Windows 10: What is the Best Hard Drive?

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  1. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,237
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18262
       22 Jan 2015 #1

    What is the Best Hard Drive?

    It was one year ago that I first blogged about the failure rates of specific models of hard drives, so now is a good time for an update.

    At Backblaze, as of December 31, 2014, we had 41,213 disk drives spinning in our data center, storing all of the data for our unlimited backup service. That is up from 27,134 at the end of 2013. This year, most of the new drives are 4 TB drives, and a few are the new 6 TB drives.
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  2. labeeman's Avatar
    Posts : 10,116
    Mint 18.3
       22 Jan 2015 #1

    It looks like Seagate Barracudas are something to stay away from.
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  3. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       23 Jan 2015 #2

    When I got this machine (HP dv6 laptop) the HDD and OD had issues. After going through 1st level trouble shooting, I was transferred up one level. The supervisor and I agreed on replacement parts, and if that didn't solve the issues, then the controller was at fault. Instead of shipping the box to them, I said "can you send me the parts and I'll install them - it's only drives". That worked for both parties.

    HP sent me a Hitachi HDD to replace the Seagate and the machine has been fine ever since. The OD was just a bad button, no read/write errors.

    I've recommended Hitachi drives as replacements since then - the research clearly shows that the drives are worth the extra cost.

    It's interesting to see such a large sample and Brian assembled a nice synopsis. Hard data on Hard Drives is hard to come by

    The other notable in the link is 3TB drives suck!

    Thanks Brink - you always provide informative information.

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  6.    23 Jan 2015 #5

    Hi there.
    These types of discussions are like arguing over whether a Ferrari or a pick-up is better. I'm sure those people living in the Florida everglades would say a pick-up is more useful while if I'm using an empty freeway or on a German Autobahn (no speed limit in places) a Ferrari would get my vote.

    For the boot OS and applications then any sort of decent SSD should be a no brainer. For the rest any reliable HDD of a capacity and speed that's fit for purpose. If you are running a busy web server with a load of DB queries then you will need a far more robust set of HDD's than a typical home user.

    Decent spinners (consumer grade) are all adequate performers - provided you don't use them as the OS drive. If you MUST have your OS on a spinner make sure it is at least 7200 RPM (5400 RPM HDD's are just too slow these days on anything other than laptops) and what is often forgotten - GET THE LARGEST CACHE POSSIBLE - this will improve performance no end.

    With older 120 GB SSD's available at often as low as 60 or even 45 USD these days it really makes ZERO sense NOT to use an SSD for the OS. Then you actually have a much better choice as purely data drives don't have to be mega fast.
    If you run DB systems also get your indexes / links to key fields on the SSD if possible too.

    I've seen many high specced systems with decent processors run really sluggishly due to appalling HDD's -- and conversely seen quite modest systems give amazing performance simply by installing an SSD for OS and programs.

    Mega sized HDD's are often used for things like media streaming - the bottleneck here isn't the HDD speed (usually) but the network connection speeds - don't be bamboozled into paying very high prices for a slightly faster HDD if you don't really need the speed. If you use an SSD for your OS (and possibly indexes on any DB system you use with a high volume of queries) then you can choose almost any HDD at your leisure so go for reliability and price rather than pure speed.

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  7.    23 Jan 2015 #6

    I agree, Jimbo. I do get 7200rpm drives (WD Blacks) for my internal storage HDDs but that's mostly for the longer warranties.
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  8.    23 Jan 2015 #7

    Hi there
    In addition to my post - here's what I mean about SSD's

    In the UK a 120 GB SSD can be had for 40 GBP (that INCLUDES the Whopping 20% VAT these UK guys are lumbered with too) and from not the cheapest store around.

    40 GBP is around 60 USD so it really IS a no brainer to use an SSD for OS + data. a 120 GB SSD is plenty even for a largish windows installation. I'm sure in the USA you can source this cheaper too.

    While also not the fastest SSD (you can see by the price) it's still LIGHT YEARS faster than a spinner and even if you have a laptop it's no big deal to carry a small USB drive / stick for extra storage.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ssd.png  
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  9.    23 Jan 2015 #8

    Again, I agree. My choice of what type of drive to use depends on what its usage will be. I have a 128GB Samsung 840 Pro for the boot drive (Win 7 and programs only) in my desktop, use WD Blacks for data storage (they run 24/7), and WD Greens for backing up the Blacks (I save backup images for the boot drive to one of the Blacks). My desktop machine runs 24/7 but the backup drives only run an average of ten minutes a day every other month.

    My two notebooks have 500GB Samsung 840 EVOs since the notebooks are little 15" one drive wonders (and I don't want to give up the optical drive) and get light usage.

    The only reason I don't have any of the 850 series is they weren't out when I bought my SSDs (and there is no point in replacing my perfectly good 840s)
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