Holiday Storage Guide

by Gary Key on 12/19/2008 12:00 PM EST


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  • MTDEW - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - link


    There really is only once choice here in the HDD desktop market. That being the WD VelociRaptor 300GB (WD3000GLFS) drive featuring 10K RPM platters, 32MB Cache, incredible performance, and very good acoustics and thermals for a drive in this category. Without moving to high end SSD or SAS drives, this is the drive to have on the desktop if performance is paramount and storage capacities be dammed.

    The WD VelociRaptor 300GB (WD3000GLFS) only has 16mb cache, not the 32mb listed.
    I just purchased one, and to be honest, I think it wasnt worth the extra $$$ over what i paid for my WD Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB.

    Going from a WD6400AAKS to the WD300GLFS just wasnt that big of an improvement to me speedwise as an OS drive.
    Sure, the Velociraptor is faster, but not by much, and CERTAINLY not buy as much as the price difference.
    So i would assume that makes the WD Black series excellent buys for the money!!(since thay are faster than my WD6400AAKS)

    Its gonna be at least until 20010 i think until SSDs are low priced AND with large storage, so in the meantime we're getting great deals on Mechanical hard drives.
  • MTDEW - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - link edit button for my many typing/spelling errors...LOL
    I figure large capicity SSDs wont be really cost effective until 2010.
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, January 07, 2009 - link

    Agreed on that EDIT BUTTON FUNCTION: and the outrageous price for Raptors Vs the actual performance percentage increase = like getting 7200rpm for $100 or a 5400 for $60... with minor avg speed increases of a whopping 5-10% for over $40 the cost and lack of storage space... Yes I'm running raptors, but they are older and much much cheaper. It's snappy and bursts are fabulous... BUT not for 30-50% cost increase.

    SSD's will continue to be flawed until the market demands them and prices drop waaaay lower... aka Dell, HP and the other pre-built systems start including them as a near cost effective option. Mechanical drives are just STONE AGE, but the technological-metering market still prevails so long as people keep buying at sky high prices. The LESS you buy these things, the lower they'll HAVE to drop the price or Fsking go out of business. Yes that's opposite to teachings, but notice the "go out of business." A few spoiled/baller-IT jocks purchasing these high priced SSD units = is NOT what's driving the price down. Lmao, it's all part of the metering.

    Look at all of the other 1st gen released hardware examples... $600 1x CDR burners in 1997? You think a few rich boys purchasing these things actually drove the price down b/c they profited from them? Lmfao NOPE! It was HUGE contracts from pre-built corps that drive costs down. STOP BUY THEM in 1st-gen phase: All you're really doing is BETA-TESTING for the manufacturers.
  • kjeldsen - Monday, December 22, 2008 - link

    I hope to jump in to get my 5 cents on the table.

    Seagate have really screwed up on the 1.5TB issues, they closed down threads on their forums and is only issueing firmware updates after you contact their support, and apparently those updates doesnt really solve the problem. The feeling i got after browsing through some of the threads is that they hope this will go away if they ignore it.

    Out of the 4 drives i have encountered 2 had these issues.

    Unless they change their direction 180 degrees and do something extraordinary i will stop purshasing their drives. And i think it´s a shame that sites like anandtech isn´t on the ball on these cases.
  • Visual - Monday, December 22, 2008 - link

    I would really love to see a new SSD article.

    Recently OCZ launched a new "Solid Series" that is supposed to go a bit below the "Core Series" V2 in both performance and price. For some reason they are being marketed as only laptop drives, and only for laptops made after 2007... why is that? I am really curious about the differences between Solid and Core V2, as well as how they compare to the newest OCZ Vertex series, and the Intel MLC drives too.

    Also you need to explore the stuttering issues in XP and Vista in more detail. Your last article on the subject blamed it all on the JMicron controller, but I don't think things are as clear-cut.
    Apparently the main reason for the problems is the low write cache on the drives, and there are similar problems with other SSDs that don't use JMicron controllers, including Intel ones. On drives with more cache, the problem happens more rarely, but it still can happen.
    The problem seemingly disappears with a hardware RAID controller that has cache of its own, maybe you can give a recommendation for a cheap one that does the trick? And it would be interesting to test if even with a huge cache the drives can eventually be pushed hard enough with a special stress test to cause the problem to present itself.
    Also on some forums I've seen people claiming to have no problems with even on-board controllers, by just enabling RAID mode, even with a single drive... could there be truth in this?
    OCZ themselves in some support forums have posted that the problem is limited to certain Intel chipsets, does that mean AMD systems are unaffected?
    Lastly, I wonder if any such problems can be seen in Linux.
  • Griswold - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    My 500GB WD Green isnt really that much more silent than either of my two 640GB WD Blues. It also doesnt run that much cooler and the power saving advantage isnt enough to warrant the performance difference - unless its intended as a pure data storage (yes, HTPC movie storage comes to mind). And the Black drives arent fast enough to warrant the premium over the Blues - the only thing they got going for them in my opinion is the extended warranty. But it remains to be seen for how much longer WD will keep that up since Seagate dropped that 5 year warranty from all their desktop parts recently...

    With that said, I think the WD Blue is the thing to get. Best of both worlds.
  • c128 - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    Just for the record -- 5 out of 6 Seagates 7200.11 died on me in the last 12 months, SD04 and SD15 firmware. The replacements from Seagate died as well, so I stopped RMA-ing them after I spent over $100 on mailing them back to their TX warranty facility. Issues include: bad sectors, failure to post, freezing during writing, erratic loud high-pitched noise and clicking sounds. I switched to WD Black Editions, and am very impressed by their reliability and performance, especially under AHCI. Some of my customers in accounting noticed dramatic performance improvement after upgrading to WD Black Edtion over AHCI -- their Tax Software and PDF Forms run much faster now. You can buy Seagate only if you like wild adventures and are prepared to lose all your data. Reply
  • CrystalBay - Saturday, December 20, 2008 - link

    JFTR, Just for the record, I have a 1TB 7200.11 pushing 15 months and 7000 hours... Reply
  • InSearchOf - Saturday, December 20, 2008 - link

    ive been going back and forth debating whether i should get a 640GB or a 1TB Hard drive. WD Caviar Black series has received alot of positive feedback from users. one caveat is that some have complained that it is pretty loud and runs somewhat hot. By having less platters (2 instead of 3) would a 640GB drive be quieter and run cooler than a 1TB (3 platters) hard drive?

    is money the deciding factor why some people go with smaller capacity drives or does reliability come into play too?
  • cyriene - Saturday, December 20, 2008 - link

    I make sure a drive has a good track record of reliability before I buy one. Price matters too, but most drives are competitively priced. Reply
  • JNo - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    Interesting comments on these. The price does indeed seem very compelling especially to the significantly more expensive WD 1TB drives (and I usually like Samsung e.g. DVD drives, TVs etc). However, I bought a Spinpoint F1 1TB recently after a 500GB WD recently went bad (after intense usage admittedly) and every now and then it reports S.M.A.R.T. errors on load up (only a few weeks old!). Also, a friend of mine returned his for same reason. And the replacement one also did the same... what is it with these things?! I will pay the extra in future for a different brand, especially as it's my primary data storage... Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    Great value, good drives. All my drives are Pioneer, including two slot drives I got for a mATX system. Reply
  • DBissett - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the review, but reread the section on DVD writers. It starts by recommending the Sony and LG units, for stated reasons. Fine. Then recommends looking at the Sony before purchasing the former. Why? just recommended purchasing the former. Then you state that you still "favor" the Pioneer unit. Favor=prefer, so this statement contradicts everything said previously. Maybe you still "like" the Pioneer, but you clearly don't still favor it because you just recommended at least 2 units over it. It's just a whole lot of equivocating that ends up being contradictory. Maybe there's not a breath of difference among these units in real world use? Reply
  • bob4432 - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    i agree w/ the above post - why not just recommend the pioneer drive?

    also, you fail to mention that the green drive is a 5400rpm drive - this may be important to some people. if they come here and are a bit green themselves, you may want to educate them and let them know that they are not 5400-7200rpm like the wd marketing, but 5400rpm drives (when that first came out i was really impressed w/ a understanding of how drives work mechanically i was surprised somebody made a various speed drive - truth is they dont)

    last, why do you mention sas but you guys never mentioned scsi? is it simply because of the connector? oh well, scsi's reign is over except for us that have used it for years and still enjoy it, too bad the mainstream never really took to it even at an ethusiast level - just the enterprise community for the most part. sad because scsi was never hard - you just needed to read a bit and it was/is as easy as any other connection...
  • RagingDragon - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    Ummm... SAS = Serial Attached SCSI. Except for tape drives, parallel SCSI is pretty much dead. A 15K RPM SAS drive would be nice, though expensive, alternative to the Raptor - especially if your motherboard happens to include an SAS controller (i.e. the ASUS P6T and many server and workstation boards). Reply
  • HollyDOL - Saturday, December 20, 2008 - link

    Considering SCSI my bet for not mentioning them are as following:
    1. When SCSI drives got to the Enthusiast segment the SCSI was already obsolete replaced with high end SATA and SAS drives
    2. Those machines running SCSI drives are most likely 99% servers. You don't buy server discs for holiday :-)
  • teko - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    Lately I've been seeing reports that the 1TB Seagate series that were manufactured in Thailand had firmware issues. Some of these HDD died within a month or two without any signs. So, it may be best to avoid them atm.

    If I'm not mistaken they're the 7200.11 lineup with SD15 firmware.
  • The0ne - Monday, December 22, 2008 - link

    I got 2 of these 1.5TB drives waiting to be tested. Now that I have them I'm a bit afraid to keep my movies on them. Seagate has release a firmware to address the issue they claimed not to know about. Sorry, I don't have a link to the updated firmware. Reply
  • Jynx980 - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    These 1.5TB("> and 1TB ("> Seagate Baracuda's 7200.11 each have around 20% 1 egg reviews out of 400 and 500 total reviews. Ouch. The Seagate that is recommended on the second page must be pretty new with just 4 five egg reviews, though only one person actually bought from Newegg. I would go with the Black or Green WD's for now until the newer Seagate model has more reliability reports. Reply
  • TheDoc9 - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    A nice short piece for novice builders, but the Seagate 1.5 TB drive recommendation should be reconsidered. These drives are littered with 'freezing' reports on Newegg and other forums and resellers sites. The extreem failure rate has been cited by some as being THE reason for the steep price decline. Basically, they think we're a bunch of suckers and they're trying to unload bad inventory.

    You might consider pulling the recommendation until the drives are confirmed fixed.
  • Roland00Address - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    Right now I can't afford a SSD, but with people considering i7 it would be nice to know which SSD are great and which ones to avoid due to some of them have that defective controller chip (JMicron controller). A good SSD really boosts performance, cutting application load times in about half in comparison to a velicorapter, and while barely influencing the average frame rate of a game it does help tremendously with the minimum frame rate. As you said earlier refering to Intel X25 "To me this is bigger than Nehalem."

    Then again flash memory prices have been dropping faster than moore's law due to the bad economny.
  • barrychuck - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - link

    Newegg has your choice of rebranded 32 gb SLC Samsung SSD drives for the price of a velociraptor. A pair of Samsungs beats a pair of velicraptors easily in everything but space. I Vlited my vista ultimate to 4 GB easily by only removing the language packs. All my games and apps loaded easily into the 64 GB raid with 32 GB free. Today there is no more reason to not go SSD. At $260 a pop for 32gb or the A data 64 gb for $506. Unless your buying for a laptop with no raid capability, buy a matched pair. It will be the best $500 you spend this season. Nothing else can make this kind of improvement. Benchmarks do not even show what the true capability is. Reply
  • bob4432 - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    i just picked up a ocz v2 30GB ssd and w/ the tweaks they recommend, you really don't notice stutter. i don't know how much of an improvement these tweaks did because i did them before i even installed the ssd, but picking up one of these when on special and doing the tweaks makes for a very good experience, and i am comparing it to my years of running many new to 1 gen old 15k u320 scsi drives.... Reply

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