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[Discuss] The perpetual question: current "best" HDD?

On Tue, 8 Jan 2013, Dan Ritter wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 08, 2013 at 11:17:11AM -0500, Derek Atkins wrote:
>> Of course, when I bought the drives warranties were 3 or 5 years, not
>> the '1 or 2' years they are now.  So I'm looking for the "best value"
>> 2TB drives available today -- lowest price for highest quality + good
>> warranty.  It looks like I can pretty much only choose between WD and
>> Seagate nowadays -- I guess lots of consolidation in the market?  (My
>> existing drives were Hitachi, which in my experience were always great
>> drives).
>> What's the current going theories and best practices?  Any concrete
>> suggestions (links to NewEgg or some other vendor would be appreciated).
> Don't buy "green" drives or anything that doesn't explicitly say
> 7200RPM.

Why? We have had good luck with WD Green 3TB drives for bulk storage and 
backup - no failures in a score of drives. I have a theory that they will 
last 72/54 times the life of a 7200RPM drive.

We don't use them for Windows desktops - Linux and FreeBSD servers only.

> Seagate and WD both have drives rated for NAS duty at slight ($10-20) 
> premiums over the They get a better warranty, as well.

I believe the WD "Red" drives do fewer retries, making them more suitable 
for RAID installations where do error correction off the parity drive is 
preferred to endless retries on a failing disk. But does anyone have more 
information about the real difference?

There are also "enterprise class" drives which are said to be superior to 
"consumer" drives, but are about twice the price. They may be more 
reliable, but the difference has not been noticable to us, with only 50 or 
so enterprise drives and a couple of failures in a couple of years.

I have read that the enterprise drives have better firmware and reduced 
error probabilities. But if the only difference is correcting bugs in the 
firmware, it seems unlikely that the vendor would only correct the 
firmware in models that constitute a tiny percentage of sales. So I think 
there are other differences, and the firmware differences are probably not 

daniel feenberg

> for instance,
> is $130 rather than $110, for which you get a three year
> warranty instead of two.
> -dsr-
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