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Windows 7: New Hard Drive suggestions?

05 Jan 2009   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 
New Hard Drive suggestions?

Hi All,

I'm considering getting a new HD. It's not urgent -the existing one is functioning ok - so I have time to take on board any ideas you all may have.

It would be my boot drive - so I am looking for something fast, reliable and was thinking of Wd Caviar Blue 640gb.

The reviews are good - e.g. this one

Western Digital Caviar Blue (640GB) | Hard disks / storage | Reviews | Custom PC

and the price is better than it was - do the fancy cables they want to sell with it make any diff?

Western Digital Caviar Blue 640GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (WD6400AAKS))

Western Digital Caviar Blue 640GB SATAII 16MB Cache: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

Some of the posts here don't rate WD for reliability.

External Hard Drive for Vista Ultimate x64 - Page 2 - Vista Forums

Any comments/ suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks SIW2

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jan 2009   #2

 

My personal preference is to stick with Seagate as they have been more reliable OOB than WDs have in the last several years.

If you can find WDs with 32MB Cache they;ll provide a lot better performance (and with a larger price tag) - hence my preference for Seagates - they have simply lower price tags for equal performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2009   #3
DiamondNRG

 

WD Caviar Black 32MB cache FTW.

Otherwise if you have the money go SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jan 2009   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi thanks for the replies,

I was thinking of the WD SE16 because of the great reviews.

Many of the reviews were in mags. but I did find a couple on the net - good reading for anyone interested in hard drives.

WD Caviar Blue SE16 Western Digital's Caviar SE16 640GB hard drive - The Tech Report - Page 1

Quote:
Conclusions

Although the Caviar SE16 640GB doesn't break new ground in storage capacity, platter density, or cache size, Western Digital has struck a good balance between those elements and delivered perhaps the most capable 3.5" hard drive we've ever tested. Throughout WorldBench, the SE16 exhibited excellent performance with common desktop applications. The drive's sequential transfer rates were exceptionally quick, as well, although not always as fast as those offered by the SpinPoint F1. However, the SE16 also finished near the front of the pack in iPEAK, maintaining reasonably balanced performance across most of our multitasking workloads. That balance carried over to IOMeter, where unlike the SpinPoint, the Caviar didn't crumble under demanding multi-user loads.

We've focused on how the Caviar compares to the SpinPoint because the Samsung drive was our previous performance leader. It still is in many tests, but the F1 has a split personality that causes it to suffer badly in some tests. The 640GB SE16 doesn't have a Mr. Hyde lurking in the background, allowing it to maintain great performance across a broader range of workloads.

Of course, there's more to a drive's performance than transfer rates and response times. Power consumption and noise levels count for a lot these days, and the Caviar delivers on both fronts. Not only does its power consumption flirt with that of Western Digital's own GreenPower drives, but its noise levels are among the lowest we've ever measured, too. Even with a 7,200-RPM spindle speed, the Caviar SE16 640GB is for all intents and purposes just as quiet as a Caviar GP.
WD Caviar Black SE32 Western Digital's Caviar Black hard drive - The Tech Report - Page 1

Quote:
Of course, performance leadership doesn't necessarily make the Black flawless. The drive's power consumption may be low, but its noise levels are not. I suppose there's a price to be paid for speed, but given the low noise levels of the Caviar SE16 640GB, I had hoped the Black would be quieter.

Top-of-the-line capacities rarely deliver the best value for dollar, and given the Black's pack-leading performance and five-year warranty, it's hard to complain too much about the associated price premium.

Sure, it's the fastest 7,200-RPM drive on the market, but it's also a little pricey and probably too loud for many enthusiasts' desktop systems.

For enthusiasts, the Caviar SE16 640GB offers the best blend of performance, capacity, noise levels, and overall value of any 7,200-RPM desktop drive.

Seagate 7200.11 Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive - The Tech Report - Page 1

Quote:

Conclusions

With 250GB platters, 32MB of cache, and a 7,200-RPM spindle speed, the Barracuda 7200.11 should be the fastest high-capacity drive on the market. Except that it isn't. Results from our performance testing are mixed at best, with the new 'cuda excelling in some tests but faltering badly in others.

Reasonably low power consumption should also appeal to the enterprise crowd, and we're pleased to report that the 7200.11 has returned the Barracuda to relative silence. Those factors would combine to make the new 'cuda an attractive option for home theater PCs where transfer rates and application performance are less of a concern.

Although the drive's five-year warranty may justify the premium for some, it doesn't quite do it for me.
However, reliability is important and the comments about the Seagate together with the 5yr guarantee (as opposed to 3yrs on the WD ) have to be considered.

SSD ? - it will be a while before they reach sensible prices and I figure if I get a good HDD now - it will get many years use first as the main drive and then as a secondary in couple of years.

Thanks for your comments - personal experience counts for a lot.

Any more comments/suggestions welcome.

SIW2
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2009   #5

XP Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate 64 & 32 Build 7022
 
 

I personally prefer WD just because if something does go wrong with the drive you can easily send in for RMA & get a new one in like 2 days, all HDD's on my system are WD. I have had lots of issues with Seagate & Samsung drives just going out after a month or so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2009   #6

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by djhallucn8 View Post
I personally prefer WD just because if something does go wrong with the drive you can easily send in for RMA & get a new one in like 2 days, all HDD's on my system are WD. I have had lots of issues with Seagate & Samsung drives just going out after a month or so.
I couldn't agree more. I used to use Seagate almost exclusively until about 5-6 years ago when I started noticing (problems) their quality degrade. I use WD now, and I have good luck...at least so far. Things might have changed, but it's hard to go back to Seagate when I have no motivation to do so. Price is a motivation, but not at the cost of quality.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello SIW2.

I just want to say thanks for posting the reviews. I too am very interested, because I'm buying drives for the new system. I already bought one 7200.11 Seagate but I think the rest will be Caviar Black, and a pair of 10k VelociRaptors to put 7 on when it's released.

Thank you!













Later Ted
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2009   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Wouldn't you want a WD Raptor drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2009   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Kid,

It's interesting - have seen some reviews in UK mags - broadly in agreement with Techreport.

They all say the SE16 640GB is a best buy, for while the SE32 640GB is faster ( although not by much ) they all point out the noise - so it must be noticeable. Also makes me think ( perhaps wrongly ) that if it's making all that noise, it may be wearing itself out.

They all seem to put The Seagate 7200.11 in the middle of the pack - it does some things well , others not so well.

The thing that concerned me about WD was a couple people said they had problems with them. Now we've had a couple saying the opposite.

Thanks for the responses everyone - keep them coming.


Western Digital Caviar Blue (640GB) | Hard disks / storage | Reviews | Custom PC


They say here WD SE16 640GB performs as well as WD SE32 1TB ( the fact it is smaller, i.e. one less platter helps, of course )


Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB | Hard disks / storage | Reviews | Custom PC


So if you are going for the WD Black SE32 - get the 640GB rather than the 1TB.

SIW2
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2009   #10

 

6 years ago I would not have looked at a Seagate drive because of all their problems that manifest roughly 7 (?) years ago. But then I went out and bought a 120 GB IDE drive that was a 'Cuda - and it reinstalled my faith in the Seagate manufacturing system.

I used to prefer WDs, but *only* because they bought out the (hands down) absolute best HD manufacturer in the world - Conner. But, as usual, they screwed it up.

TBH, The WDs should be outperforming the Seagates in nearly every test - the fact that the Seagates are hanging in there, and are back to their quiet, fast operation *and* the fact that in 5 years of ownership I have yet to have a Seagate die on me (while in the same period I have had 3 IBM Deathstars, 2 Sammys and 4 - yes, 4 - WD SATA (original generation) drives die is no coincidence. My Seagates gets worked hard - but then again it could have to do with my OS configuration, and moving all my special folders to a separate drive, installing all games to a separate drive, and killing SR from the other drives....

In the end, go with what you feel most comfortable. As DJHallucinate said, the turnaround time for WDs is great - I wouldn't know for the Seagates cause I have yet to try to get a replacement for one. Out of 6 drives currently in my possession, all 6 work flawlessly, even the ancient 120 GB 'Cuda.

That is saying a lot in my book.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New Hard Drive suggestions?




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