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Thread: Looking for Rock Solid Dependable Hard drive

  1. #1
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    Question Looking for Rock Solid Dependable Hard drive

    Anywho, I need an internal drive for gaming. Needs to be rock solid dependable because it will get a lot of use. Any suggestions? I need about 400 to 500gigs or so. No more than that.

    I always get nervous when buying a hard drive... cause I had a storage drive fail on me once. Took me years to get my stuff back that I had on it... some of it I never did.

    Is there some kind of review site that posts up stress test, durability, and dependability results for hard drives?
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  2. #2
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    /ALL/ drives fail. If you want something that has high availability go for a raid setup. For 24x7 pounding you are looking at enterprise (i.e. mainly drives that have a SAS connector; sata drives are at best tier-2 worst tier-3) Basically consumer drives are geared toward a 8 hour duty cycle and low queue depth.

    For 3rd party review, there pretty much is no site that has a public listing of reliability for drives that has any value. People seem to think that studies of 5, 10, 1,000 or even 10,000 drives are 'good' when in reality you need 100,000 or even a million drives over several years to come up with a verdict and by then that particular model is no longer being sold so it's more of a historic review than a practical one.

    If you need ~500GB and don't care as much about performance get 2 500GB drives and do a RAID-1 (or three of them; one being a hot spare); If you want performance get say 8 73GB drives (2.5" 15K savvios; or even SSD's) make a raid-6 out of them which would also give you ~500GB and the higher spindle count/drive count will let handle larger queue depths. Likewise you can add another drive to that as a hot spare just like above. (Generally you look for about 10% of your drive capacity to be hot spares for high availability; but that also depends on how fast you can get replacement drives).

    But from what you are implying above is that you do not have backups either which with that in mind I would probably just get two drives in a raid-1 and buy another drive and use as a backup (acronis; norton; whatever) of your data. No raid level is a replacement for backups.

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  3. #3
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    Consumer-level RAID would NOT be the best choice for rock solid disk space.

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136555

    And back it up to this:
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136319

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    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-012-_-Product
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OS-Wiz View Post
    Consumer-level RAID would NOT be the best choice for rock solid disk space.

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136555

    And back it up to this:
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136319

    Using this software:
    Acronis True Image Home 2010
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-012-_-Product
    Or if he doesn't need quite the speed of the raptor get 2-WD blacks.
    Newegg had the 750's on sale for $59.95 yesterday.
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  5. #5
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    Internal? Of all the drives I've ever had, my Western Digital drives have been the strongest. In fact, I have a 35 gig drive from 2000 that is just now starting to fail. So that's where my suggestion lies: Western Digital.
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  6. #6
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    Western Digital Caviar Black Comes in 500,640,750,1TB sizes. Fast and reliable. Don't take my word for it though check the review out in the link.

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    Surely the enterprise sata drives should be more reliable eg wd re3, re4

  8. #8
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    if you want a single drive, the blacks are fast and reliable, as long as the shipper does a good job packing them. i did receive two DOA though from the egg about a year ago, but from what i understand they are much better with drives now. of the other 6 that i received, and the two replaced drives, i have never had any issues. none they are great spread out on four different rigs. not all work as OS drives, but they are great regardless, two in raid 0 are plenty quick.
    for ultra reliability, however, i would recommend using RAID 1. you will need redundancy. then still have a backup plan on a separate disk, i use acronis, but W7 backup utility is really good as well. if you have a home server that is probably the best option for backing up.
    i know the tremendous importance of data integrity. i just returned from my honeymoon in galveston. had a wonderful time. on the sixth day of the vacation my ocz vertex in my lappy bricked, destroying ALL photos that i had put on there of the previous six days, and i had tons of pics, i love to take pics! went to air museums and NASA and moody gardens so ton of pics. i have never had a vertex fail on me, so it was surprising.
    lucky for me im an uber nerd, cause i had pics on an external harddrive i brought (just in case) AND a 16gb flash drive. triple redundancy FTW!!! could have been catastrophic though.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adsyf View Post
    Surely the enterprise sata drives should be more reliable eg wd re3, re4
    This.

    If you don't want to pony up the cash for an enterprise drive, my WD velociraptor and blacks haven't let me down yet.

    I used to use WD back in the day exclusively, but after being burned by the Hitachi deathstar and the Seagate 7200.10 disaster, I've been back with WD for a few years and I'm not looking back.

    I do plan on getting an Intel G3 SSD when they drop though, but for mechanical drives, I personally like WD.

  10. #10
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    "deathstar" ROFL I've heard about those.

    I haven messed with raid in years. I don't even remember how to do it.... or where I got the software for it. Will windows XP even work with a 500gig drive? I know I've gotten it to work with 300's and 200's, but never tried a 500.

    Also, I'll need the drive to be able to work with both XP and Win7, so I'll need to know what type of format to use. I'm installing Win7 as a secondary OS later this year or early next year, for DX10 and 11. Or I might wait for the next OS so I can use 12.
    Last edited by Judaeus Apella; 07-06-2010 at 01:13 PM.
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  11. #11
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    "Rock solid" means high reliability--which means low bit error rate (BER) and high mean time between failure (MTBF).

    By using SAS drives instead of SATA, you can get a BER improvement from 1 in 10^15 to 10^16, and an MTBF improvement from 1.2M hours to 1.6M hours.

    Consumer-oriented drives are generally not rated for 24x7 use, have BER of only 10^14 and MTBF of 0.75M hours.

    WD's Raptor (SATA) has 1.4M hr MTBF, but still only 10^15 BER. Seagate's Constellation and Barracuda ES.2 drives are SAS, but still only have SATA reliability specs.

    You can further improve reliability by using a mirror or parity RAID. Most consumer-rated drives are not suited for use in RAID; although some people apparently get lucky, there are many reports of drive-drop outs.

    For a concrete recommendation, most 450GB to 600GB SAS drives seem to have roughly the same cost per GB. I happen to like the Cheetah 15K.7 -- a pair of them in RAID-1 should be truly "rock solid."

  12. #12
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    Hmmm... those ARE nice, but I can't afford something like that. lol Wish I could, but I can't.

    Anyone ever have any problems putting WD Blacks in RAID 1?? I need to know if I can do that with them, before I buy them. I've heard a lot of people have been having trouble putting some of the WD's in RAID.
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judaeus Apella View Post
    Hmmm... those ARE nice, but I can't afford something like that. lol Wish I could, but I can't.

    Anyone ever have any problems putting WD Blacks in RAID 1?? I need to know if I can do that with them, before I buy them. I've heard a lot of people have been having trouble putting some of the WD's in RAID.
    Forget the hassle with consumer-grade RAID.

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136555

    And back it up to this:
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136319

    Using this software:
    Acronis True Image Home 2010
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-012-_-Product
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judaeus Apella View Post
    Anyone ever have any problems putting WD Blacks in RAID 1?? I need to know if I can do that with them, before I buy them. I've heard a lot of people have been having trouble putting some of the WD's in RAID.
    The Caviar Blacks work in RAID for some people. However, it seems to depend on the particular drives you get, as well as which controller you're using. Sometimes the failures happen right away, other times it's not for a while.

    You might look at two WD RE3 in RAID-1; it's a RAID/24x7-qualified drive, and is available in a 500GB size, $79.99 at Newegg:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136294

    Not as "rock solid" as the SAS drives, but pretty good for the price.

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    I'd go for a raid-1 setup + frequent backups.

    I've been using WD6400AA-KS/LS on an Adaptec 5805 controller for quite some time (several years) without any issues. (4R5, serving VMWare guests running 24/7)

    I've also got the WD1001FALS (black) running for about a year or so on a PERC 6/i (4R5) and it's been working almost without issues.
    (the array had to be rebuilt once due to a drive dropping out, no data loss so I'm quite happy with it)

    As for other drives, I've tried using the Seagate LP drives but I had to give up on them in raid and so they are running as single drives. (backup)

    At the moment I'm doing initial testing on the Samsung F3 1TB drives, they are looking great so far on the LSI 9260 controller so they might be an option for raid as well.

    As long as you do frequent backups you should be pretty safe using the
    WD Black series HDDs.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OS-Wiz View Post
    Forget the hassle with consumer-grade RAID.

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136555

    And back it up to this:
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136319

    Using this software:
    Acronis True Image Home 2010
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-012-_-Product
    So... you quote me saying that I can't afford an expensive drive... and suggest another expensive drive? Are you high?

    Quote Originally Posted by AceNZ View Post
    The Caviar Blacks work in RAID for some people. However, it seems to depend on the particular drives you get, as well as which controller you're using. Sometimes the failures happen right away, other times it's not for a while.

    You might look at two WD RE3 in RAID-1; it's a RAID/24x7-qualified drive, and is available in a 500GB size, $79.99 at Newegg:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136294

    Not as "rock solid" as the SAS drives, but pretty good for the price.
    I have no idea what raid my system is using, but this is the link for my motherboard. >>>> http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pro...px?pid=2887#ov<<<< All the specs are there but I don't see anything about what kind of raid controllers it uses. If I knew which ones it uses, I could email WD and ask them if the drive I want, works with those raid controllers. And if it doesn't, I could always buy a controller card (Which I really don't want to do to be honest. My system is cramped as it is.)

    I've actually heard that the consumer line of Western Digital like the blacks is more dependable and better made than the more expensive ones like the RE3. I've seen several people mention it in customer reviews. One of them said that WD actually decided not to put much effort into making them work well with raid, to force people into buying their crappier more expensive line of drives... I hate it when companies pull that kind of @#$*.

    I'd rather get the blacks since they have better reviews and cost less, and just make sure that the raid I use works with those drives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anvil View Post
    I'd go for a raid-1 setup + frequent backups.

    I've been using WD6400AA-KS/LS on an Adaptec 5805 controller for quite some time (several years) without any issues. (4R5, serving VMWare guests running 24/7)

    I've also got the WD1001FALS (black) running for about a year or so on a PERC 6/i (4R5) and it's been working almost without issues.
    (the array had to be rebuilt once due to a drive dropping out, no data loss so I'm quite happy with it)

    As for other drives, I've tried using the Seagate LP drives but I had to give up on them in raid and so they are running as single drives. (backup)

    At the moment I'm doing initial testing on the Samsung F3 1TB drives, they are looking great so far on the LSI 9260 controller so they might be an option for raid as well.

    As long as you do frequent backups you should be pretty safe using the
    WD Black series HDDs.
    I've been hearing good things about the Samsungs too!! I was considering buying them but I just haven't heard enough about them.
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  17. #17
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    Actually... you know what. This one looks like it could be better than the WD Black >>>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152181<<<

    4% better customer reviews. Anyone know anything about this drive? Like review results, fail rates, any issues with RAID 1, etc?
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  18. #18
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    not to be rude....BUT....if your relying on review results then you are probably the one who is high. I never take the time to write a review about good products. who really does? and heres the thing, it may have a four percent better review rate, but what if they have sold a million less units of that particular device? Also, who in the world do you think are writing those reviews? mostly idiots who have no freaking idea what they are talking about. if you take the time to read more than fifteen of those reviews i bet you would be amazed at some of the BS that people put in there. and in order for them to be considered of 'high experience' all they have to do is click...ummm....high experience. people only usually overwhelmingly, i mean like ten to one, write bad reviews.
    read some reviews by reviewers, on hardware tech sites, and also ask in forums like you already have done. you have already gotten better advice in the eighteen posts in this thread than you will in a MILLION of them newegg "reviews"
    good luck in whatever you choose, either the black or this drive will suffice nicely.
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  19. #19
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    WD Black has my vote

    All the drives I have purchased in the last 2 years are WD Black series 2x640 32MB, 2 x 1TB 32MB and 1x1TB64MB. The ITB 64MB is now my mains OS drive. No failures in 4 years, touch wood.

    But always back up your data, I have my Photos and Music collection on at least 2 external hard drives and backed up onto DVD once a year.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinaguy View Post
    :

    But always back up your data, I have my Photos and Music collection on at least 2 external hard drives and backed up onto DVD once a year.
    use Acronis true image 2010, Its such an amazing program.. I usually backup my full OS after a clean install making sure drivers etc are installed though, that way if i ever corrupt or crash my os from ram overclocking etc i just run the acronis recover disk and it recovers my clean install + the drivers, Should always schedule backups also, its your preference but i usually do it twice a week

    Another thing I find funny is AMD/Intel would snipe any of our Moms on a grocery run if it meant good quarterly results, and you are forever whining about what feser did?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AceNZ View Post
    "Rock solid" means high reliability--which means low bit error rate (BER) and high mean time between failure (MTBF).

    By using SAS drives instead of SATA, you can get a BER improvement from 1 in 10^15 to 10^16, and an MTBF improvement from 1.2M hours to 1.6M hours.

    Consumer-oriented drives are generally not rated for 24x7 use, have BER of only 10^14 and MTBF of 0.75M hours.

    WD's Raptor (SATA) has 1.4M hr MTBF, but still only 10^15 BER. Seagate's Constellation and Barracuda ES.2 drives are SAS, but still only have SATA reliability specs.

    You can further improve reliability by using a mirror or parity RAID. Most consumer-rated drives are not suited for use in RAID; although some people apparently get lucky, there are many reports of drive-drop outs.

    For a concrete recommendation, most 450GB to 600GB SAS drives seem to have roughly the same cost per GB. I happen to like the Cheetah 15K.7 -- a pair of them in RAID-1 should be truly "rock solid."
    I've also been looking at the cheetahs for a data disk, they look like great drives from what I've seen

  22. #22
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    Please stop recommending expensive hard drives.

    I know they're all idiots. I take those reviews with a giant grain of salt. But fact is, it costs less, creates less heat, zanzabar seems to love them, they come in their own samsung bubble wrap shipping packaging no matter who I buy it from, and a lot of people seem to like them.

    So... does anyone know anything more about this samsung drive?
    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions, twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.

  23. #23
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    Probably the most reliable 500gb drive on the market. I work with over 5,000 servers and we go through a lot of drives...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136294

    get two of those and use Windows 7's mirroring. Screw Acronis... I've never seen so many corrupted backup files as that program creates.

    Don't buy the Samsung drive. It's not that reliable of a drive and it's slow as hell for a single platter.
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  24. #24
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    I've had good luck with WD and Samsung. I've had 4 (2 750gb and 2 1Tb)WD for 6 months running flawlessly and 2 Samsung 2tb ecogreens. I do like the WD more since they have a 5 year warranty.


    BTW RAID ISN'T BACKUP, I've said it a million time and I'll say it a million more

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by itznfb View Post
    get two of those and use Windows 7's mirroring. Screw Acronis... I've never seen so many corrupted backup files as that program creates.
    Lol i see i am not the only one that dislikes that program.
    In my experience (not as extensive as yours) windows backup (vista/2K8 and up never used the xp one) is more reliable then acronis and it comes whit the os.
    Last edited by xeon_1; 07-12-2010 at 09:40 PM.
    Intel i7 920 DO 12GB
    EVGA x58 SLI Classified radeon 4870x2
    Creative audigy 2zs
    3WD velocirpators 300Gb in raid 0 for os short stroked to 160Gb
    Areca 1222 with 8 samsung F4E4G 2Tb in raid 6
    Everything watercooled but the areca but that's planned

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