so SSDs are really out of the equation.

I'll be using an Areca 1882, planning to do a Raid 5. Hoping to get 100+ MB/s per drive.

Brian between the Seagate NAS and WD red, which one would be your pick?

Should the Seagate at 5900 only be marginally faster? Latency issues more prevalent in Segate NAS?

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If speed is a concern and assuming you have active cooling, have you considered the HGST Desktop NAS 7,200 RPM drives? I have a few of the 6TB drives that have been working 24/7 since they were released. I have found them to outperform everything else I have tested/used in the 4-6TB NAS and nearline enterprise class.

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