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drillstique

Choosing a 2TB boot drive

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Hello!

I'm torn between buying one of these 3 drives for use as my PC's boot drive:

Seagate ST2000DX001 SSHD: 196BGN (~113 USD or 99 EUR)

Toshiba DT01ACA200: 144BGN (~83 USD or 74 EUR)

Toshiba P300 HDWD120EZSTA: 167BGN (~96 USD or 85 EUR)

Looking at them, you might say that the SSHD is inherently better, however I'm worried about the reliability of seagate drives in general. Out of the 17 "broken" PC's I was busy diagnosing and repairing last month, 5 had dead hard drives, 4 of which were Seagate drives.

As for the new Toshiba P300 series, the reason for me to consider it is that the other Toshiba drive I'm looking at is a bit old at 54-ish months. That and also the fact I'm expecting some performance improvements with the P300, although I haven't been able to find any benchmarks to confirm this.

Regarding SSDs: I'll get one about a year from now, when I'll do a complete system upgrade. It's not economically feasible for me right now.

Regarding WD Blacks: They're far too expensive where I live, nearly twice the price of competing 2TB drives. And from reviews I've read, they seem too noisy and hot.

Regarding why 2TB and not more: My current PC is rather old - 3.8GHz E8500-based, which means it doesn't have a UEFI BIOS, which means I can't utilize a drive larger than 2.2TB as a boot drive.

So what's your opinion? Has anyone had any experience with these P300 drives?

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IIRC the SSHD does benchmark measurably better, if performance is your goal I would go that route. A single drive is a poor idea for data integrity regardless-- you should always have a backup in place, no matter how reliable you expect the drive to be!

I'd defer the debate about harddisk reliability, ancedotes != data, etc... ;)

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IIRC the SSHD does benchmark measurably better, if performance is your goal I would go that route. A single drive is a poor idea for data integrity regardless-- you should always have a backup in place, no matter how reliable you expect the drive to be!

I'd defer the debate about harddisk reliability, ancedotes != data, etc... ;)

Hmm, performance is my highest priority, considering that I'll be using it as a boot drive. However, sustained real-life performance measurements, which I believe are most important, are hard to come by.

Regarding data integrity, all of my important files are stored either on a cloud-service or on external drives. In other words, I won't be storing any critical data on my boot drive. The reason I need a reliable drive is just because I don't want to deal with the hassle of returning a failed drive and then afterwards installing my OS and software.

And having my experience with Seagate drives, I'm seriously concerned about buying one.

Ah, choices, choices...

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> performance is my highest priority

Then, if you intend to install a Windows OS, be sure to format the C: system partition at ~50GB,

and format the remainder as a dedicated data partition e.g. D: or E: etc.

Historical research has proven that HDD linear recording densities are fairly constant:

this means that there is much less data on innermost tracks, and

there is much more data on outermost tracks.

The amount of data on any given track is directly proportional to track diameter.

Formatting a second data partition is also very useful for backup reasons e.g.

drive images of your C: partition can be written to the data partition, and

easily restored if your C: partition becomes infected with a virus or malware.

This measurement from many moons ago illustrates the drop in platter transfer rates

from outermost track to innermost track for a variety of HDDs popular at that time:

platter.transfer.crossover.graphs.png

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Seagate is Best Ever....

But Toshiba is another substitution...

Currently i have Seagate ST2000DX001 SSHD and use it nicely...

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> performance is my highest priority

Then, if you intend to install a Windows OS, be sure to format the C: system partition at ~50GB,

and format the remainder as a dedicated data partition e.g. D: or E: etc.

Historical research has proven that HDD linear recording densities are fairly constant:

this means that there is much less data on innermost tracks, and

there is much more data on outermost tracks.

The amount of data on any given track is directly proportional to track diameter.

Formatting a second data partition is also very useful for backup reasons e.g.

drive images of your C: partition can be written to the data partition, and

easily restored if your C: partition becomes infected with a virus or malware.

This measurement from many moons ago illustrates the drop in platter transfer rates

from outermost track to innermost track for a variety of HDDs popular at that time:

platter.transfer.crossover.graphs.png

That was very helpful! Never actually thought about partition sizes affecting performance that way. Many thanks!

I'll be placing my order next Monday. I decided to go with one of the toshiba drives, depending on which one is cheaper at the moment.

While reading some posts at Tom's, I remembered that It's harmful to defragment SSDs, and that led me to a conclusion. If I were to go with the sshd, defragmenting would also shorten the lifespan of that 8GB MLC and wipe its contents which would nullify the benefit of it. Any thoughts on this?

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The other security measure I would add to my suggestions above

is a second HDD, also with 2 partitions.

The primary partition on the second HDD is the exact same size as C:.

Then, when creating a drive image of C:, write that drive image

initially to the secondary partition on the second HDD,

in order to minimize armature "thrashing".

Then, copy that drive image back to the secondary partition

on the primary HDD, again to minimize armature "thrashing".

It also really helps to restore your drive image to the

primary partition on the secondary HDD, and test it

to make sure you can boot from both primary partitions.

We found that restoring a drive image runs much faster

if the restore task e.g. Symantec's GHOST, is running

under Windows.

This schema is a very effective way to recover

from a virus or malware infection on your C: partition.

Another keen optimization is to move the paging file pagefile.sys

to the primary partition on the secondary HDD.

When you create pagefile.sys the first time, use

the CONTIG utility to guarantee that all sectors

are perfectly contiguous: this will help minimize

armature movement during paging operations.

Also, creating pagefile.sys on a secondary HDD

helps to optimize I/O by enabling more parallelism

with the I/O ops happening on the C: partition.

Of course, don't forget off-site backups as well,

to be able to recover from some catastrophe

like a fire, flood or similar disaster.

MRFS

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On a SSHD the flash is just cache, you don't need to worry about defragmentation affecting its longevity.

Even so, defragmenting would clear the cache, requiring several boots for it to re-learn usage habits. Of course I don't claim to be an expert, but that's the conclusion I've come to from reading various forums on the matter. Thanks for the insight! :)

The other security measure I would add to my suggestions above

is a second HDD, also with 2 partitions.

The primary partition on the second HDD is the exact same size as C:.

Then, when creating a drive image of C:, write that drive image

initially to the secondary partition on the second HDD,

in order to minimize armature "thrashing".

Then, copy that drive image back to the secondary partition

on the primary HDD, again to minimize armature "thrashing".

It also really helps to restore your drive image to the

primary partition on the secondary HDD, and test it

to make sure you can boot from both primary partitions.

We found that restoring a drive image runs much faster

if the restore task e.g. Symantec's GHOST, is running

under Windows.

This schema is a very effective way to recover

from a virus or malware infection on your C: partition.

Another keen optimization is to move the paging file pagefile.sys

to the primary partition on the secondary HDD.

When you create pagefile.sys the first time, use

the CONTIG utility to guarantee that all sectors

are perfectly contiguous: this will help minimize

armature movement during paging operations.

Also, creating pagefile.sys on a secondary HDD

helps to optimize I/O by enabling more parallelism

with the I/O ops happening on the C: partition.

Of course, don't forget off-site backups as well,

to be able to recover from some catastrophe

like a fire, flood or similar disaster.

MRFS

You sir, are the Petyr Baelish of HDDs. Thanks!

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ven so, defragmenting would clear the cache, requiring several boots for it to re-learn usage habits. Of course I don't claim to be an expert, but that's the conclusion I've come to from reading various forums on the matter. Thanks for the insight! :)

That may technically be true, but most benchmarks of SSHD's seem to show three runs of a program is enough, so even short-term the benefits of defragmentation far outweigh the temporary performance hit on the cache.

Depending on how much performance optimization you want to do and your budget-- MRFS' advice if you have a second disk already makes sense, but these days SSD's are cheap enough that often it makes more sense just to buy an SSD outright of sufficient capacity than a smaller SSD plus a HDD.

But that's getting into slightly off-topic territory for your thread, since you don't have the budget to start with. :P

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