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Acreo Aeneas

New Hardware: HGST 4TB Desktop NAS HDD

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Just bought a new 4 TB Hitachi NAS oriented HDD to replace my pair of aging 1.5 TB Western Digital Green HDDs. Going through the slow process of copying my files and media over now. The older WD Green will go into a development machine and the other might make it into a HDD enclosure to serve as a media repository on the local network. The second WD is a bit faulty considering it sometimes drops completely and/or locks up and doesn't respond. Had me worried so much that I haven't made any file changes on that drive for the last year. The HGST is fairly nice. Roughly the same size as my older WDs, a bit heavier, and it's a 7200 rpm spinner vs. the 5900 rpm spinners of my WDs. Plus these current generation of HDDs seem to have a better sustained write speed. In this case, I was getting 92 MB/s writes. Nice. Better than the 65 MB/s writes of my older 7200 rpm drives and that of my WD Greens.

If any of the reviews across various sties (NewEgg, Amazon, etc) are to be believed (assuming there is even a grain of truth), then most of the current crop of consumer hard drives from almost every manufacture is utter crap. Most notably, those from Seagate are seemingly the worst with most reviewers/purchasers saying their drives failed within 4-6 months of normal use. Western Digital is next up. I ended up going with Hitachi (HGST) due to a number of reasons: 1) they haven't sold their hard drive business to a competitor yet and thus might have better quality overall. 2) They have fewer bad reviews or at least those who report failure of drives seem to fall in a wider range from 6 months old to 5 years old. Most of the recent drive purchase reviews I've seen are pretty positive. 3) Hitachi acquired IBM's former Deskstar line of hard drives and I'd assume some of their personnel too. That gives me a bit more faith in the company's products compared with my recent terrible experiences with Seagate's and to a lesser extent Western Digital's.

In the end, if 4 TB SSDs only cost $400, I'd snatch one up in a heartbeat. At least with SSDs, I have a somewhat measurable expectancy of life. With HDDs, any number of things could go wrong and poof, no working drive. Not to mention data recovery is very expensive or next to impossible (in the case of a severe head crash). I will continue to say this even though most refuse to believe it: my SSDs will outlive all of my hard drives. I'm expecting another 5-7 years of life out of my Kingston (2 years old now) and another 6-8 years out of my Samsung SSD. My second WD hard drive is about 3 years old and given it has started acting funny 2 years into normal usage is a terrible sign. Just terrible and I spent $95 on that drive years ago. Money not worth spending it seems.

How long do I expect this new HGST to last? No clue. I'm hoping for 5 years out of this $185 drive, but if it starts acting funny before then...well I'm done with HDDs altogether. I'll splurge on the highest capacity SSD when I have the cash for it. Reliability when it comes to HDDs are just poor to terrible it seems the last few years. Hell, Anandtech had a mission-critical HDD array that gave them problems to no end (and the worry those drives would just dropout/die on a whim). Once they went to a SSD array, not a single problem has come up. Plus it's faster. Sure expensive, but reliability is there along with performance. Money well spent.

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Comments

  1. ScratchnSniff0's Avatar
    It what you are saying about Seagate and Western Digital are true, then I am sad as those names used to be synonymous with quality.
  2. Namebot's Avatar
    HGST (the hitachi storage group) was purchased by western digital while back. It seems to me that their operations may still be semi independent unlike seagate's acquisition of samsung's hard drive section.

    There is an on going report from a online storage company called backblaze that chronicles their findings in consumer hard drives that they utilize in their systems. It shows the failure rate from highest to lowest as seagate>WD>HGST although that trend also follows the number of deployed drives as well. Not a definitive set of data but it might be worth a look if you are interested in that sort of thing.
  3. Acreo Aeneas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Namebot
    HGST (the hitachi storage group) was purchased by western digital while back. It seems to me that their operations may still be semi independent unlike seagate's acquisition of samsung's hard drive section.

    There is an on going report from a online storage company called backblaze that chronicles their findings in consumer hard drives that they utilize in their systems. It shows the failure rate from highest to lowest as seagate>WD>HGST although that trend also follows the number of deployed drives as well. Not a definitive set of data but it might be worth a look if you are interested in that sort of thing.
    I wonder how that managed to slip by me. Just looked it up, HGST was indeed bought parcel through stock and cash by Western Digital in late 2012. Aw hell, that makes me question my new HGST drive now. Guess, it's finally time to start planning on SSD only storage for the future.
  4. Randy_Shughart_ClwFL's Avatar
    Interesting info, thanks for sharing. Especially since I am just now doing the research on a new build.

    After having one of my HDDs crash earlier this year that had company accounting data on it, and having to send that HDD for recovery, followed by sending the recovered data to a specialist to repair the actual PeachTree accounting database, I am finally taking my data security / backups, etc. as seriously as I probably should have been all along...

    One thing that has always struck me was the lack of HDD monitoring options, especially given that the failure rate of HDDs, if extended out long enough, is 100%. I now keep Crystal Disk Info running in the tray on every computer I own. I realize that a catastrophic HDD failure can happen at any time and without warning, but at least I feel like I am doing a little something to monitor the situation at the hardware level.
  5. Zippy's Avatar
    Yea, hard drives are a pain, no doubt. The WD "Green" series seem to be prone to failure. On the other hand I have a set of Samsung Spinpoint 1.5TB 5400rpm drives that have been spinning error free for 3 years. Purchased for just $49/ea in 2011, I regret not buying a half dozen as they are now discontinued. The most reliable Raid setup I've had are a stack of WD RE series drives (7200rpm) in Raid 10 for about 6 years now, and have only had 1 drive develop problems, which was swapped out and replaced under warranty (~ 4years) without much effort.

    As for my daily use PCs, I've been all SSD for a while. Of the various brands, only the Crucial M4 series (128GB & 256GB) have been problematic - firmware related. Samsung and Plextor have been solid and stable. Surprisingly, I bought a Seagate 600 Pro (240GB) on sale last May, installed it as a secondary drive for Steam games, and it has been flawless. Again, should have bought more at the time as the price shot up shortly after and remains at a higher price point. If they go on sale near BF I'll definitely purchase more.

    Good luck with your new drives. Q: You used to tout the Seagate Hybrid drives, how have they fared?
  6. Acreo Aeneas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy
    Good luck with your new drives. Q: You used to tout the Seagate Hybrid drives, how have they fared?
    The Seagate Hybrid drives are a mixed bag like the HGST drives. Smaller capacities (2 TB and smaller) seem to do better overall (same with regular HDDs) and I think it might be due to fewer platters and/or a single large platter. Unfortunately, SSHDs are basically useless as media storage drives since you do not benefit from the NAND caching performance. That only works when the drive is a applications drive and you have no control over it.

    Given how much SSDs have fallen in price, there's no real point in getting a SSHD unless you are getting it for the sheer storage and still want something a bit faster than a traditional HDD.

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