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17 Serial ATA Hard Drives Compared 133

TheRaindog writes "The Tech Report has an in-depth look at Maxtor's DiamondMax 11 hard drive that provides some interesting insight on how Seagate's recent acquisition can improve deficiencies in its own drives. More valuable, however, is the fact that the review offers a detailed comparison of 17 different Serial ATA drives from Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital. Performance is compared across a wide range of typical desktop, multitasking, and multi-user loads, and noise levels and power consumption tests also provide interesting results. Definitely worth a look for anyone in the market for a new hard drive."
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17 Serial ATA Hard Drives Compared

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  • Loud noises! (Score:4, Informative)

    by gr8whitesavage ( 942151 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:52PM (#16239725) Journal
    These things are loud, especially under load. As quiet as rainfall and as loud as normal conversation? [lhh.org]
    • Re:Loud noises! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Reverberant ( 303566 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:25PM (#16239985) Homepage

      The measurements were made one inch away from the drives, so you could expect the levels to be pretty high. Unfortunately, their measurement methodology also means that the noise levels are useless for anything but comparison purposes.

      It would be nice to know whether the levels were A-weighted or linear. Also, with the meter they were using, differences of less than 2 dB aren't meaningful.

      • It would be nice to know whether the levels were A-weighted or linear
        I would guess linear. Storage Review had a review of the drive I bought [storagereview.com] (guess I shouldn't have jumped at the first sub-$100 250G drive I saw), and they measured it at 40.7 dB/A at idle, as compared to Tech Report's 51.7. (My drive is a WD2500KS, a.k.a the Caviar SE16 (250G).)
    • not really (Score:5, Informative)

      by ElephanTS ( 624421 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:25PM (#16239989)
      No they're not really. As a recording engineer and programmer HD noise is a concern of mine. My system has 4x Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 and they really are quiet. I've used Barracudas for about 5 years now and this choice was based on HD noise figures from that time. 5 years ago the Barracudas were the quietist thing on the market and beat the competition hands down. Seems like now all the brands are pretty good - actually I'm pleasantly suprised how much improvement there's been judging by the figures. An increase of 3dB is not very much under load and nothing to get upset about. Some of my older drives would probably come in at 60-65dBA which was too loud. My PSU fan has to be the main culprit in any acoustic noise generated nowadays. As for the linked noise centre guides, these are the standard examples given everytime I've seen and there's no way the Barracuda 7200.9 is the same level as a normal conversation. To get this figure they probably average in all the normal silence of speech too I would guess. The band 50-60dBA is actually quite large in terms of SPL - every 6dB gain represents a doubling in power, every 12dB a quadrupling, so it's quite a big range.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gumbi west ( 610122 )
        You may want to check the 6 dB figure: Here is the wikipedia page [wikipedia.org]. It's a log scale, so every 3 dB is about a factor of 2 and every 10 dB is a factor of ten (the log here is base 10 for reasons I can't understand.
        • Yes, this is where it gets really confusing and I did put the wrong thing. I'm right if talking about dBV on peak to peak signals (6db is a doubling) but not right when talking about acoustic SPL. Good catch - it was in the back of my mind but only after I submitted it. As for the base10 stuff I think that's about perceived loudness.

          If you like this sort of thing here's another wiki about equal loudness contours (basically how our ears react to different freqs and levels - it's a whole more complicated stor
        • every 10 dB is a factor of ten (the log here is base 10 for reasons I can't understand.

          Well, the base of the log _is_ the factor between the 10-dB increments. It's a lot easier than having a scale where the each increment of 10 means 2.7182818284590451.. times more power. E-based logarithms are more natural for scientists, but the dB scale is supposed to be something you can explain to laypeople.

          As you can see from the Wikipedia article, this was originally called the 'bel' scale in honour of Alexan

  • Well now, that is a lot of data to come up with
    Unfortunately, the DiamondMax 11's strengths don't really play to a big segment of the market.

    I was not too happy to learn of the merger~boyout, and while the article hints at optimism, I definitely get the sense of a rolling of eyes out there. Competition is what spurs creativity and success. We shall see.
  • Missing statistic... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steve-san ( 550197 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:01PM (#16239805)
    I'm in the market for one of these -- SATA 500, to match an existing RAID array. Unfortunately, these benchmark numbers just don't tell the whole story. While WD's 500GB RE2 has some of the best stats on the charts, the reliability reviews (at least on Newegg) are dismal. Sadly, this matches with my own experiences with WD.
    I'll gladly sacrifice a few percentage points of performance if it means increased reliability, especially when we're talking HD's. I already don't trust the things farther than I can throw 'em (thus the RAID-5).
    • In most objectively measured reviews I see, Western Digital is always near the top more than any other maker. Newegg and other consumer review sites are not the best you can do. Right now at Newegg I am watching a lot of AMD fanboys going out of their way to slug the new Core 2 Duo cpu's and mobos. It takes all kinds..
    • by FerretFrottage ( 714136 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:28PM (#16240003)
      Most people generally post when things go wrong or bad; very few seem to post when there is nothing wrong. You get a DOA drive, you're gonna bitch about it because it can't use it. I fit right there as well. I got a WD RE2 drive from newegg for my tivo S3 and it is working like a champ. It's quiet, fast and gives me 60+ hr of HD recording time. But did I post a positive review at newegg?...nope, I didn't. I was too busy using my new toy.

      • by qbwiz ( 87077 ) *
        That might make more sense if every drive has bad reviews, but if one drive has reviews that are much worse than the others, it would be likely that there is something wrong with that drive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I'd agree with in an fair and ideal world/system, but could users/companies (either the manufacturer or the end seller) be submitting more favorable reviews for products they want to push? I'm not saying newegg (or its users) does that, but it has been done before.

          In the case of the RE2 and newegg, I used the reviews as a guide, but when I searched the "broader" internet for people having problems with that drive, the "big" problem was just not to be found. As with anything and especially the internet, bu
      • what matters most (at least to me) is warranty and turnaround. At one time I went on a bit of a buying spree after losing a good bit of my6 data yet again to a single drive failure. In the lsat decade I've had two 80gb maxtors, four 160gb maxtor plus 9's, two 250gb plus nines, a seagate 80gb drive (which i sold right off because it was so damn loud) and a seagate 160. Of these, all but four (two 160gb maxtor satas, which i just put into service in the last month, and the two 250gb pata maxtors) have been ba
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by steve-san ( 550197 )
        If that's the case, then why are 15 out of the 27 reviews for the RE2 posted as "Excellent"?

        In fact, Newegg is absolutely littered with thousands upon thousands of reviews from people who return to rave about their new toys... a bit to the extreme, actually.
        Go see how many HUNDREDS have come back to the site to post about their shiny new floppy drives, for crap's sake.

        Back to the point -- 15/27 is still bad (esp. after reading the comments about failure) compared to the competition.
        • Well add one more to the "Excellent" pile as I did my civic duty and submitted a glowing review since the product is working as advertised for me. As for some of the other failures, not all seem to be the fault of the drive:

          "...I wrote the previous review about 1/3 drives failing after two weeks of use. Turns out it was due to a low-quality power splitter that caused the drive to go up and down enough times for the RAID controller to mark it as FAILED. I used the extended test (about 2 hours) with WD's too
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Colin Smith ( 2679 )
      If it was a big issue, you'd be using SCSI.

       
      • by Sparohok ( 318277 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @11:49PM (#16240989)
        "If it was a big issue, you'd be using SCSI"... that is so bogus.

        The SATA standard is entirely suitable for enterprise use and has a growing collection of enterprise class drives.

        Reliability is a "big issue" for almost everyone. Reliability is more important than raw performance for most of the desktop market, indeed most of the hard drive market. If SATA drives were inherently unreliable, they would be unsuitable for any market.

        The only reason reliability isn't the main benchmark for a drive is that it's so hard to measure or predict. If measuring reliability were as easy as measuring noise levels, it would be the most important buying criteria bar none. Particularly since other measurable criteria do not vary all that much between modern drives at a given price point and capacity level.
        • This has been bugging me for a long time now. I have googled the question a lot of different ways and not come back with any clear benchmarks. Is someone knows a link, please post it. If not, any slashdotter with access to a proper test lab and drives could generate the info.

          My Hypotheses is simple:

          1. What really matters for a RAID implementation is Reliability, Size, cost and Speed. In that order.

          2. SATA drives come close to SCSI drives in individual performance. Greater data densities help and lower spin
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Dravik ( 699631 )
            The standard isn't really going to make a difference. What matters is how good the processing device on the controller is and the read/write speeds of your drives. The SCSI array can be faster assuming it is set up correctly. Which one wins out will also be dependant on what type of environment you will be in. The premium on the SCSI hard drives themselves is justfied. Try looking for an comparison of SAS drives against SATA.
            • by dfghjk ( 711126 )
              "The SCSI array can be faster assuming it is set up correctly."

              Same could be said for SATA. As you said, the standard isn't going to make a difference.

              "The premium on the SCSI hard drives themselves is justfied."

              Depends on your priorities. Drive manufacturers want the high margins on enterprise drives so they deliberately differentiate between SCSI and ATA. It's mostly a marketing ploy.
            • by laird ( 2705 )
              "The standard isn't really going to make a difference. What matters is how good the processing device on the controller is and the read/write speeds of your drives."

              This is exactly right. I run about 50 TB of RAID drive sets under extremely heavy 24/7 load, and the SCSI drives and RAID controllers outperform the SATA drives and controllers by about 4x. This has been mystifying, because by the numbers the SATA drives and the SCSI drives should perform almost identically. My current theory is that the SCSI RA
              • by dfghjk ( 711126 )
                That depends a lot on the RAID level being used as well. Clearly, RAID 0/1 don't place near the processor load on a controller that RAID 4/5 do. I also suspect that the SCSI and SATA RAID products you are comparing aren't in the same class from a connectivity and expense POV. Frankly, SATA is better for RAID than SCSI is, though SAS basically negates that advantage. There is nothing in SCSI that makes it a better interface for RAID than ATA. It's all in the class of drive.
          • I would tend to agree with some of your hypothesis in that when implementing RAID that the chief concern is reliability. However, we look for the Speed of the RAID and Size it supports for whever we choose to use a RAID implementation. Cost is usually them most irrelevant of all factors (unless your company is driving cost issues). Performance is always more important in the long run. As far as performance of SATA coming close to SCSI (7200 vs 15K) SCSI wins hands down. Also you have to take into account t
            • Very interesting. My experience is that keeping drives cool makes them last longer.
            • by dfghjk ( 711126 )
              I believe that by "hypothesis" he meant that those were his priorities. He wasn't arguing that those priorities held true for everybody. If he was then that could be easily argued.

              It isn't SATA vs SCSI that determines performance, it's the class of drive that does (and enterprise drives are still SCSI).

              SAS is NOT far superior to SATA. In fact, SAS uses SATA's physical interface (deliberately) and implements the SCSI protocol instead of the ATA one. They did that because the SATA interface was perfectly
          • by dfghjk ( 711126 )
            1. These are your priorities. In such a case SATA and RAID 5 make sense.

            2. That's an observation based on current product offerings. It is not inherent in the interfaces.

            3. Assuming the drives are from the same family, the larger the drive the faster it performs. If you are comparing different drives then no general statement can be made.

            By posing this question, are you asking others to do your research for you or are you asking them to do your lab work for you. It seems to me you should be doing thi
            • by Forge ( 2456 )
              I did what research I could and this information just isn't out there. I do not have the resources to perform the test. If I did, I would perform the tests, document my methodology and the results and sell the information for add views or in paperback.

              So, yes, I _AM_ asking others to do my lab work for me.

              I am crafting a more detailed version of the parent post to send to people who do this kind of research for a living. I.e. ZD, Tom's hardware etc...
          • 1. What really matters for a RAID implementation is Reliability, Size, cost and Speed. In that order.

            2. SATA drives come close to SCSI drives in individual performance. Greater data densities help and lower spin rates hurt.

            Spin rate is not a function of SATA or SCSI, as you know, so is moot. Most SCSI drives are still 10K RPM, so Raptor 10K SATA drives are of a similar performance, and considerably more expensive than regular SATA drives.

            Latency dominates performance for most workloads other than pure strea

            • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )
              A good reason for the fact that SCSI disks can be 15kRPM and lower capacities is the size of the platter. To spin the platter at 15kRPM, it has to be much smaller (and you see this on a few 10kRPM drives as well) - I believe while you can get 2.5"/3" diameter platters for a regular PATA/SATA disk, a 15kRPM SCSI will be significantly smaller (2" or less). The forces on the disc platter are too great to use normal sized platters (i.e., they'd tear themselves apart like some CDs do in fast drives). And given t
              • by dfghjk ( 711126 )
                I don't know about now, but the original Raptors were simply destroked to reduced average seek times. The entire platter was still there and the outermost tracks were the ones that were used. It is not a technical challenge to make a 3.5" drive spin 10K. Raptors now may be different but I doubt it. WD charges more for it because they can. 15K drives have smaller platters as you say.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by sulam ( 817303 )
          I work in a datacenter, for a company that has thousands and thousands of blades in our infrastructure. We primarily use HP blades, either the BL25p or the BL35p. One limitation of the BL35p is that the default configuration is SATA drives. The BL25p comes with SCSI.

          The difference is very stark, in terms of drive failures. We have a seriously disproportionate number of SATA drives fail, to the point where we simply aren't buying BL35p's anymore with SATA, they're just not worth the extra hassle from drive f
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            I'll second that. SATA beats SCSI on price and capacity, yes. Maybe speeds are even, or almost, on a par. But there's no beationg of the SCSI reliability. PERIOD.
            I work in a heterogenous hardware environment (with just hundreds of drives, not thousands :-( ). I have 10+ years old SCSI drives still spinning along happily. IDE from that time has long since died. Even 50% of much newer SATA drives ( 5 yrs old) have been replaced. And a 7 yr old U320 system still can compete with the newest SATA in speed.

            But mo
          • by dfghjk ( 711126 )
            Maybe you should provide that feedback to the manufacturer. No drive should be consistently failing. The number one enemy of any drive is heat, so if one type of drive is failing then either there's a design defect or and implementation error. SCSI or SATA shouldn't be involved.

            That said, the proper response is to stop buying the products that fail as you've done. That doesn't mean that SATA is not worth owning however.
        • The SATA standard is entirely suitable for enterprise use and has a growing collection of enterprise class drives.

          Indeed, and SAS (Serial-Attached SCSI) drives differ mainly in rotational speed, # of devices on a bus, and warranty.

          SATA definitely has a place in the datacenter (local disk, archive/bulk disk tier).
      • A SCSI 500GB drive?
        Dude, I said I'd sacrifice a few points of performance, not a few hundred bucks!

        I'm also gonna have to agree with Sparohok here: "If it was a big issue, you'd be using SCSI"... that is so bogus.
        For my home RAID fileserver, and many other applications, SATA is more than enough. Besides, I've seen my fair share of SCSI drives go Tango-Uniform on the job, too.
    • by Smauler ( 915644 )

      You want a reliability review? How exactly would you yourself go about doing a reliability review?

      I'd have to get at least 4 each of these 17 drives, and test them for 6 months at least. Even then it's be far from a true sample, though it might offer some insights. True reliability testing is long, expensive work - perfomance testing can be done quick and cheap comparatively.

      Also, just because 1 drive fails doesn't mean the drive series is unreliable. I personally like maxtor - I've used and sold abo

    • by cowbutt ( 21077 )
      While WD's 500GB RE2 has some of the best stats on the charts, the reliability reviews (at least on Newegg) are dismal.

      I've read some of those reviews, and it seems many folks are misunderstanding and/or misapplying WD's RAID Edition drives, presumably because they haven't read the datasheet [wdc.com]. Put simply, they are not intended to be used as single drives or in RAID0 configurations, and will be less reliable than regular 'desktop' drives (e.g. WD's 'Special Edition' models) in these roles. My understanding

    • Try seagate.

      We have over 70 of them spinning at work in various servers and desktops,
      about 20 are older than 3 years. Models range from 40 to 300gig.

      And here comes the kicker: In my 4 years on the job only *one* seagate failed.
      In my little failed-drive box I count:

      7x IBM
      5x WD (50%)
      4x Exelstor (100%)
      4x Hitachi
      1x Samsung (2,5")
      1x Seagate (80gig)

      Obviously this is purely anecdotical and we're not running an equal
      number of drives of each brand (actually we had only 10 WD total...)
      but nonetheless whenever someone
  • flash ram drives (Score:5, Interesting)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:02PM (#16239811) Homepage
    More valuable, however, is the fact that the review offers a detailed comparison of 17 different Serial ATA drives from Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital. Performance is compared across a wide range of typical desktop, multitasking, and multi-user loads, and noise levels and power consumption tests also provide interesting results. Definitely worth a look for anyone in the market for a new hard drive.

    It would have been interesting had they done a comparison with one of the Asus Z62F solid state machines that uses flash ram as a hard drive.
    • I'd like to see how the current crop of flash disks compare, in SATA, ATA and SCSI format.

       
    • Well, that would be great if you wanted to pay $1400 for a 32GB drive.
    • It would have been interesting had they done a comparison with one of the Asus Z62F solid state machines that uses flash ram as a hard drive.

      Why is this modded interesting? Solid state RAM drives aren't even close to being in the same market segment as SATA drives.

      I can summarize the comparison:
      RAM Drives are the best by a huge margin in every metric except for size

      Ram drives are:
      zero sound
      zero latency
      uber-fast seek times
      less heat output
      etc etc etc

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Remember FLASH drives degrade with repeated use. Ok for a digital camera - you can only take photos so fast. But for your important data? NAH! Ok. Upto 30,000 time seems ok, but run FILEMON (sysinternals.com) and you'll be blown away how frequently Windoze writes to your hard drive. All those silly background agents that many programs insist on installing (usually in the tray too) sit there and write to your HDD every 15 seconds.

      I'll take a reliable mechanical drive over a FLASH drive, thanks.

      (PS. Thanks fo
      • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        But for your important data? NAH!

        I suppose that depends on how often your "important data" gets written. I can think of lots of applications where flash degradation shouldn't be a problem. (And yes, I can think of lots where it sure would be.) I wouldn't put /var on a flash, but maybe /usr or root. Actually, I would love to have a small flash drive to boot from, so I could completely devote my disks to LVM.

        you'll be blown away how frequently Windoze writes to your hard drive.

        You'll also be blown awa

    • It would have been interesting had they done a comparison with one of the Asus Z62F solid state machines that uses flash ram as a hard drive.
      It would have been interesting had they done a comparison with a beowulf cluster.

      No, wait... what's that word that means the complete opposite of interesting?
  • Also included: a comparison of fireproof suits with shock wave absorbers.
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:19PM (#16239933)

    The Tech Report has an in-depth look at Maxtor's DiamondMax 11 hard drive that provides some interesting insight on how Seagate's recent acquisition can improve deficiencies in its own drives.

    Like better SMART support on Seagate's side? I was stunned at how much more SMART capabilities Maxtor drives have compared to Seagates and others. It should almost be a crime to produce a drive that doesn't have a SMART compatible error log (which Maxtors have- you can query it and see when+what the last errors were, for starters.)

    I've also been stunned at how BAD modern drives are; a client lost FOUR maxtor drives out of a 12 drive array in the space of 2-3 months, and we literally couldn't replace them fast enough (also, the idiots that he bought the system from TURNED OFF autoverify on the 3ware controller, didn't install the linux drivers, didn't bother updating the card's firmware, etc. That'd be PCs4everyone in Boston, FYI.) I had a Seagate PATA drive with barely a dozen hours on it that started clonking like crazy if you wrote data at high speed to it for too long (no, this was not the 7200.8, which had similar issues, relating to a motor driver circuit overheating. This was a 7200.9!) Seriously- the drive would completely stop writing data if you wrote to it continuously for about 40-50GB. The only thing that let me successfully complete the imaging was a borrowed fan directly cooling the drive.

    I'm not too optimistic that Maxtor and Seagate will benefit each other in terms of technology the end user will care about; what is more likely is that Seagate will go enterprise, and Maxtor will go consumer, since that is what each brand is best known for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ElephanTS ( 624421 )
      Maxtor drives are not reliable and I just wouldn't use them. Maybe this is why they have such detailed SMART stats? I don't know but just don't touch them. Great example of false economy as your story shows.
      • In my experience, Maxtor drives are as reliable if not more reliable than other makes, and I wouldnt buy anything else (especially given the 4 or 5 year warranties that maxtor drives seem to have).
    • My experience with Maxtor has taught me one valuable lesson: don't use Maxtor. I don't have any anecdotal evidence of drive quality getting worse; Maxtors shit out and develop bad sectors as long as I've known.
      • by dotgain ( 630123 )
        I concur. At work we had a few Acer P4s with them in, all the same vintage. One day, a Maxtor in one of them started failing, and I swapped it out. Two others failed in the next month. I didn't give a fourth one the chance. I think they lasted three years.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      I've also been stunned at how BAD modern drives are; a client lost FOUR maxtor drives out of a 12 drive array in the space of 2-3 months

      I had a similar situation but I really think it was because the drives were not rated to operate in an oven - which is what a badly designed case with 16 drives ended up as. That said it appears I've lost two Seagate SATA drives from a newer machine in the last two days, both halves of a mirror. I'm happy I fed it a new drive yesterday or I'd be looking at a long restore

  • by Yehooti ( 816574 )
    Besides price per Gig, my next main concern is, "How long will it last?". Throughput speed and power consumption are important but long life usually beats those criteria. Warranties don't mean much when your data gets hosed from a drive's early death. A five year design life is a nice thing to have but I'd be a bit more comfortable if their warranty extended for that duration.

    I've had mixed reliability results from both Seagate and Maxtor. Hopefully this union will take the best from both and result in
  • by eric76 ( 679787 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:33PM (#16240043)
    So far, I'm not too impressed with SATA drives at all.

    Of the four I've bought in the last year and a half, two have failed. I've already replaced one and need to send the other back for a warranty replacement.

    Failure seem high on those SATA drives that other people I know have, too.
    • what brand(s)? I'll take Maxtor FTW.
    • by achurch ( 201270 )
      FWIW, the three drives I bought in a system upgrade about a year ago (two 2.5" Toshiba MK4032GSX's and a 3.5" Seagate ST3400633AS) have been doing just fine--though I did inadvertently discover that those little plastic ribs on the SATA connectors aren't quite as strong as you might expect . . . *snap*
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

        though I did inadvertently discover that those little plastic ribs on the SATA connectors aren't quite as strong as you might expect . . . *snap*

        Mechanically speaking, the SATA connector doesn't seem particularly robust. I've had problems at work with one system in which the drive would occasionally disconnect and reconnect. Since the connectors use flat contacts that slide past each other and don't have much (if any) spring force behind them, it seems to me that you don't get as solid a connection as

        • SATA connectors seem to have been designed primarily for hot-plug capability in removable drive trays. Some of the newer SATA data cables now come with a metal clip on one side that grips the inside of the SATA data port.

          You can generally get 5.25" SATA hotplug backplanes for about $30/disk. Common sizes are 3 trays in (2) 5.25" bays or 4 trays in (3) 5.25" bays. (There's even a 5:3 design but the inside of your 5.25" bays need to be clear of any obstructions along the sides.)
    • by SIGBUS ( 8236 )
      Disclaimer: this is just one person's experience.

      I have a RAID5 array of 4 Samsung SP1213C (120 GB) SATA drives on one of my systems, which has been truckin' along for two-and-a-half years of 24/7 operation without a hiccup. These are running off generic SiI PCI adapters, with Linux software RAID. No errors logged in the SMART error logs, either.

      I've since put SP2504C single drives (250 GB) in a couple of my desktop boxen. They're too new (oldest=5 months) to assess long-term reliability, but I've had no tr
      • I've been using nothing but Samsung drives that I get from Microcenter for a long time now. They are consistantly cheaper than the other brands and the only one I ever had go bad was a referb and Microcenter replaced it with a new one since they were out of referbs.

        I knew someone who had a new drive go bad, and Samsung replaced it with no trouble at all after almost a year. They even sent him a slightly bigger drive (80GB instead of the 60GB that had broken).

        So I've been pretty impressed with them in term
    • by TrevorB ( 57780 )
      The last failure I had turned out to be the cable. I decided to give it a try after getting inconsistent errors on a full HD test.

      Be sure to try replacing the cable before deciding the drive is toast, even after testing. Those SATA cables are finicky.
    • The first days of a new technology are always worse than the last days of an old technology; We're talking about the most ruggedly used mechanical part on a computer, mind you. 5 9's are not acceptable in this instance. Give it some time and they'll be as reliable as the IDE's that we are currently replacing. Of course, that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.
      • Most of these drives are exactly the same mechanically, and some of them even use the same controller - just with a different connector on the end for the SATA version. My theory is that the latest generation of harddrives just aren't as reliable as previous generations, possibly due to the data densities and mechanical tolerances involved in creating 200GB+ drives. It's just that many people have switched over to SATA at the same time they picked up these drives, and are blaming SATA when their newer dri
        • by eric76 ( 679787 )
          You may have a point there.

          Most of the recent complaints I've heard about disks that were either DOA or died after a short time were larger than 160 GB. 160 GB and less seem to have far fewer complaints.
    • by Fishy ( 17624 )
      How true, my maxtor sata failed, its replacement failed, its replacement failed ,its replacement failed.....I gave up and asked them to swop for a non-sata model, so far its okay.

      I don't know what they did on the sata models , but they are junk.
  • They all qualify as "noisy". To approach "Silent", the noise measurement needs to be on the order of -27dBA.

    Granted, they are being measured without a case, and closer than the 1 meter that is conventional for such things. And I could accept that all drives are within this range of noise. But it still stinks for making audio equipment that can be used in the same space as a sensitive microphone.

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @10:08PM (#16240237)
    Where are the 10K RPM SATA hard drives?

    As of a year ago, Western Digital was the only one in the market. We need more competition for this so we can get cheap fast hard drives. SCSI is too expensive.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slaida1 ( 412260 )

      They are there but speed difference isn't that big with fastest 7200RPM drives. Look SpintpointT or WD Caviar RE2 scores. Those are 7200, Raptors are 10000.

      All in all, it looks like Western Digital and Samsung can and do make fast SATA drives. I remember some speculation that WD don't have SCSI markets/drives and so it won't bite its own sales if it makes its SATA drives run as fast as possible. Implying that other hard drive makers keep their SATA drives intentionally slower so they can keep selling SCSI

    • Those of us that do a lot of high-speed, high-volume data collection -- and who are stuck with SCSI -- want to know:
      Where are the 15000 RPM SATA hard drives? 10K is too slow.

  • Seagate. The end. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @12:06AM (#16241129) Journal
    Who else comes with a 5 year warranty standard, on almost all drives?
    • by dal11 ( 831361 )
      Question is WHY they need a 5 year warranty on almost all of thier drives. I have my fingers crossed for my 160gb Barracuda it's never had any problems. Of the 8 people I know with these drives, mine's the only one that hasn't been replaced yet (it's less than a year old, one customer is on his 4th drive). So yeah the long warranty helps when the workstation is down waiting for a replacement drive. The End for Seagate with these customers.
      • by tommy ( 12973 )
        Sounds similar to my experience with WD. I can't stand them anymore but a buddy still loves them and thinks it's really strange that mine always die. I switched to Seagate a couple years ago because of their 5-year warranty and have been happy ever since with no problems (but I'm still paranoid enough to run RAID 1).

        While we both have experienced abnormal failure rates for our respective drives, I certainly look at Seagate's warranty as a good thing, not bad. WD, Maxtor and Hitachi all dropped their warr
  • These new hard drives run pretty hot. I wonder why they did not post a temperature comparison...
  • When shopping for an additional drive for my linux box a couple of months ago I went with a Barracuda 7200.9 because of its low noise and low power consumption. At the time I was comparing the .9 with the .10 and found that the .10 had a 30-40% higher power consumption at the same capacity.

    I'm still amazed that the newer drive consumes much more power (and runs hotter in consequence) with not much benefits at the same capacity.

    Markus

  • 47 seconds to boot up was the best?
    Our SATAs, our dual cores, our GB of DDR2, our PCI-E and it still takes almost a minute to boot up Windows.
    No wonder I dont want to upgrade, progress isn't making things any faster.
  • Bill Watkins, the CEO of Seagate, has been perfectly clear in all of his public speaking what his intentions with regard to Maxtor are.

    The old Maxtor products are going away. Period. Seagate has no intention to ship these products any longer than they contractually have to.

    The Maxtor brand on the other hand, may continue on for some time, but it will only be a label on Seagate products. Maxtor had greater brand equity among consumers than Seagate does, and there is no reason to throw away that brand reco

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